LONDON -- The FTSE 100 powered up 26 points in the first few minutes, but then ran out of steam and by midmorning was down 0.7 points to 6215.6. Similarly, the Techmark, shrugging aside overnight weakness in the Nasdaq, moved forward 17.8 points to 3751.2 in early trade but retraced its steps to stand down 7.9 points at 3725.1.
"The market is quietly firm -- unless you're a telecom stock. They're just friendless at the moment," commented a senior market maker. Indeed.
was down 9p to 258 ($3.96),
was down 7p to 993, and
fell 29p to
bucked the trend and was up 36p to
In media stocks,
lost 9p to
reiterated its neutral stance but cut its June 2001 price target to
was the pick of the tech stocks as the company reported interim pretax profits 52% higher at a better-than-expected
54 million. The shares rose 47p at 714. On the other hand, investors struggled to make sense of
first-quarter figures and the price gyrated. First it rose 300p, then fell 369p and by midmorning it was 41p lower at
In other tech stocks,
was up 13p at 800, but
slipped 8p to 675,
BATM Advanced Communications
fell 317p to
was down 155p to
Most of Europe's continental stock markets were also lower, with technology shares weighing on most indices. The
in Frankfurt was down 81.48 at 7326.61 and the
in Paris was 55.03 lower at 6459.39. The Neuer Markt's
index was down 39.25 at 5867.29.
was down 4.80 euros at 118.15 amid news that Japan's
will take a 15% stake in the Dutch telco's mobile unit for 5 billion euros.
was down 2.01 euros at 64.99 and
was 3.30 euros lower at 160.20.
was off 4.00 euros at 144.50 ($129.80),
was down 2.77 euros at 163.55 and software-maker
was 7.68 euros lower at 645.50.
surged 1.85 euros to 34.59 after securing an agreement to offload its troubled Rover unit.
slipped 0.24 euros to 63.75 and
was down 0.01 euro at 46.69.