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
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
finished at 338.5, a sharp gain of 188.5p, or 125.6%, over the offer price.
rose 10.50 pounds, or 14.7%, to 82.00 pounds and
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
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
in Frankfurt erased losses to finish up 90.21, or 1.2%, at 7580.53 and the
in Paris closed 108.69 higher, or 1.8%, at 6154.96.
A day after announcing a deal involving its Internet until T-Online,
was able to climb even higher after announcing another one with
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.
closed down 0.98 euros, or 1.2%, at 80.40,
dropped 15 euros, or 4%, to 354 and
fell 0.45 euros, or 0.9%, to 50.55.
closed up 41 euros, or 4.9%, at 879 and
climbed 1 euro, or 0.7%, to 145.
Shares in Paris held to their slightly better tone throughout the day's trading, with
closing up 10.20 euros, or 6.6%, to 165.20 and
was able to turn things around amid reports it would begin cooperating with
. Vivendi ended up 2.5 euros, or 2.1%, at 120.