LONDON -- U.K. technology companies got another pasting Wednesday morning, but a buoyant oil sector was doing its best to prop up the

FTSE 100

. The Footsie was 25.2 points lower to 6441.3.

With world oil prices sharply higher amid continuing fears about supply levels, and brent crude above $30 a barrel, buyers have homed in on

BP Amoco

(BPA)

, which was up 42.5p to 548 (US$8.54), and

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

, which gained 25p to 488.

Cairn Energy

, on the other hand, dipped 11.5p to 126 following its annual results.

British Telecom

(BTY)

rallied 26p to 11.96 pounds after the company unveiled further details of its unmetered Internet access package. Also doing better was

Psion

, up 336p to 63.80 pounds.

Colt Telecom

(COLT)

was up 58p to 39.99 pounds before reversing to stand 64p lower on balance at 38.77 pounds. Other losers included

Baltimore Technologies

, which dipped 775p to 123.00 pounds, and

Easynet

, which lost 205p to 21.87 pounds.

BSkyB

(BSY)

fell 141p to 20.00 pounds and

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

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was off 286p to 43.51 pounds. The

Techmark

index of leading technology stocks was down 126.6 points to 5476.5.

The major Continental stock markets were in negative territory. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 26.00 to 8038.97 and the

CAC 40

in Paris was off 35.71 to 6406.14.

After surging Tuesday amid reports of an imminent merger,

Deutsche Bank

and

Dresdner Bank

were both hit by some profit-taking. Deutsche Bank fell 3.15 euros (US$87.16) to 91.75 and Dresdner dropped 1.67 euros to 55.33.

Insurer Allianz

, which owns stakes in both banks, jumped 16 euros to 396.

Elsewhere in Frankfurt, technology stocks like

Siemens

(SMAWY)

were mostly lower, but carmakers such as

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

rose. Siemens was down 4.45 euros to 178.55 and DaimlerChrysler was up 1.15 euros to 64.93.

Dax heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

also helped the index lower, as reports surfaced that a merger with

Qwest

(Q)

won't happen. DT fell 3.60 euros to 97.25.