LONDON -- The London market struggled to make much headway for most of the session in either direction. Doubts about whether the U.S. has really seen the top of the latest rate hiking cycle is acting as a major drag on Wall Street, which in turn is weighing on the U.K. market.
eventually closed 14.9 points higher, or 0.2%, at 6465.4, while the
ended near unchanged at 3,658.44.
remained firmly in the spotlight. The stock fell a hefty 27.5p, or 7.6%, to 336.5 after its broker
Credit Suisse First Boston
says it expects pre-tax losses of
61 million in 2001, which is more than double its previous estimate of
The session's negativity on tech stocks extended to
, despite good second-quarter results announced Tuesday and the company being rated a buy by both
. The company fell 2.5p, or 0.3%, to 780. Banks had a steady session ahead of the earnings season that kicks off Thursday when big fish
and relative minnow
report second-quarter results.
Few expect any surprises, especially from HSBC. "I think it's going to be pretty much as expected," said
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
William de Winton. "The market has discounted a lot of the bad news and is now hunkering down before the fix." HSBC, which announced Wednesday a venture with
and financial information provider
to develop an electronic bond-trading platform in Asia, closed up 8.5p, or 1.2%, at 843.5 ($12.57).
Elsewhere in the sector,
rose 10.5p, or 1.1%, to 944.5 after Morgan Stanley reiterated the stock as a strong buy. The broker says, "with minimal domestic assets, Standard Chartered might be the 'only growth stock' we cover," and upped its price target to
Oil stocks had a good session on the back of firmer crude prices after OPEC president Ali Rodrigues indicated that there would be no immediate deliberate raising of output by cartel members.
gained 16.5p, or 2.8%, to 599 and
put on 3p, or 0.2%, to 542.
Most of Europe's other major bourses ended lower, with the
in Paris closing down 19.4, or 0.3%, at 6,495.1. Late in the German trading session, the
in Frankfurt was down 33.8, or 0.5%, at 7,373.1 and the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was off 93.2, or 1.5%, at 6,262.9.
erased early gains to close down 2.90 euros, or 1.9%, at 151.00 ($139.80) amid the successful stock market debut of the company's Internet portal
and news it would buy out
stake in Italian mobile operator
for 2.08 billion euros.
DT fell 0.31 euros, or 0.5%, to 60.68 amid reports that Chairman Ron Sommer was seeking approval to launch a formal bid for U.S. wireless operator
Big German technology shares were also lower, with
0.30 euros lower, or 0.3%, at 120.00 and
off 4.39 euros, or 2.5%, at 175.61. Amid jitters a day before reporting second-quarter results, software maker
dropped 4.39 euros, or 2.4%, to 220.00.
Carmakers bucked the Dax's general downward trend, as
rose 2.47 euros, or 4.3%, to 60.11 and
climbed 1.47 euros, or 3.4%, to 44.27.