LONDON -- With the
meeting looming, European markets displayed all the hallmarks of markets in a hurry to go nowhere.
finished with a loss of 29.9 points, or 0.5%, at 6,375.3, while the
was equally lifeless, ending largely unchanged at 3,414.90.
Unfortunately for it,
could not escape the attentions of investors. The troubled Internet service provider and portal retreated 45.5p more, or 12.5%, to 319.5 ($4.80), as brokerage downgrades following the collapse in takeover talks with
added to the recent misery. Freeserve shares have now fallen more than 30% over the past four days.
There were a few bright lights in the market nonetheless.
rose 11.5p, or 2.8%, to 422.5 in decent volume ahead of further potential developments of its telecommunications business.
Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks were more rays of sunshine, as investors warmed to the latest advances in mapping the human genome and its potential uses for medicine.
rose 77p, or 4.3%, to
closed 50p higher, or 1.7%, at
was up 38p, or 6.1%, at 660. Nycomed benefited from at least two broker recommendations, and brokerage
Teather & Greenwood
has reportedly suggested the stock was a "chart break-out" situation.
Drugmakers also did well, with
up 33p, or 1.8%, to
up 12p, or 1.4%, at 854.
Europe's other major stock markets were mixed, with the
in Paris down 18.2, or 0.3%, at 6,568.1. Late in the German trading session the
in Frankfurt was up 19.6, or 0.3%, at 7,046.8 and the
index was down 34.6, or 0.6%, at 6,162.8.
German blue-chip tech shares were mixed, but chipmaker
single-handedly vaulted the Dax back into positive territory after the company hiked its earnings forecast. Infineon was up 5.05 euros, or 5.8%, at 92.47 ($86.62).
was down 1.84 euros, or 1.2%, at 158.16,
was 2.03 euros lower, or 1.6%, at 123.77 and
climbed 1.60 euros, or 0.8%, at 214.60.
tanked 2.50 euros, or 4.7%, to 51.00 after
announced it was unloading half of all the shares it owns of the utility. Hypovereinsbank was up 0.88 euros, or 1.4%, at 66.29 and
was up 0.30 euros, or 0.7%, to 42.50.
Major European telcos moved in every direction, with
closing up 0.95 euros, or 4.6%, at 21.50,
ending down 5.60 euros, or 3.4%, at 157.90 and
trading near unchanged at 63.50.