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LONDON -- The broader market was lower early Thursday despite overnight gains on Wall Street, with the

FTSE 100

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.


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eased 7p to

15.12, but

Royal Bank of Scotland

perked up and added 12p to

10.20 and

Lloyds TSB

, 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

20.82, but

Granada Media

encountered profit-taking on its third trading day and slipped 7p to 568.

ARM Holdings


was the pick of the techs, rising 21p to 746, but

Bookham Technology


, 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

Tomb Raider

series, shed 20p to 470 with no further news forthcoming about the planned acquisition of the company by French software group

Infogrames Entertainment


Most of Europe's other major bourses were lower early Thursday, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt down 24.4 to 7041.6 and the

CAC 40

in Paris off 7.4 to 6529.1. The

Neuer Markt's


Nemax 50

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


(SAP) - Get SAP SE Report

up 0.55 euro to 206.50 ($194.54),


(EPC) - Get Edgewell Personal Care Co. Report

1.64 euros higher to 114.10 and



up 0.35 euro to 79.40.

European telcos were mixed, with

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Dynatrace, Inc. Report

down 0.15 euro to 57.78 and


(TEF) - Get Telefónica SA Report

down 0.30 euro to 24.76, while

France Telecom


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.