European Closing Update: London Higher but Europe Ends on a Sour Note

London managed to end the week higher, but there was little direction.
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LONDON -- It's the end of the week, month, quarter, tax year and, as such, there was little in the way of a coherent trend. The FTSE index closed 95.0 points, or 1.5%, higher at 6,540.2, but the Techmark index of leading technology stocks ended 70.8 points, or 1.6%, lower at 4,330.8.

Elementis

provided a clear direction, jumping 22p, or 28.8%, to 98.5 in the wake of aggressive U.S. buying on bid speculation.

Merrill Lynch

was identified as the big buyers of the shares.

Tech stocks showed signs of recovery and disintegration at the same time.

Psion

jumped 281p, or 7.6%, to 41.50 pounds and

Baltimore Technologies

(BALTV)

climbed 83p, or 0.9%, to 86.10 pounds, but

BATM Advanced Communications

fell 277p, or 4.6%, to 57.05 pounds, and

Staffware

lost 150p, or 5.7%, to 24.75 pounds.

British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get Report

ended 34p higher, or 10.8%, at 345 as litigation worries subsided.

Imperial Tobacco

gained 8.5p, or 1.7%, to 514 in similar circumstances.

Oil stocks remained firm on the back of the OPEC production quotas decision.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

rose 31.5p, or 5.8%, to 573.5, and

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

was up 23.5p, or 4.7%, to 520.

Telecoms experienced mixed fortunes for most of the session before ending on a firmer note.

BT

(BTY)

closed 23p higher, or 2.0%, at 11.75 pounds, and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

retrieved an earlier 13p fall to close a penny up, or 0.2%, at 348.5.

European markets ended the week lower. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt closed down 20, or 0.3%, at 7625, and the

CAC 40

in Paris ended down 42, or 0.7%, at 6272.

In Frankfurt, technology stocks were the main culprits.

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

ended down 18.90 euros, or 2.4%, at 774.10 and

Epcos

was down 9.3 euros, or 6.4%, at 145.50.

Financials were also lower.

Deutsche Bank

(DBKAY)

ended down 0.96 euros, or 1.4%, at 70.21,

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

was down 0.59 euros, or 1.4%, at 43.10 and

Commerzbank

(CRZBY)

was down 0.65 euros, or 1.6%, at 40.05.