European Midday Update: Markets Suffer from Nasdaq Hangover - TheStreet

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

FTSE 100

was down 46 points to 6211, and the

Techmark 100

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

ARC International

, down 13p to 416 ($6.03) and

Bookham Technology

( BKHM), down 150p to

31.50.

Oil is another factor contributing to the uncertainty. This morning's tentative rise in

Brent

oil futures lent some minor support to

BP Amoco

( BPA), which was up 2p to 597, but not to

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

, which slipped 2.5p to 547.5.

British Telecom

( 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.

Carlton Communications

(CCTVY)

and

Granada Media

were both heavy losers following another bearish report by

Merrill Lynch

. 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

Al Gore

, 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.

By midday,

Glaxo Wellcome

( GLX) was down 36p to

19.70, while future partner

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

was down 12.5p to 893.5.

Europe's other stock markets were mixed, as the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 16.6 at 6805.3, and the

CAC-40

in Paris was 22.6 lower at 6313.7. The

Neuer Markt's

technology-heavy

Nemax 50

index was down 41.8 at 5386.2.

Technology shares across the Continent came under pressure, following the Nasdaq's poor performance, with

Siemens

down 2.84 euros to 155.66 ($136.02),

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

off 1.89 euros at 92.90 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

down 1.20 euros at 272.40.

Deutsche Telekom

( 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

VoiceStream

(VSTR)

.

Elsewhere,

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

fell 0.58 euros to 23.22 and

France Telecom

(FTE)

dropped 2.20 euros to 120.20

Telco. equipment makers

Alcatel

( ALA) and

Ericsson

( 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).