European Closing Update: Most Markets End Marginally Higher - TheStreet

LONDON -- Europe's markets got a lift on Monday from wireless stocks, which rose on news that the Italian auction for third-generation mobile-phone licenses had ended after only two days.

British Telecom

(BTY)

failed to agree to terms with its partners in the Italian mobile-phone consortium

Blu

about taking on more of the costs associated with the venture. As a result Blu pulled out, ending the auction and resulting in bids totaling only $10 billion, far below expectations of over $20 billion.

BT shares initially rose on the news, but investors are so down on this telco that any rise is sold into and it finished 1.1% lower at 707 pence ($10.25). BT's legion of critics pointed out that Blu's departure is yet another example of the company's poor management.

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

recovered from an early dip to finish the session 1.8% to the good at 281. Investors are clearly delighted that the company picked up a licensce at such an unexpected discount.

On the continent,

France Telecom

(FTE)

closed up 5.4% at 113.50 euros ($95.56) and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

rose 1.9% to 21.86 euros.

Although not part of the Italian auction,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

rose 5.7% to 40.50 euros on speculation about consolidating the firm's control of its Internet unit

T-Online

, which fell 1.6%, to 22.74 euros.

The result was that the

FTSE 100

closed up 0.6% at 6310, the

CAC 40

in Paris ended up 0.7% at 6193 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was just in the black, up 3.6 points at 6622 late in the German trading. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was largely unchanged at 4606.

In London, those telecom stocks not involved in the auction performed poorly.

Energis

(ENGSY)

closed 3.9% lower at 490p, shrugging off a positive note from

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. The broker highlighted the telecom services group as a key player and reiterated its "strong buy" recommendation.

Cable & Wireless'

(CWP)

deal with Internet security firm

Baltimore Technologies

(BALT)

fell on deaf ears. The shares closed 1.6% lower at 861. Baltimore closed 1.1% lower at 519.

The

Techmark 100

closed down 0.7% at 3426.43. The larger tech stocks suffered the most and were among the biggest losers on the FTSE 100. Leading the way, was

Bookham Technologies

(BKHM)

, which dropped 2.7% to

25.00. The company has lost more than 40% of its value since the beginning of September.

Parthus Technology

(PRTH) - Get Report

was sold after it announced that investors, including management, were selling more than

130 million worth of shares. The shares closed 11.2% lower at 266.5.

Reuters

(RTRSY)

had a poor session despite a couple of upbeat broker notes. The shares closed almost 3% lower at

12.72. This may just be profit-taking after the stock's recent strong run, but there is some talk going around that

Bloomberg

, arguably Reuters' only credible competitor, is up for sale.

The buzz is that the eponymous Mike Bloomberg is now ready to cash in on his company to fund his political ambitions. Talk is that Canada's

Thomson

, owner of

Primark

, is looking to raise funds to buy Bloomberg out. However, as Thomson is also said to be running the rule over U.S. educational publishers

Harcourt General

, the company may well have its hands full.

On the continent, techs had a mixed day, as French chipmaker

STMicroelectronics

(STM) - Get Report

rose 0.20 euros, or 0.4%, to 59.45,

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

fell 1.08 euros, or 1.2%, to 88.00 and

Terra Networks

(TRRA)

dropped 2.45 euros, or 6.9%, to 33.00.