European Midday Update: Markets Lower After U.S. Tech Shares Plummet - TheStreet

LONDON -- It was all about sentiment this morning, and unfortunately the sentiment was bad. The FTSE 100 was a whopping 118.2 points lower to 6129.50, while the Techmark 100 plunged 151.04 points to 3466.18, after technology shares tanked on Wall Street Tuesday.

In what was largely a sea of red, only a couple of defensive stocks managed to move higher.

BP Amoco

(BP) - Get Report

and

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

topped the FTSE 100 leader board. Firmer crude prices helped fuel the stocks' rally. BP raced up 17p to 643.5 ($9.36), while Shell motored to 598p, a hefty gain of 16.5p.

ARM Holdings

( ARMHY) managed to avoid the tech carnage after it released good interim figures. The shares were up 10p to 696.

Otherwise, it's mostly doom and gloom. Lucent's woes has an immediate effect on

Marconi

, which plunged 8.2% to 823p. Fiber-optic developer

Bookham Technologies

( BKHM) also got hammered in sympathy. Shares in the company fell 8.9% to

26.10.

Meanwhile, the telecom sector plunged to a 52-week low.

British Telecom

( BTY) fell back below 700p. The shares were down 32.5p to 695. Fellow telecom giant

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

was also heavy as it dropped 3.8% to 239.5p. Most of the smaller telcos were also down today.

Banks were unable to lend any support.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

shed 67p to

16.47, while

HSBC

(HBC)

dropped 35p to 908.

Europe's other major stock markets were also in the red early Wednesday, as the

CAC-40

in Paris was down 142.9 to 6000.4 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was off 126.9 to 6546.53. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 227.2 lower to 4249.0.

Tech shares across the Continent were lower, after the meltdown in the U.S. Tuesday. German semiconductor maker

Infineon

( IFX) fell 2.47 euros, or 4.9%, to 47.54 ($41.41) and French chipmaker

STMicroelectronics

(STM) - Get Report

dropped 1.93 euros, or 3.9%, to 47.70.

Conditions for telecom shares weren't any better, as

France Telecom

(FTE)

fell 7.15 euros, or 6.9% to 95.95, as it said a takeover deal for

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

wasn't imminent. Equant was down 2.49 euros, or 6%, to 39.01.

Deutsche Telekom

( DT) was down 1.63 euros to 35.55 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

was off 0.58 euro to 22.07.

Telecom equipment-maker

Alcatel

( ALA) tanked 6.75 euros, or 8.9%, to 69.25.