LONDON -- The undertone in European markets was firm Monday morning, but news items and special situations provided the major movements in hesitant trade. Investors are watchful ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's testimony to Congress on Wednesday.
sported a 28.7-point gain to 6504.1 midday and the
index took its cue from Friday's strong
performance, up 51.4 points to 3,622.3.
, up 21p to 353 ($5.33), on reports that electronic retailer
, which owns 80% of the Internet service provider, is back in sale talks with
of Germany. Takeover negotiations foundered last month over price.
firmed 5.5p to 312 on confirmation that its offer to acquire a further 43.5% of
, the Spanish mobile operator, has been accepted.
rose 5p to
12.95 on news that it is lifting its stake in
, the interactive TV service company, from 32.5% to 80% for
Europe's other stock markets also started out the week in positive territory, with the
in Frankfurt up 74.7 to 7393.08 and the
in Paris 33.87 lower to 6604.23. The
index was up 186.55 to 6318.42.
led European shares higher ahead of their second-quarter earnings statements on Tuesday.
Both companies are expected to show significant increases in earnings for the quarter, giving further proof to analysts who believe that the semiconductor industry is nowhere near the end of its cycle and a downturn is unlikely in the near term. According to consensus estimates at
First Call/Thomson Financial
, STM will post earnings per share in the second quarter of 31 cents vs. 14 cents a year ago, and Philips will record EPS of 44 cents vs. 21 cents.
By midmorning, STM was up 1.30 euros to 70.70 and Philips up 1.85 euros to 56.85.
In Frankfurt, big technology companies were higher, as
rose 1.53 euros to 181.53 ($170.29),
gained 2.71 euros to 125.41 and software maker
rose 7.45 euros to 230.45.
fell 0.46 euro to 38.14 and
rose 1.93 euros to 47.00, as continuing merger talks last week failed to produce results.
was up 1.69 euros to 95.16
Most European telcos were having a good session early Monday, as
rose 1.46 euros to 60.15 and
added 2.90 euros to 157.70.
was unchanged at 25.50 euros.