LONDON -- In a generally disappointing and lackluster session Thursday, the
closed 42.80 points lower at 6,475.70. "The market was much quieter than yesterday," says one London broker. "Maybe the weather is depressing everyone."
But where the main market failed to make any headway tech stocks had a fine day. The
index of leading technology shares closed up 28 points at 3,448 as a sense of optimism tentatively returned on the back of the
Generally, banks had a good session.
, which recently looked like a sleeping donkey, showed its true pedigree and the black horse raced away to close 25p higher at 608 ($9.16).
Royal Bank of Scotland
also joined in the competition, closing up 22.5p at 748.5 and 22p at
However, the two banks which initiated the recent sector rally,
, down 10p to 838, and
, down 5.5p at 910.5, both succumbed to minor profit taking as the failure of major Japanese retailer
suggests that all is not necessarily sunny in the Far East.
But the day really belonged to the tech sector, which hitched a lift up on the back of the resurgent Nasdaq.
lead the way in the main index with a 21.5p rise, bringing the stock up to 335.5 on broker recommendations and renewed takeover speculation.
followed close behind closing 59p higher at 989.
also found favor, moving up by around 5.5% to close at 765p. While former FTSE 100 star
also soared. After Wednesday's roller coaster performance, the market revaluated the company's takeover of Canada's
. Today the decision is that the move is a good one, and Psion closed up 47p at 712.
On the flip side
45.29, which considering how the share has faired recently looks little to get excited about.
It is probably a different story for
, which lost a hefty 8.2% of its value on fears that a long awaited bid for the company will fail to materialize. The company closed 38.75p lower at 450.
lost 12.5p to 599 after the company confirmed press reports that it is in discussions with
from the US over its
Among the telecoms,
failed to hold its early gains, sliding from an intraday high of 920p to finish 10 points lower at 890 after the European 3G mobile phone license cost issue resurfaces.
also moved into the red, closing down 5.5p at 307, but
Cable & Wireless
bucked the trend by gaining 3p to
Europe's other major bourses closed higher Thursday, with the
in Paris finishing up 33.9, or 0.5%, at 6,570.4 and the
in Frankfurt ending up 130.0, or 1.8%, at 7,195.9. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index closed up 128.1, or 2.2%, at 5,965.8.
Blue-chip German technology shares booked solid gains, with software maker
closing up 15.01 euros, or 7.3%, at 220.96 ($208.16),
ending 3.54 euros higher, or 3.2%, at 116.00 and
finishing up 1.35 euros, or 1.7%, at 80.40.
European telcos also had a good day, with
erasing early loses to climb 1.42 euros, or 2.5%, to 59.35 amid reports it would float 10% of its mobile unit this fall.
ended up 0.07 euros, or 0.3%, at 25.13 and
closed up 4.80 euros, or 3.2%, at 154.80.
Elsewhere in Paris, telco equipment maker
closed up 2.55 euros, or 3.3%, at 79.60 and mixed concern
fell 0.55 euros, or 0.6%, to 88.00 amid news it would postpone the IPO of its entertainment unit.