LONDON -- The U.K. market managed to recoup most of the early losses caused by jitters in the pharmaceutical sector, but Tuesday's interest rate decision by the Federal Reserve cast a long shadow over most of Monday's proceedings.
closed down just 1.5 points at 6,542.2, helped back up by early gains on the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
. This was well up from the session low of 6,491.4, a fall caused by reports that
HIV drug Ziagen could produce a fatal reaction in certain patients. Glaxo's shares, which fell to a session low of
19.37 ($29.06), reflected the general market and by the close had recouped the initial losses to end up 18p, or 0.9%, at
Telecom stocks also kept the market busy as the market reacted to news that the credit rating agency
Standard & Poors
put a number of the winners of the German auction for mobile phone licenses on watch for a downgrade. Strangely,
, which was not on the S&P list fell 3.5, or 1.3%, to 264.5, while
, which was on the list, managed to close up 4p, or 0.5%, to 841. Go figure.
On the Continent,
was down 2.03 euros, or 4.4%, at 44.00,
was 2.60 euros lower, or 2%, to 126.40 and
ended off 3.54 euros, or 8.4%, to 38.46.
As a result, most of Europe's other major stock markets finished Monday lower, as the
in Paris ended down 22.7, or 0.3%, at 6,571.6 and late in the German session the
in Frankfurt was off 16.9, or 0.2%, at 7,215.4. However, the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was 8.3 higher, or 0.2%, at 5,685.6.
U.K. technology stocks were among today's biggest casualties. The Footsie's biggest faller was optical component maker
, which gave back a large part of Friday's gains made on speculation it was in talks to be acquired by
. The stock closed down 160p, or 4.0%, at
38.00. Following close behind was IT services group
, which slid 45p, or 3.6%, to
escaped the rout and closed up 22p, or 3.1%, at 744, helping the
index to close unchanged at 3,651.66.
Germany's biggest utility
rose 0.60 euros, or 1.1%, to 57.60 ($52.24), after the
reported it was considering a merger with France's
, which dropped 6.10 euros, or 3.3%, to 181.60.
Most German blue-chip technology shares were lower, with
down 1.49 euros, or 1.5%, at 97.00 and software maker
3.29 euros lower, or 1.2%, at 265.50.
, however, was up 4.98 euros, or 2.9%, at 174.90.