LONDON -- U.K. shares failed to follow the white line on Monday and veered towards the curb. Let's hope we don't all end up in the ditch. Even high-tech stocks have suffered from a flat battery and are in bad need of a jump-start.
Hopefully, a spark will appear, but it seems unlikely because the
Bank of England
looks set to turn off the current on Thursday with a not-so-shocking, but draining, quarter-point rise in UK interest rates. The
closed at 6,118.6, down 66.4, or 1.0%.
Generally, the market had to settle for a generally wet and windy session, but not everyone ended up with wet feet and damp insoles.
moved up 6p, or 4.4%, to 120 on rumors of an imminent tie-up with an as yet unnamed predator.
Internet trading concern
jumped 20p, or 15.5%, to 148, while cable company
ended 2p, or 1.2%, higher at 418.
understands that Telewest may approach Phonelink to forge an alliance.
, one of Europe's largest suppliers of information and communications technology to independent financial advisors, sported the largest gain on the FTSE after announcing an alliance with the
The eXchange Holdings
. CMG jumped 500p, or 9.8%, to 56.05 pounds, while The eXchange fell 24p, or 9.8%, to 221.
Technology investment firm
sported a spectacular gain as the company launched
, an online technology investment service. The shares rose 165p, or 5.9%, to 29.40 pounds, having peaked earlier in the day at 30.37 pounds.
Not all the Internet stocks were sweetness and light, however, with
down 525p, or 10.0%, at 47.2 pounds.
dipped 118p, or 1.9%, to 45.50 pounds, while
lost 96p, or 4.3%, to ¿36.50.
The continent's markets closed lower on profit-taking and Wall Street's less-than-roaring start to the week. The
in Frankfurt finished down 148.29, or 2%, to 7296.32 and the
in Paris ended 72.14 lower, or 1.2%, at 6203.58.
While Paris dropped into negative territory after trading started in New York, Frankfurt headed lower from the opening bell after hitting a record high on Friday. Two stocks able to avoid the profit taking were
, which closed up 1.50 euros, or 0.9%, at 163.00, and
, which finished 4.30 euros higher, or 7.5%, at 61.70.
Adidas Salomon shares surged after the company released stronger-than-expected earnings results and Siemens got a boost from optimism for the upcoming IPO of its subsidiary
The honeymoon may be already over for
shareholders following the company's decision to opt for a friendly merger with U.K. rival
. Mannesmann shares closed down 6.55 euros, or 2.0%, at 315.50 and Vodafone finished off 12 pence, or 3.5%, to 334.50 pence.
A report that
may postpone the sale of its TV cable network to wait for more favorable tax conditions didn't help the former monopolist's shares either, which slid 4.60 euros, or 5.4%, to 80.80.
Scandinavian wireless giants
got mixed results from a report they were joining up with AOL Europe to bring the ISP's content to the Continent's cell phone users. Ericsson finished 19 kronar higher, or 2.6%, at 753, but Nokia closed down 1.05 euros, or 0.5%, at 196.95.