LONDON -- It's turning out to be another very good day for the market, as investors pile in amid the thinking that interest rates may not be lifted in the near future. The

FTSE 100

was up 109.3 points at 6341.9 and the


index of leading tech stocks was 111.10 higher at 5239.50.



featured early, as the shares jumped as much as 111p to 14.80 pounds. The price has held up well and recently stood 99p higher at 14.68 pounds.

Rentokil Initial


also started with a flourish, the shares racing up to 218p after the company announced annual results and proposed a buyback of 25% of its share capital. But, profit-taking dragged the price back to 198p, a net loss of 8.5.

Vodafone Airtouch

(VOD) - Get Report

added 3p to 358 with the market clearly happy with the appointment of Evan Newmark as chief executive of the company's multi-access portal. Newmark was previously managing director of

Goldman Sachs International

and responsible for its global wireless business.

United Utilities

jumped 26.5p to 681 on the proposed sale of its energy supply business, while

Cable & Wireless


rallied 80p to 13.95 pounds as the market digested details of the sale of its HKT stake to

Pacific Century Cyberworks


Affinity Internet

was off to a flying start with a gain of 625p to 69.25 pounds and

Baltimore Technologies


weighed in with a rise of 800p to 124.00 pounds.

The other major European bourses were gaining following Wall Street's higher close Tuesday, as investors fell back on the old reliable tech and telecom combination amid a lack of corporate news. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 19.43 at 7663.98 and the

CAC 40

in Paris was up 25.85 at 6216.81.

By midday Wednesday, German stocks looked split pretty much as they had the day before, with technology and telecommunications issues rising and financial stock retreating.



was climbing 6.77 euros to 191.17 and


(SAP) - Get Report

was jumping 22.50 euros to 885.50, while



was down 0.57 euros at 36.96 and

Dresdner Bank


had dipped 0.61 euros to 48.90.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was up 2.18 euros at 88.28 and multimedia firm


, listed on the

Neuer Markt

, was 11.50 euros higher at 188 after soaring some 10% on news it had acquired a smaller Austrian company.

In France,

Cap Gemini

continued its rise and was up 23.50 euros to 309.50 after buying the consulting business of

Ernst & Young

. Telecoms and related companies were also having a good day, with

France Telecom


up 7.10 euros at 174.60 and



8.90 euros higher to 252.10.