LONDON -- A spectacular performance by technology and telecom stocks gave European markets plenty of reasons to be cheerful.
In the U.K., the
index reached highs not seen for eight months, closing up 122 points, or 1.8% at 6,795, while the indubitable star of the show, the
, finished up 140 points, or 3.4%, at 4,260.
did a lot of the hard work for the FTSE. As worries over third-generation mobile license costs recede -- at least for now -- a raft of investors piled back into this core mobile holding. Vodafone closed up 21.75p, or 7.8%, at 300, accounting for 59 points of the index's gain. Elsewhere,
closed 31p, or 4.9%, to the good at 660, while
was the main index's biggest riser, closing 11.1% higher at 191p.
Even the much-maligned Internet stocks were buoyant.
put on 10.25p, or 17.2%, to 70 and beleagured ISP
, which spent most of the session in and out of positive territory, staged a late surge to end 14p, or 5.2%, to the good at 284.
In the tech stocks,
closed up 21.5p, or 6.7%, at 342.5, capping a three-day rise of 47%.
ended up 184p, or 4.5%, at
Europe's Continental stock markets also finished the week higher. Late in the German session, the
in Frankfurt was 135 points, or 1.9%, at 6,814. The
in Paris closed up 189 points, or 2.9%, at 6,814.
Here too the star performers were technology and telecom shares.
was up 1.70 euros, or 7.9%, to 23.15 after impressive first-half results that showed revenue rose 24% to 13.3 billion euros ($11.8 billion) and
was up a massive 13.00 euros, or 10.2%, to 141.00
Phone equipment makers
also rode the wave. Nokia was 2.39 euros, or 4.8%, to 52.50 and Alcatel was up 2.30 euros, or 2.5%, to 95.00.