LONDON -- Initially, weakness across a number of sectors pushed the FTSE 100 to a session low of 6,482, but by the end of the session, weakness in just one stock, namely Vodafone (VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report, accounted for all, of the main index's losses. The FTSE 100 closed down 13.8 points at 6,528.2.
Vodafone was under pressure for virtually the entire session as fears about the cost of securing a third-generation mobile phone license in Germany weighed on the prices of all European telecom stocks. The German auction came to an abrupt conclusion this afternoon, raising a whopping 50.5 billion euros ($46 billion) for the government. Vodafone closed 11.5p lower, or 4.1%, at 270, which was enough to wipe around 31 points off the main index.
also found itself marked down, as the U.K. telco announced it had bought out E.ON's
for around $6 billion. It seems the 8.45 billion euros ($7.69 billion) Viag had bid for a license was too much for E.ON to stomach so it told BT it wanted out of the venture. The news caused BT's shares to fall to a session low of 780p, but the stock recovered to close just 11p lower, or 1.3%, at 812. E.ON fell 1.65 euros, or 2.8%, to 57.45.
Elsewhere in the sector,
was also out of favor, down 100p, or 5.2%, to
Among European bidders,
rose 0.41 euros, or 0.9%, to 47.36, as investors cheered the telco's decision to accept a smaller capacity license and end the auction.
, which weren't expected to garner a German license, fell 1.34 euros, or 5.3%, to 23.90 and 1.70 euros, or 3.9%, to 42.00 respectively.
, which backed
closed down 4.40 euros, or 3.1%, at 136.00.
Generally, IT and software stocks enjoyed a fruitful session, boosted initially by good results overnight from U.S. computer giant
and then helped further by a firm start on the Nasdaq. Although the
closed well of its lows, the index was still down 11.8 points at 3,591.2.
has struck a deal with
to produce hub-based solutions for its business customers lifted shares in both stocks. Shares in Infobank climbed 27.5p, or 3.7%, to 765, while Sema gained 3p to
fell a further 6pm or 2.2%, to 261.75p. The company is not helped by a
research note saying that the European ISP sector is massively overvalued.
Europe's other major stock markets ended lower, as the
in Paris closed down 48.7, or 0.7%, at 6,635.3 and late in the German session the
in Frankfurt was down 56.7, or 0.8%, at 7,258.6. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was 63.4 lower, or 1.1%, at 5,688.8.