LONDON -- The market can't seem to make up its mind about what to do with an ugly profit warning from
. It's a case of stop, then go, then stop again. The
was recently down 5.30 points at 6258.80 and the
was higher by 18.86 points at 3734.10.
However, clearly the punters are worried about the implications for the U.K. tech sector from Apple's announcement, given that it follows similar warnings from
( FON) and
. Apple's fourth-quarter results could be as much as 33% short of expectations due to a sales slowdown. In the U.S., the shares plunged 40% in overnight trade.
Leading the gainer today is Old Economy stalwart
British American Tobacco
, which jumped over 7% to 431.5p ($6.31) as investors celebrated an overnight landmark court victory for the tobacco industry in the U.S..
In the New Economy, the telecom heavyweights, led by
, led the way up. The wireless giant gained on talk that it is close to selling
, its Italian Internet business, for
12 billion in loan notes and cash.
, the Italian electricity utility, is said to be the buyer. Vodafone shares rose 4.5p to 252.75.
( BTY) also rose, gaining 5.5p to 740.5.
Elsewhere, the rot in Apple failed to spread to U.K. techs.
jumped 39p to
( BKHM) rose 2.5% to
pushed higher 5p to 240 as rumors resurfaced that parent
is getting ready to reduce its holding in the Internet service provider.
The fact that crude oil has fallen to a seven-week low following remarks made by giant oil producer Saudi Arabia that it would pump up production in order to stabilize world oil prices, is also helping the overall market.
But while other sectors gain on this news, it is not surprising that the move higher gave oil stocks a wide berth.
( BPA) was down 4.5p to 590 and
came off 3.5p to 550.5.
Europe's other major stock markets were modestly lower Friday after Denmark's decision not to join the euro. The
in Paris was down 43.53 at 6267.50 and the
in Frankfurt was down 17.21 at 6815.5. The Neuer Markt's technology-heavy
index was up 33.2 at 5241.9.
Big techs were also largely shrugging off Apple's warning, with
up 0.55 euros at 58.55 ($51.47) and
( IFX) up 1.69 euros at 56.74, however,
was down 0.64 euros at 92.86.
Telecoms were mixed, as
( DT) fell 0.16 euros to 39.46,
was up 0.44 euros at 22.88 and
was up 1.20 euros at 121.10.
Telco equipment maker
( ALA) fell 2.50 euros 72.85.