It's dull, rainy and cold in London, and in keeping with the weather, the
was languishing down 29.90 points at 6155.50 at midday.
At the outset, though, the market made a brave attempt to rise above the Monday morning blues, displaying a 30-point gain on the back of top-of-the-range third-quarter figures from
and further progress from
in the wake of last week's Internet joint venture with
. Reuters was 32p to the good at 10.40 pounds and British Air was up 6p at 315.
By Midmorning things took a turn for the worst.
continued to suffer from profit-taking in the wake of the
deal and was down 7p to 339. Mannesmann shares were down 2.80 euros at 319.25.
Some of the high-profile tech stocks were volatile this morning, with
falling 6p to 37.40 pounds,
bouncing back to trade 107 higher at 47.75 pounds and
rising 255p to 30.30 pounds after the company confirmed the launch of its new service named
. For you tech stock fans, the
index was up 0.40% at 4469.32.
In the banks,
attracted support as it rose 23p to 696, while
Royal Bank of Scotland
added 12p to 976 amid hopes it will be successful with its bid for
was 4p cheaper at 606 ahead of Friday's earnings results, but possible Lloyds takeover target
Bank of Scotland
jumped 7p to 594.
The major continental European bourses were mixed at midday, with the focus on local issues. The
in Frankfurt was down 76.92 to 7367.69, but the
in Paris was up 29.77 at 6305.49.
In Frankfurt, the market headed lower from the opening, as investors took profits following record highs last week. "You're always going to see some consolidation after hitting new highs," said one Frankfurt-based trader.
Sector performance was mixed, however, as German tech heavyweight
was down 3 euros to 837.50 and
was up 3.80 euros at 165.30.
Some shares were able to buck the slight negative trend, with
one of the day's biggest gainers after releasing good earnings results. Adidas Salomon was up 2.95 euros to 60.35.
In more telecom news, a report that
may postpone the sale of its cable-TV network to wait for more favorable tax conditions didn't help the former monopolist's shares Monday, which slid 1.20 euros to 84.20.