LONDON -- In contrast to the euphoria that rippled through Europe's markets Tuesday, Wednesday was marked with introspection.
lost a hefty chunk in Tuesday's gains as it slumped 75 points to 6363, although it was off its low of 6017. On the Continent, the
in Paris was down 81 points to 6243 and the
in Frankfurt was down 72 points to 6731.
Wednesday's selloff was almost as broad-based as Tuesday's rally. Anything remotely telecom-related was hammered after
failed to meet Wall Street's highest expectations, and investors had a bad case of the jitters ahead of
earnings later Wednesday.
The Nortel announcement inevitably hit fiber-optic companies such as
Bookham was the FTSE 100's biggest faller, shedding 12.9% to
24.35 ($35.31). However, trading in the stock was so thin that a bus could've been driven through the spread, exacerbating the reported moves. Alcatel was down 6.00 euros to 74.00 ($62.16).
Semiconductor stocks also suffered from Nortel's blow.
slid 27p to 673, shrugging off an encouraging note from
held up well after announcing a licensing deal. The shares slipped 5p to 269.
was down 6 pence to 269,
was 6.5p lower to 278.5 and
was down 16p to 538.
was volatile following reports that it has called off its talks with AT&T, which itself says it intends to split into four companies. BT's shares, which had fallen to a session low of 748p, recovered a degree of poise to stand just 9.5p lower at 778.5.
Drugs have not provided any relief.
fell 158p to
30.92 after announcing increased profits in the third quarter but lowering estimates for full-year revenue.
This weighed on
, which fell 43p to
19.77, and its merger partner
, which slipped 25p to stand at 898.