LONDON -- The FTSE 100 broke below the 6000 level for a few fleeting minutes Wednesday morning before recovering to 6008.5 -- an overall fall of 78.3 points. It's too soon to say at the moment whether this is the beginning of a spirited comeback or merely brief respite from an ongoing downward trend.
showed no sign of halting its recent slump, and was down a further 113.0 points to 2804.1. Major casualties in the tech sector include
BATM Advanced Communications
down 255p at
30.37 ($44.64) and
258p lower at
Telecom stocks weren't far behind.
took another beating, with the price down 7p at 248 -- a 37% loss in the past 11 weeks. Vodafone must sell
as part of the agreement made when it bought
. However, investors are now worried that the terms of sale are likely to be challenged by regulators if any share deal is included, as this would leave Vodafone still holding shares in Orange.
slipped 18p to 854 and
shed 102p to
Media stocks completed the picture of misery, as
fell 26p to
was 47p lower at 888.
Europe's other stock markets were lower. The
in Frankfurt was down 108.0 at 6,919.7 and the
in Paris was 128.1 lower at 6020.5. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was off 194.6 at 5766.1.
In Frankfurt, big techs suffered the hardest after the Nasdaq's sharp plunge Tuesday afternoon.
fell 3.95 euros to 142.75 ($129.40),
was down 3.76 euros at 122.00 and software maker
dropped 20.95 euros to 538.15.
Carmakers were able to buck the downward trend, as
climbed 0.25 euros to 30.95 and
rose 0.33 euros to 61.25. Not all old economy stocks were not spared, however, as industrial giant
plunged 2.60 euros to 20.35 after posting disappointing earnings.
Major European telecoms were all lower, with
down 2.20 euros at 56.50,
off 0.38 euro at 20.07 and
5.80 euros lower at 131.50.