European Midday Update: Little Action With Most Bourses Closed - TheStreet

LONDON -- It looks like we're in for a long day.

With most of Europe's stock markets closed for the Pentecost holiday, London got off to a slow start. By 8:20 a.m. London time, only 20 of the top 100 shares had registered any movement. By midmorning, the

FTSE 100

was up 1.1 points to 6444.9 and the


was down 8.3 to 3473.3.

At least we have


to talk about, the Internet banking arm of insurer

Prudential plc

, which debuted on the London stock market this morning. The shares were priced at 160p ($2.42), opened at 177p, traded as high as 185p and by midmorning were at 174.5p. Volume has been reasonable so far at 17.8 million shares.

In other news,

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

rose 9p to 321 and

British Telecom


was up 7p to 991 on news that the two telecom giants have signed a co-operation agreement to acquire additional shareholdings in Spanish mobile phone operator





is still struggling as fears rise over further sales by



of its stake in Rupert Murdoch's satellite broadcaster, to say nothing of reports that BSkyB looks set to be out bid by cable firm



for the rights to Premiership League soccer coverage. The shares fell 18p further to

11.25. A week ago, the shares stood at


British Airways

(BAB) - Get Report

, under pressure in recent trading sessions from general apathy toward its possible merger with Dutch carrier


, rallied 8p to 383. The market is now taking the view that a merger could lead to significant cost savings on both fuel and management.

Among the tech stocks,


advanced 17p to 653 on its acquisition of a 3.2% stake in


, a wireless networking company, for $5 million cash.

In Europe, most of the markets were closed, but a few traders in Frankfurt tried to make a go of things amid no news and miserable volumes. The

Xetra Dax

was up 14.71 to 7269.24 and the

Neuer Markt's


Nemax 50

index was down 18.3 to 6584.7.

Big techs were mixed amid the listless trade, with software maker


(SAP) - Get Report

down 3.45 euros to 606.45 ($577.94) and


(EPC) - Get Report

off 3.70 euros to 137.50, while



rose 0.30 euro to 166.30.

Deutsche Bank


fell 0.80 euro to 86.50 and



, which is considering a joint bid with


for Korean carmaker


, rose 0.44 euro to 60.44.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

rose 0.64 euro to 66.63, after reports last week that the upcoming sale of some of the German government's shares is already oversubscribed.