LONDON -- Just like Wall Street Monday, the FTSE 100 lacked direction this morning. An early 56-point index fall has been replaced by a 41.6 point gain to 6588.3 amid low volume. The Techmark index of leading technology shares was up 51.2 points at 3678.5.
However, there was action in
, which fell 84p to
12.87 on market talk
, on behalf of German media group
, is selling 20 million shares, approximately a quarter of Kirch's 5% stake, at
12.60 ($19.14) per share.
Once again individual stocks were featured rather than sectors Tuesday, although pharmaceuticals were again on the defensive after
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
cautious note Monday.
dipped 44p to
17.38, while merger partner
retreated 16p to 783.
was 43p lower at
On the other hand, telecom stocks were mostly firm with
rising 23 to
adding 3.5p to 328.5.
, however, slipped 6p to
Cable & Wireless
firmed 15p to
12.03 after signing a strategic alliance with
was at the forefront of technology shares Tuesday morning, climbing 23p to 729.
gained 23p to 588.
attracted fresh support and rose 11.5p to 434, still on hopes that the company may link with
of France to launch a bid for
. Danone was up 3.90 euros at 133.80 ($126.83).
Europe's other major stock markets were also largely without direction early Tuesday, with the
in Frankfurt up 43.7 to 7451.7 and the
in Paris 30.6 higher at 6686.9. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy
index was near unchanged at 6676.9.
In Frankfurt, financial issues were making some of the biggest moves, after
announced it was planning to unload part of its sizable stake in insurer
. Midsession Deutsche Bank was up 1.44 euros at 73.23 and Allianz was 17.45 euros lower at 367.50. Elsewhere,
was up 0.84 euros at 45.84 and
was 1.65 higher at 71.75.
Blue-chip German tech shares were higher, with software maker
up 13.54 euros at 635.50,
up 1.82 euros at 168.82 and
0.09 euros higher at 143.84.
Major European telcos were also in positive territory Tuesday.
was up 1.44 euros at 73.23,
was up 0.64 euros at 23.51 and
rose 3.10 euros to 170.10. Telco equipment maker
climbed 0.85 euros to 65.75, after forecasting strong sales growth for this year.