FRANKFURT -- Bourses slid further into negative territory on a deteriorating technical outlook and worries that Wall Street might be inclined to give an encore of Tuesday's ugly performance.
Losses across Europe have not been as deep as many had expected when they arrived at trading desks. But volumes were light, with only the bravest of investors stepping in to buy.
Tech names were among the biggest losers after Tuesday's 3.9% breakdown in the
and after some disturbing earnings news. U.K. hand-held computer maker
dropped 10.8% after a profit warning. And Swedish mobile telephone company
fell 4.1% after a company official reportedly said telecommunications prices were coming under increasing pressure.
Other tech losers included
, down 4.1%,
, down 3.0%, and
, down 3.2%.
In Frankfurt, the
was down 77 points, or 1.6%, at 4772; in London the
was down 45, or 0.8%, at 5734; and in Paris the
was down 51, or 1.3%, at 3986.
Indices were able to bounce off modestly off lows this morning. But they slipped again early this afternoon and were cowering near session lows ahead of Wall Street's opening bell.
futures were up 0.10 point at 1219.10, while the U.S. long bond was yielding 5.31%. The euro was up slightly against the dollar from New York's close at $1.1331, while the dollar gained against the yen to 115.15.
Nick Glydon, technical analyst at
Robert Fleming Securities
in London, said of Euro stocks, "My gut feeling is things are looking pretty bad, that we are headed lower."
He said the European stock market was holding up fairly well mainly because Wall Street's losses Tuesday came on relatively mild volumes. "It might not have been people dumping stocks," he said. "It could have been profit-taking."
Whatever kind of selling it was, it does not change the bad technical outlook in Europe, Glydon said, adding that he would not recommend buying yet. "No. Definitely not."
The Dax is flirting with a key support level today at 4752, the 1999 low reached in mid-January, he said. But other indices also were looking shaky, as are the charts of some individual banks and other big names, he said. Those names included
, down 1.0% today, and
, down 0.9%.
Banks across Europe were generally down today. But going against the trend were French banks
, which have announced marriage plans. Societe Generale was up 1.9% and Paribas up 1.3% on market talk that other financial institutions were considering counterbids. The market has not been
overly pleased with the planned merger.