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European Closing Update: Finishing the Week on the Upside

London shares saw a bit of late profit-taking, but still stayed positive. Frankfurt and Europe were strong.
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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 gave up more than half its initial gain to close 36.6 points higher, or 0.6%, at 6,568.7. It was really a matter of investors being tired and emotional on Friday after a hard week, and there is blame to be laid at the door of those who are happy to take a profit ahead of Saturday.

Technology stocks failed to disappoint once again with a gain of 119.9 points, or 2.1%, to 5,719.0 on the

Techmark

index of leading tech stocks.

Leading the charge in the tech sector was

Geo Interactive Media

, weighing in with a gain of 980p, or 37.5%, to 35.25 pounds ($55.70) after the committee that decides the FTSE constituents relaxed the rules on nationality for inclusion in its indices. Next came Israeli

BATM Advanced Communications

, which rose 10.67 pounds, or 19.7%, to 63.17 pounds on hope it might too be included in the FTSE 100 in June and on demand ahead of Tuesday's earnings results.

Soon-to-be Footsie constituent

Baltimore Technologies

was up 500p, or 3.8%, to 137.50 pounds.

British Airways

(BAB) - Get Report

took the resignation of chief executive Bob Ayling in its stride - nay, was actually pleased -- and closed 6p higher, or 3.3%, at 299. And

British Telecom

(BTY)

ended up another 35p, or 3.5% at 13.61 pounds.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

closed up 50p, or 3.1%, at 16.14 pounds, and its soon-to-be partner

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

was 31.5p better, or 4.2%, at 741.

Grocery chain

J Sainsbury

gained 23p, or 9.5%, to 262 as newly appointed chief Sir Peter Davis was perceived to have taken an aggressive approach to the company's problems, which involved the demise of two fellow directors.

Most continental stock markets ended higher, as technology and telecommunications shares powered ahead. The

Xetra Dax

TST Recommends

in Frankfurt closed up 30.77, or 0.4%, at 7979.92 and the

CAC 40

in Paris was 86.85 higher, or 1.4%, at 6510.28.

In Frankfurt, technology shined and helped to offset the slump in financial stocks. Software giant

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

announced a capital increase and a 3-for-1 stock split, causing its shares to jump 22.50 euros, or 2.2%, to 1045.50 ($1014.14).

Siemens

(SMAWY)

rose 3.07, or 1.7%, at 185.57.

"Techs did well, but it wasn't enough to keep

the Dax over 8000," said one trader in Frankfurt.

With investors apparently not so excited about the bank merger as they were,

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

and

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

fell 6.06 euros, or 7.5%, to 74.75 and 3.85 euros, or 7.7%, to 46.15 respectively. Insurer

Allianz

climbed 4.21 euros, or 1%, to 411.20.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

rose 2.35 euros, or 2.5%, to 97.75, as investors shrugged off reports its merger talks with Qwest had been nixed. In Paris,

France Telecom

(FTE)

closed up 6.20 euros, or 3.3%, to 197 and

Vivendi

(VVDIY)

rose 3.60 euros, or 2.6%, to 141.60, amid news it had won a next-generation wireless license in Spain.