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LONDON -- In a generally disappointing and lackluster session Thursday, the

FTSE 100

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


recent gains.

Generally, banks had a good session.

Lloyds TSB


, 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).

Abbey National


Royal Bank of Scotland

also joined in the competition, closing up 22.5p at 748.5 and 22p at

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10.30 respectively.

However, the two banks which initiated the recent sector rally,



, down 10p to 838, and

Standard Chartered

, 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.

ARM Holdings


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

Bookham Technology



3.11 to

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.



(DEO) - Get Diageo Plc Report

lost 12.5p to 599 after the company confirmed press reports that it is in discussions with

General Mills

from the US over its



Among the telecoms,

British Telecom


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.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report

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

CAC 40

in Paris finishing up 33.9, or 0.5%, at 6,570.4 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt ending up 130.0, or 1.8%, at 7,195.9. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index closed up 128.1, or 2.2%, at 5,965.8.

Blue-chip German technology shares booked solid gains, with software maker


(SAP) - Get SAP SE Report

closing up 15.01 euros, or 7.3%, at 220.96 ($208.16),


(EPC) - Get Edgewell Personal Care Co. Report

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

Deutsche Telekom

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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.


(TEF) - Get Telefónica SA Report

ended up 0.07 euros, or 0.3%, at 25.13 and

France Telecom


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.