Publish date:

European Midday Update: Techs and Telecoms Lead Markets Lower

Author:

LONDON -- Things were pretty bleak across the whole market midday, as the

FTSE 100

suffered another triple-digit loss, falling 111.3 points to 6168.60 and the

Techmark 100

plunged 61.25 points to 3708.98.

There was no let up in the selling pressure which has helped drive telecom giant

British Telecom

(BTY)

down to its lowest level since December 1998. BT got hammered after a profit warning from

Sprint

and a report that said a clash of egos will stymie the long-touted tie up with

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

. BT was 7% lower to 735p ($10.29).

Fears that higher oil prices will lead to an economic slowdown have clearly taken root, and even a lower opening in front month Brent futures can't shake this belief. Both the main index's big oil stocks took a tumble.

BP

(BP) - Get Report

slid 6.5p to 631.5, while

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

slipped 16p to 579.

Back to the telecoms.

TeleWest

(TWSTY)

plunged 9.4% to 144.25p making it the FTSE 100's biggest loser, while

Energis

(ENGSY)

shed 25p to 500 after it announces it has completed a share placement worth

400 million.

The tech sector took a pounding this morning in spite of an encouraging performance by the Nasdaq.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

and

Parthus Technologies

both initially rose on the back of the

Nasdaq Composite Index

TheStreet Recommends

. But neither could hold onto their early gains. ARM shed 2.9% to stand at 688.5p, while Parthus fell 13.5p to 287.5. Meanwhile,

Marconi

(MCONY)

confirmed that it is to buy US-based

Mariposa Technology

, which makes integrated access devices (IADs) for around

191 million. The deal doesn't delight punters, who promptly drove the price 47p lower to 938.

After starting out higher, Europe's other major stock markets also quickly turned tail and were solidly in negative territory midday Thursday. The

CAC-40

in Paris was down 122.6 at 6282.8 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 101.5 at 6,663.7. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 122.4 lower at 5326.1.

Things got ugly fast for techs this morning, with

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

down 6.60 euros at 255.90 ($217.51),

Siemens

down 3.78 euros to 162.22 and

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

down 1.14 euros to 42.85.

Telecoms were also lower, as

France Telecom

(FTE)

was off 6.60 euro to 113.90,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

dipped 1.26 euros to 38.54 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

fell 0.51 euros to 22.14.

In Paris, insurer and financial services group

AXA

(AXA)

fell 5.70 euros to 152.10, after posting less-than-expected first-half profits.