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

FTSE 100

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.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

has signed an agreement with


, the joint venture between




Canal Plus

, 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.

Independent Energy

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

157 million.

Europe's other stock markets also stood lower in thin trading at midday, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt down 114.12 to 7256.94 and the

CAC 40

in Paris 71.69 lower to 6485.70. The

Neuer Markt's

Nemax 50

index was down 114.10 to 6914.49.

In Frankfurt, Dax heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

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


(EPC) - Get Report

rose 1.71 euros to 147.20. Software maker


(SAP) - Get Report

fell 8.50 euros to 612.50.


France Telecom


fell 4.10 euros to 157.20 and


(TEF) - Get Report

dipped 0.70 euro to 24.00.

Telefonica's Internet arm

Terra Networks


fell 3.30 euros to 58.70, as investors seemed to indicate the Spain-based company paid too much for U.S. portal