LONDON -- Isn't it strange that after U.S. interest rates went up, U.S. share prices went up and U.K. prices fell? At midday, however, the
was down 91.2 points to 6227.2, while the
index for leading technology stocks was off 30.7 to 3486.0.
Cable & Wireless
moved up 21p to 990 (US$14.79) on a generally positive reception to the latest annual results. A pretax profit of
1.1 billion was in line with expectations, but the company remains extremely upbeat about its growth strategy, which is generating fresh investor interest.
has signed an agreement with
, the joint venture between
, relating to the first European multiaccess Internet portal. Further details are expected later Wednesday. The share price failed to respond, however, and slipped with the broader market to 263.5, a fall of 9.5p.
jumped 247p to
16.15 as third-quarter profit rose to
9.6 million from
1.2 million a year earlier. Cumulative profit in the first nine months of the financial year have now risen to
21.7 million from
1.9 million for the same period last year. Turnover in the first nine months has moved up sharply to
566.3 million from
Europe's other stock markets also stood lower in thin trading at midday, with the
in Frankfurt down 114.12 to 7256.94 and the
in Paris 71.69 lower to 6485.70. The
index was down 114.10 to 6914.49.
In Frankfurt, Dax heavyweight
fell 3.84 euros to 62.35 (US$56.27), amid a largely discounted rumor the company was about to issue a profit warning.
Technology shares were mixed, as
dropped 4.75 euros to 154.61, while its subsidiary
rose 1.71 euros to 147.20. Software maker
fell 8.50 euros to 612.50.
fell 4.10 euros to 157.20 and
dipped 0.70 euro to 24.00.
Telefonica's Internet arm
fell 3.30 euros to 58.70, as investors seemed to indicate the Spain-based company paid too much for U.S. portal