It's dull, rainy and cold in London, and in keeping with the weather, the

FTSE 100

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

British Airways

and further progress from

Reuters

(RTRSY)

in the wake of last week's Internet joint venture with

Equant

. 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.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

continued to suffer from profit-taking in the wake of the

Mannesmann

(MNNSY)

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

Colt Telecom

(COLTY)

falling 6p to 37.40 pounds,

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

bouncing back to trade 107 higher at 47.75 pounds and

Durlacher Corporation

rising 255p to 30.30 pounds after the company confirmed the launch of its new service named

nothing-ventured.com

. For you tech stock fans, the

Techmark

index was up 0.40% at 4469.32.

In the banks,

Abbey National

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

NatWest

(NW)

.

LloydsTSB

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

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 76.92 to 7367.69, but the

CAC 40

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

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

was down 3 euros to 837.50 and

Siemens

(SMAWY)

was up 3.80 euros at 165.30.

Some shares were able to buck the slight negative trend, with

Adidas Salomon

(ADDDY)

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

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

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.