European Closing Update: Markets Move Sideways and End Mixed - TheStreet

LONDON -- U.K. markets withstood Wall Street's tech tumble Friday to end the week in positive territory. The FTSE 100 ended 30.01 points higher at 6,294.2, boosted by Old Economy stalwarts and strength in index heavyweight Vodafone AirTouch (VOD) - Get Report.

If the carnage following Intel's profit warning was anything to go by, the

Techmark 100

should have been shaken by

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

warning last night. Perhaps investors realized that the computer related stocks have a limited impact on European tech issues, whose fortunes are tied more closely to mobile communications. Give or take a few wobbly moments, the Techmark clambered back into positive territory to stand 19.61 points higher at 3,734.85.

It always helps to have Vodafone onside. The main index's biggest stock played fair for most of the day, ending 4.25p higher at 252.5 ($3.68). Reports that the group is close to selling

Infostrada

, its Italian fixed-line and Internet business, to

Enel

for

12 billion gave shares a boost. The strength helped to counteract weakness in fellow heavyweight

British Telecom

(BTY)

, whose shares fell 24p to 711.

Fiber optic high-flyer

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

shed 1.5% to

29.65, while among the mid caps, chip stock

IQE

closed 37.5p at 542.5.

Today's other eyecatchers came from the so-called old economy. Tobacco stocks were smoking as the dark cloud of litigation lifted a little. A U.S. District Court ruling that prevents the Federal government claiming medicare costs was warmly welcomed by

British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get Report

,

Imperial Tobacco

and

Gallaher

. BAT shares surged to take pole position on the main leaderboard, up 8.4% at 437. Imperial gained 17p to 647, while Gallaher notched up 7p to close at 405.

Europe's other major stock markets posted modest losses Friday, with the

CAC 40

in Paris closing down 44.7, or 0.7%, at 6,366.6 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was off 48.1, or 0.7%, at 6,784.7 late in the German session. The Neuer Markt's technology-heavy

Nemax 50

index was off 16.1, or 0.3%, at 5,192.7.

STMicroelectronics

(STM) - Get Report

ended down 2.45 euros, or 4.2%, at 55.55 ($48.83) and

Infineon

(IFX)

was off 0.63 euros, or 1.1%, at 54.42 and

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

was down 1.55 euros, or 1.7%, at 91.95.

Telecoms were mixed, as

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

fell 0.82 euros, or 2.1%, to 38.80,

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

ended near unchanged at 22.45 euros and

France Telecom

(FTE)

closed up 1.50 euros, or 1.3%, at 121.40.

Telco equipment maker

Alcatel

(ALA)

fell 2.40 euros, or 3.2%, 72.95.