European Closing Update: Stocks Finish Higher

Deutsche Telekom falls as price for VoiceStream becomes apparent.
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LONDON -- Not surprisingly, Europe largely treaded water before Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan's Humphrey-Hawkins testimony. What was slightly surprising, however, was how well the markets held up before that event given Wednesday's fall on Wall Street.

In London, the

FTSE 100

closed up just 0.2 points at 6465.6, but the

Techmark

managed a more than respectable gain of 85.2, or 2.3%, to close at 3,743.7.

U.K. tech stocks showed remarkable resilience given the pounding the

Nasdaq

has taken over the last few sessions.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

moved up strongly to close near the top of the up-trend channel seen on the weekly charts. The stock finished up 57p, or 7.3%, at 837 ($12.47).

Sema

gained 22p, or 2.7%, to

10.35 after it announced that

United States Cellular Corporation

(USM) - Get Report

has chosen Sema's over-the-air-activation solution for its networks.

Credit Suisse First Boston

was recommending Sema stock this morning.

Oils and pharmaceuticals were under pressure, helping to keep a lid on the Footsie. Crude oil price eased so -- surprise, surprise --

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

fell 12p, or 2.2%, to 528 and

BP Amoco

(BPA)

finished 13p lower, or 2.2%, at 586.

A vote by the U.S. Senate to allow imports of cheaper prescription drugs weighed on the pharmaceutical sector.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

dropped to a session low of

17.85 before recovering its poise to close up 3p, or 0.2%, at

18.20. Similarly,

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

bounced back from its intraday nadir of 802p to close just 7.5p lower, or 0.9%, at 821.

Telecoms had a very mixed session.

British Telecom

(BTY)

closed 11p lower, or 1.2%, at 906 and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

eased 5p, or 1.6%, to 307. In contrast,

Colt Telecom

(COLTY)

made an impressive gain of 45p, or 1.9%, to close at

24.45.

Europe's other major stock markets finished solidly in positive territory, with the

CAC 40

in Paris closing up 68.7, or 1.1%, at 6,563.8. Late in the German trading session, the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt rose 94.1, or 1.3%, to 7,460.7 and the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 124.8 higher, or 2%, at 6,397.4.

In Frankfurt, it was a clash of the Dax heavyweights, as a surging

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

offset a slumping

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

. SAP jumped 29.04 euros, or 13.3%, to 248.10 ($229.30), as investors celebrated the software makers second-quarter results and DT slumped 3.50 euros, or 5.8%, to 56.90, as the same investors worried Telekom had launched a very expensive $53-billion bid for U.S. wireless operator

VoiceStream

(VSTR)

.

Other big German technology shares posted modest gains, with

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

up 0.94 euros, or 0.8%, to 119.99 and

Siemens

(SMWAY)

0.99 euros higher, or 0.6%, at 176.99.

In Paris,

France Telecom

(FTE)

erased early gains to close down 3.50 euros, or 2.3%, to 147.50 and

Alcatel

(ALA)

ended up 2.10 euros, or 2.8%, at 78.60.

Mixed French concern

Vivendi

closed up 1.50 euros, or 1.7%, at 90.90 amid the lackluster floatation of its utilities unit

Vivendi Environnement

, which closed below its 34 euro launch price at 33.88.