LONDON -- Returning from a long holiday weekend, the U.K. equity markets put in a solid performance Tuesday. The highfliers were mostly confined to the technology, media and telecoms sectors, although selected smokestacks also built up a head of steam.

The

FTSE 100

jumped 142.7 points to 6,359.6, while the

Techmark Index

of leading technology stocks climbed 135.2 to 3,143.3.

Freeserve

(FREE)

shone brightly adding 94p to 486 ($7.25), while parent company

Dixons

(DXNGY)

rose 46p to 320, as the market warmed to rumors that the company may go for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and sell its 80% stake in Freeserve to T-Online of Germany.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

led the telecom sector up as it responded positively to better-than-expected annual results and the well-signposted sale of

Orange

to

France Telecom

(FTE)

, with a juicy gain of 21p to 302.

British Telecom

(BTY)

ignored competition worries caused by the latest Oftel ruling, and jumped 72p to 969.

Colt Telecom

(COLT)

cruised on 134p to

23.41, and

Cable & Wireless

(CWP)

sailed ahead 110p to

11.40.

Energis

(ENGSY)

was boosted by its latest e-commerce acquisition and gained 255p to

26.00.

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

led the tech stocks higher with a gain of 300p at

30.75, while

BATM Advanced Communications

took a 250p rise to close at

36.40.

Pace Micro Technology

jumped 105p to 875 following an upbeat trading statement.

But not all tech stocks soared,

Logica

, for one, was unable to sustain an early rise and ended the session with a fall of 56p to

16.42.

Europe's other stock markets finished Tuesday higher, also lead by telecom and technology shares. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt closed up 102.6, or 1.5%, at 7,119.3 and the

CAC 40

in Paris ended 120.4 higher, or 1.9%, at 6,325.5. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index closed up 203.3, or 3.5%, at 5,948.6.

In Frankfurt blue-chip techs were mixed, with

Siemens

(SMWAY)

closing down 0.44 euros, or 0.3%, at 155.56 euros ($144.15),

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

up 4.19 euros, or 3.4%, at 127.35 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

erasing losses to end up 3.51 euros, or 0.7%, at 551.00.

Neuer Markt

listed Internet service provider

T-Online

was able to build on Monday's gains amid speculation the company was considering a $9-billion bid for leading British ISP

Freeserve

(FREE)

. T-Online finished up 0.65 euros, or 1.7%, at 38.40.

Major European telecoms finished Tuesday higher, as

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

climbed 0.68 euros, or 3.1%, to 22.33 and France Telecom rose 4.50 euros, or 3.1%, to 148.90, erasing early losses.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

closed up 2.58 euros, or 4.1%, at 65.00, after the company released details of the upcoming share sale of 7% of the German government's stake.