LONDON -- London market makers appear unsure of which way the market is going. The majority of them are still bullish, but a move up may not necessarily come today. The FTSE 100 opened a few points lower and has since drifted down in quiet trading to stand 53.5 points lower at 6556.1.
The technology stocks, however, were off to a flier, boosted by another strong
gain overnight. Leading the pack was
, which gained 359p to 49.50 pounds (US$77.72) before easing back to stand 101p higher at 46.92 pounds.
rose 44p to 37.25 pounds and
Geo Interactive Media
advanced 155p to 18.27 pounds. The
index of leading tech stocks moved up 85.3 points to 4605.5.
The retailing sector saw some interest, as
Great Universal Stores
attracted fresh speculative buying and added 7p to 435.
Marks & Spencer
, boosted by an
recommendation, moved up 5p to 270p. However, investors were distinctly underwhelmed by
20% pretax profits increase and the decision to sell off its Ventura operation. The shares fell 70p to 510p.
edged forward 7p before slipping back to stand 23p cheaper at 12.25 pounds, while
shed 4p to 364 in the wake of Wednesday's major share placing by
gained 24p to 450p following its results and the launch of interactive services and email products.
Europe's other markets were also lower, as investors turned tail and sold off what started out as a positive session. The
in Frankfurt was down 81.50 to 7717.12 and the
in Paris was 56.57 lower to 6222.72.
German technology and telecom shares were some of the main culprits for the early morning volatility, but by midday they looked prepared to stay in negative territory.
was down 2.98 euros to 83.82 (US$80.50),
was falling 17.76 euros to 918.24 and
was off 3.18 euros to 124.82.
was down 2.50 euros to 178 after confirming that it was acquiring 28% of German telco
. Despite plugging a critical gap for France Telecom, the shares of both stocks had risen considerably over the past few days as speculation of the deal first surfaced. On Frankfurt's
, MobilCom was down 19.50 euros to 178.
was 0.07 euro lower to 28.03 and
was up 1.40 euros to 228.50.