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.
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.
( 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
, which plunged 8.2% to 823p. Fiber-optic developer
( BKHM) also got hammered in sympathy. Shares in the company fell 8.9% to
Meanwhile, the telecom sector plunged to a 52-week low.
( BTY) fell back below 700p. The shares were down 32.5p to 695. Fellow telecom giant
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.
shed 67p to
dropped 35p to 908.
Europe's other major stock markets were also in the red early Wednesday, as the
in Paris was down 142.9 to 6000.4 and the
in Frankfurt was off 126.9 to 6546.53. The
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
( IFX) fell 2.47 euros, or 4.9%, to 47.54 ($41.41) and French chipmaker
dropped 1.93 euros, or 3.9%, to 47.70.
Conditions for telecom shares weren't any better, as
fell 7.15 euros, or 6.9% to 95.95, as it said a takeover deal for
wasn't imminent. Equant was down 2.49 euros, or 6%, to 39.01.
( DT) was down 1.63 euros to 35.55 and
was off 0.58 euro to 22.07.
( ALA) tanked 6.75 euros, or 8.9%, to 69.25.