European Closing Update: The Unbearable Lightness of Inertia - TheStreet

LONDON -- London trading on Friday was a case of inertia, indifference and unsubstantiated bid rumors. The

FTSE 100

pared an initial loss of 46 points into a loss of just 22.3 points to close at 6,391.5, while the


index of leading technology shares did little more than tread water to end 18.2 points down at 3,442.1.

Music publisher



didn't do too well on the back of an official denial the company has received no approaches to top the $20 billion merger with

Warner Music

. It's price dipped 28p to 630.5 ($9.54). However, for those of you willing to chew tranquilizers all weekend, the latest rumor is that



may be considering its options. We just report what we hear.

BAE Systems


ended 9.5p higher at 427 on news that the super jumbo jet project from


looks to be a runner, or even a flyer. Consortium partner

Aerospatiale Matra

in Paris fell 0.49 euros, or 2.1%, to 23 ($21.55).

Geo Interactive Media

provided movement and reasonable volume, rising 77.5p to

14.00, but there were few other strong runners to mention. Media stocks were mainly confined to a narrow range, with



the notable exception, rising 63p to


Telecom stocks assumed

persona non grata

status, with Footsie heavyweight

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

crashing 13p to 295, without which the Footsie would have ended up on the day.

Colt Telecom


closed 40p lower at



(UL) - Get Report

turned out to be another non-star performer, losing 41p to 413 on a reduction in sales growth projections, and worries that earnings released on August 4 will fail to meet market expectations.



continued to confound the normal laws of market logic. After announcing recently that it is in bid talks with an as yet unnamed party, we heard today that

Infogrames Entertainment

of France is taking a look at its UK rival, but declined to confirm that the two companies are actually in talks. Eidos celebrated with a loss of 23p to 472. There's no pleasing some people.

Europe's other major stock markets ended mixed Friday, with the

CAC 40

in Paris closing up 70.5, or 1.1%, at 6,545.4. Late in the German trading session the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 37.4, or 0.5%, at 7,016.3 and the Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was off 116.6, or 1.8%, at 6,262.4.

German blue-chip tech shares had mixed results with software maker


(SAP) - Get Report

down 12.00 euros, or 1.9%, at 622.00,



up 2.30 euros, or 1.5%, at 160.60, and


(EPC) - Get Report

4.40 euros lower, or 3.5%, at 122.60.



rose 0.62 euros, or 1.1%, to 55.97 after a report by

The Financial Times

said the company was taking a 10% stake in Korean carmaker


. In contrast,



was down 0.28 euros, or 0.7%, to 39.25.

In Paris, food group



closed up 0.10 euros, or 0.1%, at 133.80 and telecoms equipment maker



dropped 1.00 euros, or 1.4%, to 71.50.

Major European telcos also had a mixed day, with


(TEF) - Get Report

closing near unchanged at 21.16 euros,

France Telecom


ending up 3.50 euros, or 2.2%, at 160.50 and

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

0.56 euros lower, or 0.9%, at 63.53.