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 An early 56-point index fall has been replaced by a 41.6 point gain to 6588.3 amid low volume.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

BskyB

(BSY)

, which fell 84p to

12.87 on market talk

Lehman Brothers

, on behalf of German media group

Kirch

, 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.

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

dipped 44p to

17.38, while merger partner

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

retreated 16p to 783.

AstraZeneca

(AZN) - Get Report

was 43p lower at

27.15.

On the other hand, telecom stocks were mostly firm with

British Telecom

(BTY)

rising 23 to

10.33 and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

adding 3.5p to 328.5.

Colt Telecom

(COLT)

, however, slipped 6p to

27.14, but

Cable & Wireless

(CWP)

firmed 15p to

12.03 after signing a strategic alliance with

Microsoft

.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

was at the forefront of technology shares Tuesday morning, climbing 23p to 729.

Baltimore Technologies

(BALTV)

gained 23p to 588.

Cadbury Schweppes

(CSG)

attracted fresh support and rose 11.5p to 434, still on hopes that the company may link with

Danone

(DA)

of France to launch a bid for

Nabisco

(NA)

. 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

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt up 43.7 to 7451.7 and the

CAC 40

in Paris 30.6 higher at 6686.9. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was near unchanged at 6676.9.

In Frankfurt, financial issues were making some of the biggest moves, after

Deutsche Bank

(DTBKY)

announced it was planning to unload part of its sizable stake in insurer

Allianz

. Midsession Deutsche Bank was up 1.44 euros at 73.23 and Allianz was 17.45 euros lower at 367.50. Elsewhere,

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

was up 0.84 euros at 45.84 and

Hypovereinsbank

(HVMGY)

was 1.65 higher at 71.75.

Blue-chip German tech shares were higher, with software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

up 13.54 euros at 635.50,

Siemens

(SMWAY)

up 1.82 euros at 168.82 and

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

0.09 euros higher at 143.84.

Major European telcos were also in positive territory Tuesday.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was up 1.44 euros at 73.23,

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

was up 0.64 euros at 23.51 and

France Telecom

(FTE)

rose 3.10 euros to 170.10. Telco equipment maker

Alcatel

(ALA)

climbed 0.85 euros to 65.75, after forecasting strong sales growth for this year.