LONDON -- U.K. stocks finished the week in relatively fine fettle, shrugging aside the fact Wall Street is on a tightrope. The
ended with a gain of 111.3 points, or 1.8%, at 6,198.0, and the
of leading tech shares climbed 54.93, or 1.1%, to 5,145.06.
Rumors in London suggest that
is about to do a deal with the
Federal Trade Commission
to secure approval for its
acquisition. This helped lift the shares 18.5p, or 3.9%, higher to 463.
There is still speculation in the market that
is being eyed by a predator, and the name in the frame is
. BT climbed 53p, or 4.8%, to 11.52 pounds.
Meanwhile, the high-tech, high-tension stocks continued to make millionaires and paupers at the same time. The lucky ones Friday were holders of
, up 586p, or 13.2%, to 48.82 pounds, and
, 363p better, or 7.0%, at 54.95 pounds.
jumped 135, or 15.9%, to 987 on a 39% rise in profits.
The unlucky investors held
, which was comprehensively buried this afternoon. The shares dropped 10.5 pounds, or 9.3%, to 102.50 pounds.
also broke a few hearts, falling 525p, or 8.1%, to 59.25 pounds.
, the heavily capitalized bully of the Footsie, weighed in with a contribution of 25 Footsie points as the shares rose 9p, or 2.5%, to 362.
Most of the major continental stock markets were able to close out the week on a positive note as technology and telecom shares once again flourished. The
in Frankfurt closed up 98.15, or 1.3%, at 7738.68 and the
in Paris finished 109.86 higher, or 1.8%, at 6188.64.
Germany's powerhouse tech stocks, including
, all helped lift the Dax higher as the excitement surrounding the CeBIT technology trade fair in Hannover continued. Siemens surged 8.51 euros, or 4.7%, to 188, SAP climbed 32.50 euros, or 3.8%, to 889 and Epcos jumped 6 euros, or 4.2%, to 149.
made sure the old economy was represented in the winner's column. Its shares rose 2.03 euros, or 5.1%, to 41.64 when the company's chairman increased expectations for the forthcoming year. And in Zurich,
jumped 41 francs, or 1.5%, to 2807 after reporting better-than-expected 1999 profits.
Telecoms had a mixed session after starting the day off generally strong.
ended unchanged at 90 euros, Spain's
was up 0.57 euros, or 2.0%, to 29.70 and
fell 1.50 euros, or 0.9%, to 166.50.
Standout for the sector was Dutch telco
, which jumped 11.10 euros, or 9.0%, to 133.50 after announcing the completion of its purchase of German wireless operator E-Plus.