European Closing Update: Markets Finish in the Green

In spite of the hawkish tone to Greenspan's comments, stocks end the day higher.
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LONDON -- U.K. investors sat with the handbrake on today, waiting for the green light. Or perhaps that should be the Greenspan.

The uncertainty has been highlighted by the

FTSE 100's

inability to do little more than it usually does: spin up, spin down and end not far from when it started. It closed today at 6,209.3, up 61.9 points or 1.0%. Well, at least it's two days of gains in a row.

The action came in fits and starts. As usual, techs ruled the day. Newcomer

Interactive Investor

finished at 338.5, a sharp gain of 188.5p, or 125.6%, over the offer price.

Affinity Internet

rose 10.50 pounds, or 14.7%, to 82.00 pounds and

Baltimore Technology

rose 575p, or 5.0%, to 119.25 pounds. The TechMARK index rose 27.85, or 0.57%, to 4,929.9.

Encouraging corporate earnings added a measure of underlying support to the broader market, with

Abbey National

responding to better-than-expected figures with a gain of 47p, or 7.0%, to 713. Halifax surged 99p, or 21.9%, to 552 on its latest Internet strategy and ahead of full-year earnings due Friday.

Despite some early hesitation, the major Continental stock markets were able to finish solidly in positive territory. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt erased losses to finish up 90.21, or 1.2%, at 7580.53 and the

CAC 40

in Paris closed 108.69 higher, or 1.8%, at 6154.96.

A day after announcing a deal involving its Internet until T-Online,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was able to climb even higher after announcing another one with

Commerzbank's

(CRZBY)

online brokerage unit Comdirect Bank. Although some traders felt Telekom could have found a better partner, DTshares closed up 3.80 euros, or 4.5%, to 88.80 and Commerzbank finished 2.85 euros higher, or 7.7%, to 39.75.

Without a helping hand from Telekom other German financial issues didn't have such a good session.

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

closed down 0.98 euros, or 1.2%, at 80.40,

Allianz

dropped 15 euros, or 4%, to 354 and

Dresdner Bank

fell 0.45 euros, or 0.9%, to 50.55.

Software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

closed up 41 euros, or 4.9%, at 879 and

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

climbed 1 euro, or 0.7%, to 145.

Shares in Paris held to their slightly better tone throughout the day's trading, with

France Telecom

(FTE)

closing up 10.20 euros, or 6.6%, to 165.20 and

Vivendi

was able to turn things around amid reports it would begin cooperating with

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

. Vivendi ended up 2.5 euros, or 2.1%, at 120.