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 Vodafone Group Plc Sponsored ADR Report.
If the carnage following Intel's profit warning was anything to go by, the
should have been shaken by
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
, its Italian fixed-line and Internet business, to
12 billion gave shares a boost. The strength helped to counteract weakness in fellow heavyweight
, whose shares fell 24p to 711.
Fiber optic high-flyer
shed 1.5% to
29.65, while among the mid caps, chip stock
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
. 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
in Paris closing down 44.7, or 0.7%, at 6,366.6 and the
in Frankfurt was off 48.1, or 0.7%, at 6,784.7 late in the German session. The Neuer Markt's technology-heavy
index was off 16.1, or 0.3%, at 5,192.7.
ended down 2.45 euros, or 4.2%, at 55.55 ($48.83) and
was off 0.63 euros, or 1.1%, at 54.42 and
was down 1.55 euros, or 1.7%, at 91.95.
Telecoms were mixed, as
fell 0.82 euros, or 2.1%, to 38.80,
ended near unchanged at 22.45 euros and
closed up 1.50 euros, or 1.3%, at 121.40.
Telco equipment maker
fell 2.40 euros, or 3.2%, 72.95.