EUROPE MARKETS: Tech Selloff, British Government's Woes Push European Stocks To Close Sharply Lower

By Carla Mozee and Victor Reklaitis, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Stoxx Europe 600 endures biggest drop in almost a month

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European stocks finished with their biggest losses in nearly a month Monday, spearheaded by drops in technology shares, while investors held back from buying most U.K. stocks as the British government struggled in the aftermath of an election that resulted in a hung parliament.

The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 1% to end at 386.62, suffering its largest percentage decline since May 17, according to FactSet data.

Among national indexes, Germany's DAX 30 dropped 1% to close at 12690.44, and France's CAC 40 fell 1.1% to finish at 5,240.59.

The Stoxx 600 Technology Index slid 3.6%, after a selloff in the tech sector abruptly kicked off Friday on Wall Street and spilled over Monday into the Asian and European trading sessions. The tech-heavy U.S. index--the Nasdaq Composite --resumed losses on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-set-to-slump-again-as-nasdaq-100-futures-drop-1-2017-06-12) after tanking nearly 2% on Friday.

See:Pay attention to the ominous pattern in big technology stocks (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pay-attention-to-the-ominous-pattern-in-big-technology-stocks-2017-06-09)

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"Much of the U.S. stock market rally in 2017 has been based on the success and appetite investors have had for Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Netflix and Apple--all of which have risen by between 27% and 34% this year. How long this can be sustained remains to be seen," said David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon & Co. in a Sunday note.

Apple shares (AAPL) were down 2.6% recently on Monday after the tech heavyweight was downgraded for a second time in a week (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apple-downgraded-by-mizuho-the-second-ratings-cut-in-a-week-2017-06-12), with Mizuho Securities cutting its rating to buy from neutral.

In Frankfurt, Apple's stock slumped nearly 6%.

On the Stoxx 600, Apple suppliers were hit hard. Austrian chipmaker AMS AG (AMS.EB) slid 8.3%, STMicroelectronics NV (STM) sank 8.9% and Dialog Semiconductor (DLG.XE) slid 6.7%.

In London on the benchmark FTSE 100, shares of software companies Micro Focus International PLC (MCRO.LN) and Sage Group PLC (SGE.LN) lost 3.8% and 1.8%, respectively. Those moves helped draw the FTSE 100 down 0.2% to end at 7,511.87.

Meanwhile, the U.K.'s more domestically focused FTSE 250 fell 0.4% to end at 19,682.70. London-listed stocks struggled as investors watched for developments in the British government after Thursday's general election resulted in a hung parliament.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was scheduled Monday to meet with rank-and-file lawmakers as she faces criticism for her decision to hold a general election that resulted her Conservative Party losing hold of the House of Commons. The snap election took place before the slated June 19 start of negotiations over Britain's exit from the European Union, or Brexit.

May has been working on forming a new government with support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which holds 10 seats, but no agreement has been struck yet, according to reports Monday.

May and French President Emmanuel Macron were scheduled to meet in France on Tuesday. Macron's upstart party on Sunday won the first round of France's parliamentary elections (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macrons-party-on-pace-for-landslide-win-in-french-elections-2017-06-11).

Read:Questions grow over Theresa May's future as U.K prime minister (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/questions-grow-over-theresa-mays-future-as-uk-prime-minister-2017-06-12)

And check out:Queen's Speech reportedly delayed as U.K. political uncertainty (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/queens-speech-delayed-as-uk-political-uncertainty-persists-report-2017-06-12)

Among currencies, the pound fell to $1.2660, losing grip of the $1.27 handle. The euro stepped higher against sterling, buying 88.52 pence compared with 87.88 pence late Friday.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 12, 2017 12:20 ET (16:20 GMT)