LONDON -- Europe's markets adopted a positive tone as dealers and investors came to terms with the idea of a half-point rise in U.S. interest rate next week.
Building on Thursday's gains, London's
closed up 37.6 points, or 0.6%, at 6,283.5, while the
ended with a gain of 66.9 points at 3,463.5. Telecom stocks continued their recent revival, with
building on Thursday's 15p gain with a further 8p, or 3.0%, rise to 279 ($4.24), while
moved up 11p, or 1.1%, to 977. However,
encountered further selling in the wake of disappointing first-quarter figures, and shed 57p, or 2.5%, to
Hopes that U.K. interest rates may have peaked underpinned the banking sector, with
36p, or 2.3%, to the good at
Royal Bank of Scotland
18.5p, or 1.7%, higher at
bucked the trend with a loss of 6p, or 1.0%, to 625.
Special situation stocks provided additional stimuli, with
rising 19p, or 13.5%, to 162 on a turnover of 135 million shares. Germany's
emerged as a potential bidder for the company in the wake of
intimated offer this morning of 160p per share.
The oil sector had a mixed performance.
rose 5p, or 0.7%, to 568, as the market speculated about a possible link-up with
. But recent favorite
succumbed to profit-taking and slipped 11.5p, or 1.9%, to 598.5.
Tech stocks finished on a firmer note, helped by a continued positive performance on the Nasdaq. Best of the bunch was
, which gained 287p, or 7.9%, to
BATM Advanced Communications
rose 237p, or 5.3%, to
Europe's other stock markets posted modest gains, helped by a late rally for techs. The
in Frankfurt erased early losses to end up 9.80, or 0.1%, at 7269.28 and the
in Paris finished 69.14 higher, or 1.1%, at 6449.27. The Neuer Markt's
index ended up 166.90, or 2.5%, at 6971.66.
Leading German technology shares was
, which surged 5.00 euros, or 7.1%, to 75.60 ($68.13).
finished up 0.60 euros, or 0.4%, at 155.10 euros and software maker
ended 12.01 euros higher, or 2%, at 613.50.
Dax index heavyweight
closed up 0.29 euros, or 0.4%, at 65.59.
In Paris, shares of
erased early losses to end up 1.10 euros, or 1.0%, at 108.30 after a report that Japanese telco
was discussing a possible joint bid for the U.K. wireless operator
with the French conglomerate.
, also interested in Orange, rose 5.90 euros, or 3.9%, to 157.30.
jumped 0.64 euros, or 2.5%, to 24.02, after its Internet arm
confirmed it was considering an alliance with U.S. portal company