Disappointing results from US tech titan IBM were weighing on hardware and equipment stocks this side of the Pond on Monday.
IBM reported a profit of just two cents a share for the three months to 30 September, compared with $3.68 a year earlier, on revenues that declined to $22.4bn from $23.3bn.
Adjusted earnings fell 10% to $3.68 a share, well below the $4.31 expected by analysts.
Chief executive Ginni Rometty admitted the board was "disappointed in our performance".
She said: "We saw a marked slowdown in September in client buying behaviour, and our results also point to the unprecedented pace of change in our industry."
Sentiment was also hit by the news that IBM has agreed to pay $1.5bn to sell-off its loss-making chip manufacturing division.
UK-listed chipmakers ARM Holdings and Imagination Technologies were 2-3% lower in afternoon trade.
Nanoco, CSR, Spirent Communications, Filronic and BATM Advanced Communications were also unwanted.
ARM's own third-quarter results are due out on Tuesday and are expected to show that earnings rose to 24 cents a share in the third quarter, from 18 cents a year earlier. Revenues are forecast to have increased 11% to $329.4m.
Investors in the industry were also likely showing caution ahead of the quarterly earnings from smartphone and tablet giant Apple after the closing bell on Wall Street.
Guidance for the current quarter is likely to garner the most attention given the recent launch of new models of its popular iPhone and iPad gadgets.
"This week alone, around a fifth of the S&P 500
companies are scheduled to report earnings which, given how quiet a week it is on the economic data side of things, could well have a big impact on investor sentiment," said analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari UK.
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