LONDON -- The adrenalin flowed first thing this morning on expectations that the U.K. market would roar ahead on the back of Wall Street's overnight rise, but after surging at the outset, trading ran out of steam mid-session and the FTSE 100 closed down 8.3 points, or 0.1%, at 6,609.6.
Initially, a large drag on the FTSE was the placement of 925 million shares of
at 349 pence by
at a price of 349p a share. Hutchison acquired the shares as part of the acquisition of
by Vodafone. However, the huge sale was relatively easily absorbed, according to Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, and Vodafone rallied strongly to halve the 20-pence fall and close 10p lower, or 2.7%, at 368 ($5.78).
The rest of the telecom sector was mixed, with
ending up 9p, or 0.7%, to 12.48 pounds, but
down 112p, or 3.5%, at 30.93 pounds.
responded to top-of-the-range profits and its e-commerce strategy with a gain of 48p, or 9.9%, to 534.
The tech sector was volatile yet again.
BATM Advanced Communications
moved up 172p, or 2.7%, to 66.87 pound, and
gained 137p, or 9.2%, to 17.62 pounds. These were the best of the tech stocks. Not so lucky were
down 705p, or 7.8%, at 83.18 pounds, and
down 296p, or 6.1%, at 45.91 pounds. These two stocks are now FTSE constituents, so it is little wonder the Footsie swings around these days. The
index of leading tech stocks ended 65.7 points lower, or 1.4%, at 4,520.1.
is looking like the last stock you should buy. It ended the session 32.5p lower, or 10.2%, at 287.5, as investors throw in the towel. The price is now 92.5p below the offer price.
The continental stock markets ended mixed after the bottom fell out from some of the bourses late in the session. The
in Frankfurt ended near unchanged, down only 9.31 at 7807.93 and the
in Paris erased early gains to close down 41.58, or 0.7%, at 6279.29.
In Frankfurt, there was little uniformity within and among specific sectors. Technology blue chip
fell 11.70 euros, or 6.9%, to 158.30 ($152.65), but
rose 26.99 euros, or 3%, to 936.99.
The debut of
became another of the many recently disappointing European Internet IPOs, as the stock fell below its issue price of 24 euros. Lycos Europe shares closed at 22.75 euros.
continued to climb on news that it would float a biotech unit. The stock closed up 6 euros, or 4.3%, at 145.05. Other companies in the sector couldn't follow higher, as
closed near unchanged at 45.23 euros.
Many telecoms around Europe burned through early gains and ended the day lower.
fell 2.19 euros, or 2.5%, to 86.80,
tanked 7.30 euros, or 4%, to 178 and
ended unchanged at 28.10.