European Midday Update: FTSE Edges Higher; Continent Mixed - TheStreet

European Midday Update: FTSE Edges Higher; Continent Mixed

Media and telecom stocks move higher; Ericsson falls on forecasts of higher losses in handset division.
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LONDON -- Despite appearances, the London market may not be in as good shape as it first looks. The mood seems to have definitely changed, but "It might still be painful for a while," said one trader here in London.

Basically, the

FTSE 100

needs to really close above 6300 to maintain the run higher. If it doesn't, don't be surprised to see it drift lower. So far today, good buying at the open has driven the index up, but there has not been that much follow-through. The blue-chip index was up 64 points to 6283, while the

Techmark 100

was up 102 points to 3430.

After the

Nasdaq's

storming session overnight, it wasn't surprising that tech stocks were active this morning.

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

topped the FTSE 100 leader board as it rose 9.8% to

26.00 ($37.70).

In the media sector,

Reuters

(RTRSY)

rose after it reported that third-quarter revenue rose 16% to

888 million ($1.3 billion), helped by surging growth at its

Instinet

unit, an IPO for which Reuters said it will go ahead. The shares rose to an intraday high of

13.40, before edging back to stand 8p higher at

12.46.

Telecom stocks were also higher despite disappointing third-quarter results from Sweden's

Ericsson

(ERICY)

. Shares of network infrastructure maker fell 13% after the company increased its forecast for losses at the handset division. However,

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

rose a respectable 10p to 279 and

British Telecom

(BTY)

reversed Thursday's late losses to be up 42p to 722.

The very troubled online auction house

QXL

(QXLC)

found itself marked-up a hefty 18.5% on good volume. But 18.5% of next to nothing doesn't add up to much and translates into a rise of 5p to 32. But no doubt QXL's shareholders are grateful for even the smallest mercies.

Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks were depressed as investors switch back into racier sectors.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

fell 57p to

19.40 and

Smithkline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

was down 29p to 869.

The Continent's markets were mixed. The

CAC-40

in Paris was up 67 points to 6133 but the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 43 to 6576.