LONDON -- London shares got off to a flying start Thursday morning, helped by the rises on the

Dow

and

Nasdaq

overnight. "There are no prizes for taking too many chances. You certainly don't want to be short," commented a leading marketmaker.

Leading shares, particularly those traded in ADR form in the U.S., made strong progress and the

FTSE 100

was up 95.9 points to 6507.1.

Leading the charge was

British Telecom

(BTY)

, which jumped 166p to 13.37 pounds (US$21.12), helped additionally by a recommendation from

Deutsche Bank

. Similarly,

Reuters

(RTRSY)

rose 83p to 15.27 pounds.

Tech stocks are well and truly back in favor after Wednesday's little hiccup.

Psion

celebrated its imminent inclusion in the Footsie 100 with a gain of 322p to 64.90 pounds.

Baltimore Technologies

, also set to join the index elite, rose 700p to 129.00 pounds. Baltimore announced this morning that it is taking a majority stake in the privately owned

NSJ Corporation of Japan

.

Misys

rose 31p to 10.50 pounds,

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

gained 212p to 45.20 pounds and

Durlacher Corporation

jumped 112p to 32.82 pounds. The

Techmark

index of leading tech stocks advanced 122.5 points to 5537.7.

Against this, a couple of Wednesday's winners in the oil sector turned out to be today's losers.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

, which rose 10% Wednesday as the market got excited about world oil prices, retreated 12.5p to 543 on profit-taking. Similarly,

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

dipped 11p to 481.

The major Continental stock markets were mixed, as financial and tech issues garnered the most interest. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 54.53 to 7932.47 and the

CAC 40

in Paris was up 69.15 to 6414.12.

After confirming plans to merge,

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

and

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

both lost the gains made earlier this week. Deutsche Bank fell 7.25 euros to 85.50 (US$82.08) and Dresdner dropped 3.57 euros to 52.39.

But their plans have sparked interest in other financial stocks. Insurer

Allianz

, which owns stakes in both banks, jumped 5 euros to 416 and

Commerzbank

(CRZBY)

surged 3.31 euros to 45.31 amid reports that

HSBC

is preparing a hostile bid for Germany's fourth largest bank.

Frankfurt technology stocks were also able to move higher after sustaining losses over the past few sessions.

Siemens

(SMAWY)

was up 2.03 to 178.41 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

rose 6.10 euros to 1010.10.