LONDON -- After the
rose more than 3% Thursday to close above 5000, U.K. technology stocks were enjoying a good Friday morning. But there were others: The pharmaceutical sector, part of the middle-aged economy, has suddenly become a touch more fashionable, and there's even some support for the pensioners of the market: the smokestacks.
All this meant the
was able to climb 102.1 points to 6634.2, and the
index of leading tech stocks was up 144.5 points to 5737.2.
built on Thursday's gains, the former rising 60p to 16.24 pounds ($25.66) and the latter moving up 35.5p to 745.
was also in demand and gained 82p to 24.08 pounds.
jumped 50p to 13.65 pounds as regulator
announced a key new stage toward unbundling the local loop. The proposal sets out the requirement on British Telecom to provide unbundling loops to other network operators, who will be allowed to upgrade BT's local loop by placing digital-subscriber-line technology in the local exchange. The good news for BT is that Oftel is happy with the level of cooperation it's getting from the company. Among other telecoms,
jumped 156p to 39.50 pounds.
In tech stocks,
BATM Advanced Communications
was leading the pack, with shares rising 792p to 60.42 pounds.
Geo Interactive Media
was a somewhat distant second, up 435p to 29.80 pounds.
gained 250p to 135.00 pounds.
From the sublime to the ridiculous:
Horace Small Apparel
, which has reinvented itself as a Net stock, returned from its trading suspension at 250p and immediately charged higher to 293. The shares were suspended at 86.5p.
The major continental stock markets were higher, again led by the telecom and tech stocks. The
in Frankfurt was up 66.30 at 8015.45, and the
in Paris was 94.87 higher at 6518.30.
In Frankfurt, technology shares were able to retake center stage after deferring to financial stocks for most of the week, as software giant
announced a capital increase and a 3-for-1 stock split. SAP jumped 33 euros to 1056 ($1,013) That in turn helped out other technology shares like
, which rose 2.95 to 185.45.
Financial stocks weren't completely out of the picture, however, following the news of the merger between
. Deutsche Bank fell 1.56 euros to 79.25, and Dresdner dropped 0.83 euros to 49.17. But as they both continued to slide, the quasi-third partner in the merger, insurer
, climbed 11.11 euros to 418.10.
rose 1.99 euros to 97.39, despite reportedly ending takeover talks with
. In Paris,
was up 4.30 euros to 195.10 and
rose 8.50 euros to 146.50, amid news it had obtained a next-generation wireless license in Spain.