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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

FTSE 100

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.

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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

Affinity Internet

down 525p, or 10.0%, at 47.2 pounds.

ARM Holdings


dipped 118p, or 1.9%, to 45.50 pounds, while

Colt Telecom


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

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt finished down 148.29, or 2%, to 7296.32 and the

CAC 40

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

Adidas Salomon


, 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


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. 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

Deutsche Telekom

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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





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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.