Skip to main content

LONDON -- European markets ended mostly lower as falls in telecom and oil stocks took the gloss off what began as a positive session.


FTSE 100

closed out the week 7 points lower at 6385, but more encouragingly, the

Techmark 100

closed up 61 points, or 1.6%, at 3505. Meanwhile, the

FTSE 250

, perhaps a better gauge of the market's condition, finished the session 35 points higher, or 0.5%, at 6747.

The London market got a lift from news this morning that

Abbey National

had made an approach to

Bank of Scotland


with a view to merging. Bank of Scotland later issued a terse statement saying, "It is unlikely that Abbey National's approach will lead to a satisfactory transaction for Bank of Scotland's shareholders." Nevertheless, Abbey National's shares ended 71 pence, or 7.3%, higher to

10.40 ($15.08), and Bank of Scotland finished the session up 14p, or 2.1%, at 690p.

Investors didn't relish the prospect of other banks becoming involved in a bidding war and switched out of banks such as



, which fell 22p, or 1.1%, to


British Telecom


fell 12p, or 1.6%, to 750, punished by news that the Dutch antitrust authorities raided the offices of its Netherlands-based subsidiary


in connection with allegations that the company colluded with



during the country's auction for third-generation mobile phone licenses.



pared earlier gains to end flat at 252 amid a barrage of brokerage notes. Vodafone's house broker

UBS Warburg

chastised the market for reacting hyperbolically to its note Thursday that lowered profit forecasts for 2001, but this failed to lift the shares.

Oils fell as crude oil prices started to decline. The sector wasn't helped by

Deutsche Bank





from its

European Focus List

in response to Thursday's mediocre earnings report. The stock slid 13p, or 2.4%, to 529. Following this lead,

BP Amoco


fell 20.5p, or 3.5%, to 561.5.

In the media sector, Rupert Murdoch's



reported wider losses in the later quarter but pleased the market with larger-than-expected growth in subscribers. The shares hit a high of

10.68 but later settled to close with a gain of 47p, or 4.7%, to



Semiconductor Industry Association

report saying that chips sales are expected to rise 37% this year helped

ARM Holdings


which rose 49p, or 7.0%, to 754.

Europe's other stock markets ended mixed, as the


in Paris closed down 1.39 points at 6398.9 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 41.1, or 0.6%, at 7129.8 late in German trading. The

Neuer Markt's


Nemax 50

index was up 12.3, or 0.3%, at 4684.4.

German blue-chip techs shined, as



surged 1.85 euros, or 3.6%, to 52.75 ($45.29),



rose 1.18 euros, or 0.8%, to 154.49 and



jumped 4.26 euros, or 4.3%, to 96.60.

Financial-services giant


(AZ:NYSE) fell 4.00 euros, or 1%, to 399.00, as the firm's ADR debuted in New York. The listing should facilitate further acquisitions in the U.S.

Major European telcos finished the week on a negative note, as

Deutsche Telekom


fell 0.91 euros, or 2.2%, to 41.30 euros,

France Telecom


closed down 0.10 euros, or 0.1%, at 121.80 euros and



fell 0.10 euros, or 0.5%, to 22.55.