LONDON -- Europe's stock markets posted modest gains ahead of interest rate decisions by the
Bank of England
European Central Bank
. Both monetary authorities are expected to keep rates on hold. By midday the
had moved tentatively 46.40 points higher to 6381.30.
found itself back in favor, a day after announcing its investment in
. The stock rose 10.5p to 260.25 ($3.79), enough to add 28 points to the blue-chip index.
Weakness in the FTSE 100's two major oil stocks,
, kept the index in check. Front month brent futures dipped back below $30 a barrel. As a result, BP slipped 4p to 599 and Shell slid 7p to 564.
In the tech sector, the
moved 11.35 points lower to 3730.21. Announcement of a rights issue from IT services company
weighed heavily on the technology index. Logica plunged 95p to
Despite Logica's decline, it was not all doom and gloom for the tech sector.
gained 24p to 924 after announcing it has accelerated its implementation of outsourcing. The company said this will allow it to respond faster to its customer needs.
slipped 1.25p to 227. The market seems unable to make up its mind over conflicting broker opinions.
is bullish on the stock, while
has lowered its price target to 220p from 300 in the light of the challenges the ISP currently faces.
topped the FTSE 100 leader board, having bounced by 4.5% to
Europe's other major stock markets were also higher Thursday. The
in Paris was up 19.70 to 6315.83 and the
in Frankfurt was up 82.43 to 6905.86. The
index was 22.9 higher to 5001.2.
Telcos were mixed on the Continent, as
rose 1.00 euro to 121.30 ($106.04),
was off 0.18 euro to 39.42 and
was up 0.41 euro to 23.85.
German blue-chip technology shares ignored
earnings warning, as
rose 2.52 euros to 57.60,
rose 6.60 euros to 145.60 and
gained 1.35 euros to 93.35.