LONDON -- The U.K. market got off to a roaring start on the back of Wall Street's surge overnight. However, everything that was dramatically higher Friday morning was dramatically flat in the afternoon. The FTSE 100 steadily slid into the close and ended barely higher, up 0.8 points, or 0.01%, at 6558.00.
Stocks that had a better morning than afternoon included
, which turned a gain of 200p into a loss of 31p, or 1.4%, at 21.52 pounds ($33.79) and
, which ended up just 6p, or 0.5%, at 12.40 pounds.
Banks had a hard time on fears that a government-commissioned report on the industry to be released Monday will be highly critical of the way banks charge their customers for services and recommend tighter regulation.
ended 20p lower, or 3.2%, at 601,
was 124p down, or 7.6%, at 15.03 pounds, and
Royal Bank of Scotland
eased 11p, or 1.3%, to 810.
In technology shares,
, the much-hyped Internet travel company that debuted on the market this week, managed to end a hard first week on a positive. The shares closed up 6p, or 1.6%, at 391. This compares with the IPO price of 380p and a high of 562.5p.
Other techs that did well included
, which rose 265p, or 5.2%, to 53.30 pounds and
up 345p, or 15.0%, at 26.50 pounds.
surrendered an 11.00-pound gain to stand just 75p higher, or 0.7%, at 108.25 pounds. The
index of leading tech stocks ended up 60.58 points, or 1.3%, at 4843.91.
Likewise, the major continental bourses closed higher, although they lost some of their initial oomph from Wall Street's big rally. The
in Frankfurt closed up 126.96, or 1.7%, at 7710.92 and the
in Paris ended 45.75 higher, or 0.7%, at 6304.28.
In Frankfurt the big techs and telecoms helped drive things higher, as
climbed 2.30 euros, or 2.7%, to 86.50 ($84.02),
ended up 7.30 euros, or 5.3%, at 144,
finished 7.49 euros higher, or 4.9%, at 159.99 and
ended up 37 euros, or 4.3%, at 901.
One of the day's most volatile movers was retailer
, as investor got excited over speculation the company was planning to float its Internet operations. That caused its shares to surge as much as 15%, but after denying the rumor Karstadt finished unchanged at 30.50 euros.
closed down 1.76 euros, or 5.5%, at 29.99 after some investors felt the company's sale of Land Rover was a bargain for
. Other automobile makers also ended lower, with
off 0.81 euros, or 1.2%, at 69.04 and
down 0.59 euros, or 1.3%, at 43.99.
closed up 12 euros, or 6.9%, at 187 and
finished 3.30 euros higher, or 1.5%, at 223.50.