LONDON -- The Bank of England's decision to leave interest rates unchanged failed to inspire trading Thursday and the FTSE 100 stayed in a 68-point range before bedding down for the night with a gain of 14.8 points to 6,199.6. The Techmark was ignored for perhaps the first time this year and ended 13.1 points better at 3,720.4.

Telecom stocks were generally weaker by the close, but

Colt Telecom

(COLTY)

bucked the trend after announcing the launch of another fiber-optic city network and rose 146 pence, or 5.5%, to

28.15 ($44.48). Sentiment was also boosted by a

Dresdner Kleinwort Benson

buy recommendation.

Kingston Communications

provided the other bright spot with a gain of 22p, or 2.9%, to 793.

Other stocks in the sector reacted to the general lack of buying interest, and market makers duly obliged by marking

British Telecom

(BTY)

74p lower, or 6.6%, to

10.48 and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

a penny down to 268.

Technology stocks were subdued, although there were one or two exceptions.

Baltimore Technologies

(BALTV)

closed 464p higher, or 7.0%, at

71.19 -- just about 50% below its early March peak.

Bookham Technology

gained 200p, or 6.9%, to

31.12.

Media stocks made a brave show of things.

Reuters

(RTRSY)

moved up 52p, or 4.5%, to

11.97, and

Pearson

ended with a gain of 61p, or 2.8%, at

22.21.

Bank stocks, normally sensitive to interest rate jitters, proved a mixed bag after the Bank of England decision to leave interest rates unchanged.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

reacted with supreme indifference, and lost 12p, or 0.7%, to

16.38, while

Halifax

was up 13p to 605, supported by its latest house price survey, which suggests that the rise in house price is slowing.

Pharmaceutical stocks were generally well favored.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

rose 39p, or 2.1%, to

18.83 and

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

was up 13p, or 1.6%,at 837.

AstraZeneca

managed a rise of 19p, or 0.7%, to

26.22, underpinned by positive earnings released Wednesday.

Blue Circle Industries

settled 11.5p lower, or 2.7%, at 411, as investors digested the implications of the failed bid from France's

Lafarge

.

Europe's other bourses finished mostly higher. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt ended up only 9.78, or 0.1%, at 7386.71 and the

CAC 40

in Paris closed 56.09 higher, or 0.9%, at 6491.74. The Neuer Markt's

Nemax All-Share

index ended almost unchanged at 6567.68.

German financial stocks took the spotlight as both

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

and

Commerzbank

(CRZBY)

rose after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. Deutsche Bank rose 2.15 euros, or 2.9%, to 75.85 ($67.88) and Commerzbank closed up 0.27, or 0.7%, at 41.30.

Technology stocks posted modest gains with

Siemens

(SMWAY)

up 1.25 euros, or 0.8%, at 164.55, software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

up 3.00 euros, or 0.5%, to 642.00 and

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

2.44 euros higher, or 1.6%, at 158.04.

Volkswagen

(VLKAY)

surged 2.00 euros, or 4.6%, to 45.60.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

closed down 2.96 euros, or 4.2%, at 67.00, coming under pressure after the company detailed plans for floating another tranche of the its stock.

France Telecom

(FTE)

cut early gains to end down 2.80 euros, or 1.6%, at 168.70 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

finished down 0.63 euros, or 2.4%, at 26.15.