LONDON -- The London market was in slow motion after last night's turgid Wall Street performance. The FTSE 100 was 15.8 points firmer at 6139.6, while the Techmark, reflecting an overnight Nasdaq composite fall of 84 points, was down 8.1 points to 3640.3.
There were some bright spots.
soared 208p to
12.33 ($19.00) before settling 161p higher at
11.86 amid speculation that the proposed takeover of the company by
is set to go ahead. Thursday's
Federal Trade Commission
meeting to consider the bid has been cancelled and it is reported that Air Liquide and Air Products have put together a package to sell off BOC's U.S. assets, thereby allowing the deal to proceed.
gained 26.5p to 410 after posting first-quarter profits of
611 million, well within market estimates. However,
slumped 21p to 147 after very poor figures and a statement that forecasts a major deterioration in current year profit. The dividend was cut 50% to 8p.
The market was unimpressed with
third-quarter figures and the shares retreated 84p to
14.28. The company has agreed an all-share offer for
, which was 20p higher at 792.
Telecoms were in trouble again this morning after a government-sponsored medical committee report said there are concerns that radiation from mobile phones could be responsible for cancer and memory loss.
lost 21p to 936 and
was down a further 7.5p to 245.
responded to strong first-quarter figures with a gain of 7p to 914.5, but
was unmoved at 934 as the company confirmed that it is to proceed with the floatation of a minority stake in
, its online banking business.
Europe's other stock markets were slightly higher, with the
in Frankfurt up 26.70 at 7307.24 and the
in Paris 54.29 higher at 6423.90. The Neuer Markt's
index was up 11.26 at 6411.88.
In Frankfurt, index heavyweight
was up 1.50 euros at 64.00 ($58.06).
climbed 3.40 euros to 155.40 after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter results.
was near unchanged at 23.99 euros.
German tech shares were mixed, as
erased early gains from the news the semiconductor-maker would be added to the blue-chip Dax index. Midday, Infineon was down 0.55 euros at 74.45,
was up 0.98 euros at 160.98 and software-maker
was 7.99 euros lower at 623.51.
German banks were also having a mixed day, with
up 0.94 euros at 78.09 while
was 0.40 euros lower at 41.60 and
was off 0.31 euros at 43.70.