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.


(BOX) - Get Report

soared 208p to

12.33 ($19.00) before settling 161p higher at

11.86 amid speculation that the proposed takeover of the company by

Air Liquide


Air Products

(APD) - Get Report

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.


(UL) - Get Report

gained 26.5p to 410 after posting first-quarter profits of

611 million, well within market estimates. However,

British Energy

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

Sports Internet

, 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.

British Telecom


lost 21p to 936 and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

was down a further 7.5p to 245.



responded to strong first-quarter figures with a gain of 7p to 914.5, but

Prudential PLC

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

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt up 26.70 at 7307.24 and the

CAC 40

in Paris 54.29 higher at 6423.90. The Neuer Markt's

Nemax All-Share

index was up 11.26 at 6411.88.

In Frankfurt, index heavyweight

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was up 1.50 euros at 64.00 ($58.06).

France Telecom


climbed 3.40 euros to 155.40 after reporting better-than-expected first-quarter results.


(TEF) - Get Report

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


(SAP) - Get Report

was 7.99 euros lower at 623.51.

German banks were also having a mixed day, with

Deutsche Bank


up 0.94 euros at 78.09 while



was 0.40 euros lower at 41.60 and

Dresdner Bank


was off 0.31 euros at 43.70.