* STOXX 600 down 1 pct, hits 2-month low
* Cybersecurity stocks fall, bucking trend
* Ransomware attack sweeps globe
* France’s Legrand boosted by U.S. acquisition
* Bunzl leads European stocks after upbeat update
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By Helen Reid
LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – Slumping technology stocks after
a global cyber attack and depressed crude oil prices cast a
cloud over European shares on Wednesday, sending them to their
lowest in two months.
The pan-European STOXX 600 hit its lowest since
April 24 in early deals, down 1 percent, in step with euro zone
stocks and blue-chips.
Technology stocks fell 1.6 percent to a two-week
low, the worst performer with every stock on the index in the
The losses came after a ransomware attack swept the globe,
disrupting computers at banks and large companies including WPP
, Moeller Maersk and Metro.
Shares in affected companies were not hugely or uniformly
dented, with WPP down 0.4 percent, Maersk up 0.2 percent and
Metro up 0.5 percent.
Anti-virus provider Sophos fell 4.9 percent, a top
UK mid-cap faller, and security firm NCC Group slid 2.1
percent. Both had been among the best performers when a global
‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack hit computers in mid-May.
In Helsinki, digital security firm F-Secure,
which had also made gains in the previous cyber-attack, was down
1 percent. But investors said tech stocks were falling in the
wake of U.S. peers.
“Tech generally is weak following the lead of U.S. tech
which sold off aggressively last night,” said Neil Campling,
head of global telecoms, media and technology research at
Northern Trust, adding that a downgrade to ‘hold’ was also
weighing on Sophos.
“After high profile attacks you have a massive spike in
corporate activity – shutting the door after the horse has
bolted,” he added. “We see the downgrade today on Sophos as
giving an opportunity to buy.”
Semiconductor makers AMS, Dialog Semiconductor
, ASM International and STMicro were
among the worst performers on Wednesday, falling 2 to 4.1
Interest-rate sensitive utilities and real estate stocks
tumbled, weighed by hawkish comments from European Central Bank
President Mario Draghi and a slew of Federal Reserve
policymakers including Fed Chief Janet Yellen.
Germany’s utilities RWE and E.ON were the worst-performing
on the DAX, down 2 to 2.2 percent.
Adding insult to injury, lower oil prices weighed on oil and
gas stocks, with Tullow Oil the biggest faller
after its first-half results.
Meanwhile, positive results and acquisitions drove the
handful of gainers.
Business supplies distributor Bunzl bounced 4
percent after saying a boost in recent acquisitions would help
it increase first-half revenue 7 percent.
“We anticipated an acceleration in underlying growth to 7
percent in the second half but organic growth is tracking ahead
of our forecasts already at Q2,” said UBS analysts.
“New M&A announced today should have a positive impact of
around 0.5 percent to the top-line when fully annualised,” they
French industrial group Legrand also rose 2.8
percent after saying it would buy U.S. infrastructure company
(Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Ed Osmond and Keith Weir)