LONDON -- All good things come to an end, as investors saw in Europe's markets Tuesday morning as the recent run-up in technology and telecom stocks came to an abrupt halt.
Inevitably, it was the IT services stocks, which led the recent bull run in London's markets, that started the rot. Despite computer services firm
reporting first-half results at the top end of analysts' expectations, the headline figures did not delight investors, who were disheartened by the absence of a positive trading statement to go with the results. The shares slid 225p to
11.25, setting the tone for markets as a whole.
fell 28 points to 6770, while the
bore the brunt of the downturn in sentiment and plunged 4%, or 168 points, to stand at 4119.
Investors rushed to take profits in Sema's peers.
, which reports first-half results Wednesday, fell 137p to
was down 47p to
A slew of technology stocks also shed recent gains, including
, whose shares had soared an astonishing 75% since announcing an licensing agreement with
last week. Parthus fell 27.5p to 381, while ARM slid another 46.5p to stand at 831.5.
Media stocks too were out of favor, succumbing to profit-taking.
shed 45p to stand at
was down 19.5p to 765.5.
Telecom stocks were mixed.
, which spent an part of early trading in the red, staged a recovery to stand at midday up 9.75p to 294.75. The rise, boosted by reports that
chief executive is interested in buying Vodafone's Italian fixed-line business
, did much to offset the weakness in the rest of the market.
fell 18p to 885.
Europe's other stock markets were lower, with the
in Paris down 35 points to 6887 and the
in Frankfurt off 22.95 to 7422.61. The
index was 25 lower at 6419.
Many of the Continent's technology and telecom shares were experiencing a technical retreat after surging Monday.
fell 1.10 euros to 188.10 ($168.93),
was down 1.30 euros to 115.50 and software maker
was 4.78 euros lower to 304.70.
was off 0.12 euro to 48.89,
was down 3.80 euros to 147.60 and
was down 0.22 euro to 24.17.
was down 0.14 euro to 58.31 amid continuing speculation the company is preparing to increase its stake in
was off 0.70 euro to 49.50.
Financial stocks were higher, with
up 0.80 euro to 98.60 and French insurer
up 1.00 euro to 161.00.