LONDON -- The FTSE 100 got off to a roaring start after Wall Street's rise overnight, but the pace proved too hot to handle and by midmorning the market was 18.00 points lower to 6599.90.
rose 21p to 820 (US$12.87), sentiment boosted by a 10.6 million-pound acquisition of an Italian firm.
gained 85p to 12.92 pounds after giving details of new contracts worth more than 100 million pounds, and
was up 80p to 52.50 pounds, helped by the acquisition of
, an IT solutions company.
advanced 36p to 342 on the company's demerger proposal. It intends to separate its two principal businesses,
jumped 31p to 517 after revealing top-of-the-range pretax profits of 734 million pounds and an e-commerce strategy, which includes proposals to split the group into five separate units.
There's even some good news for tech stocks after the traumatic last couple of days. Helped by the
BATM Advanced Communications
recovered 327p to 68.42 pounds and
improved 283p to 26.00 pounds.
Geo Interactive Media
rallied 125p to 19.62 pounds.
was 5.00 pounds ahead at one point, but then fell back to stand 258p down to 87.65 pounds. Similarly
made early progress, only to turn the gain into a loss of 22p to 48.65 pounds.
is looking like the last thing anyone should buy. It fell to 277.5p before steadying slightly to stand 35p lower at 285.
index of leading technology stocks was up 64.6 points to 4651.9.
The banks attracted some support this morning, with
25p higher to 15.22 pounds and
rising 14p to 614.
was up 7p to 737.
The rest of Europe's stock markets were solidly in positive territory, with the
in Frankfurt up 68.59 to 7876.52 and the
in Paris up 52.36 to 6373.23.
German technology stocks were in demand, but blue-chip tech stocks were mixed.
fell 0.60 euro to 169.40 (US$164.84), while
rose 34.70 euros to 944.70 and
climbed 1.90 euros to 130.90.
The debut of
was met with little enthusiasm, as the stock fell below its issue price of 24 euros. By midday, the Internet company had recovered slightly to 23.75 euros.
continued to climb on news it would float a biotech unit. The stock was up 3.93 euros to 142.98. Other companies in the sector were also higher, with
up 0.54 euro to 45.79.
Telcos around Europe were having a good session.
climbed 1.71 euros to 90.70,
was up 5.40 euros to 190.70 and
was 0.32 euro higher to 47.05.