LONDON -- The broader market was lower early Thursday despite overnight gains on Wall Street, with the
failing to maintain the 6500 level. Midmorning, the index was down 34.6 points to 6483.9. At least the
index of leading technology shares moved up -- it's hard to ignore a 143-point
gain driven by
-- climbing 10.2 points to 3429.0.
It's all change in the banks. Recent strong performers such as
encountered profit taking and slipped 13p to 834 ($12.56). The shares have, prior to today, risen 12% over the last three trading sessions helped by firm far eastern operations and the feeling that the group would remain aloof from any mortgage price war in the U.K.
eased 7p to
Royal Bank of Scotland
perked up and added 12p to
, under selling pressure during the last few days, rallied 8p to 591.
There's a feeling in the market that U.K. control group
, a penny cheaper at 258, could move higher if its offer for
, the Dutch software group, fails. Invensys has indicated that it is unlikely to secure the shareholder support it needs for its
478 million bid.
Media stocks bucked the drab trend, with
still responding to a positive note from
Credit Suisse First Boston
, gaining 20p more to
moved up 33p to
encountered profit-taking on its third trading day and slipped 7p to 568.
was the pick of the techs, rising 21p to 746, but
, an outstanding performer in recent trading sessions, fell back 40p to
rose 55p to
11.20 on its latest licensing agreement with the BBC.
, creator of virtual cyber heroine Lara Croft in its
series, shed 20p to 470 with no further news forthcoming about the planned acquisition of the company by French software group
Most of Europe's other major bourses were lower early Thursday, with the
in Frankfurt down 24.4 to 7041.6 and the
in Paris off 7.4 to 6529.1. The
index was continuing to get mileage out of Yahoo!'s figures, climbing 54.0 to 5891.8.
Blue-chip German technology shares were having a decent morning, with software maker
up 0.55 euro to 206.50 ($194.54),
1.64 euros higher to 114.10 and
up 0.35 euro to 79.40.
European telcos were mixed, with
down 0.15 euro to 57.78 and
down 0.30 euro to 24.76, while
was up 0.50 euro to 150.50.
Elsewhere in Paris, telecom equipment maker
was up 0.55 euro to 77.60 and mixed concern
fell 1.90 euros to 86.65 amid news it would postpone the IPO of its entertainment unit.