LONDON -- Europe's markets are suffering from a hangover after the overnight fall in the Nasdaq Composite Index, with anything even remotely techie being marked lower.
By midday, the
was down 46 points to 6211, and the
was 48 points lower to 3731. Although the markets are down, there is a lot of uncertainty, and dealers say much depends on how Wall Street opens.
Among the main technology losers were
, down 13p to 416 ($6.03) and
( BKHM), down 150p to
Oil is another factor contributing to the uncertainty. This morning's tentative rise in
oil futures lent some minor support to
( BPA), which was up 2p to 597, but not to
, which slipped 2.5p to 547.5.
( BTY) gave back much of its recent gains by falling 11p to 739. This stock needs hard news rather than reports and spin if it's ever going to hold onto any gains. Until then, any upward moves in the share price are likely to be sold into.
were both heavy losers following another bearish report by
. Carlton shed 4.3% to 586p, while Granada plunged 6.9% to 515 -- the main index's biggest loser.
Drug stocks were hurt by news from the U.S. that will effectively allow drug wholesalers to import cheaper branded drugs. The blow is further reinforced by comments from presidential candidate
, who said he intends to penalize health care organizations that drop out of Medicare or try to limit medical coverage. Skeptics have dismissed Gore's comments as a brazen attempt to curry favor with pensioners, but the news is inevitably affecting market sentiment.
( GLX) was down 36p to
19.70, while future partner
was down 12.5p to 893.5.
Europe's other stock markets were mixed, as the
in Frankfurt was up 16.6 at 6805.3, and the
in Paris was 22.6 lower at 6313.7. The
index was down 41.8 at 5386.2.
Technology shares across the Continent came under pressure, following the Nasdaq's poor performance, with
down 2.84 euros to 155.66 ($136.02),
off 1.89 euros at 92.90 and software maker
down 1.20 euros at 272.40.
( DT) rose 0.67 euros to 40.75, amid news the German government pledged to reduce its stake in order to facilitate DT's purchase of U.S. wireless operator
fell 0.58 euros to 23.22 and
dropped 2.20 euros to 120.20
Telco. equipment makers
( ALA) and
( ERICY) both fell as well. France's Alcatel dipped 1.70 euros to 81.30 and Sweden's Ericsson was down 6.00 krona at 162.50 ($16.79).