European Midday Update: Markets Mixed After TMT Surge

Nasdaq's electric performance overnight adds life to Europe's technology sector.
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LONDON -- Technology, media and telecom stocks were the early morning darlings of Europe's stock markets following last night's sparkling Wall Street performance.

The

FTSE 100

was 60.3 points higher in early trading but by midmorning the index had lost some of its strength and was lately down 4 to 6355.6.

"The market ran up too far too quickly," commented a senior trader. "The initial markup frightened off the buyers, and there's been some profit-taking."

Not in the techs though -- the

Techmark

extended its gain 108 points to 3251.9.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

held center stage, the shares rising 12p to 314 before settling 2p higher at 304 ($4.68) after Tuesday's sale of

Orange

to

France Telecom

(FTE)

and its top-of-the-range results. Volume in Vodafone was already a hefty 73 million shares.

British Telecom

(BTY)

added 16p to 985 before slipping back to stand 4 cheaper on balance at 965, while

Colt Telecom

(COLTY)

lost an initial 184p rise and is now unchanged at

23.40.

Freeserve

(FREE)

jumped a further 56p to 544 on parent

Dixons'

(DXNGY)

plan to auction its 80% stake. Dixons is said to want in excess of 600p per share for its stake, so there could be more mileage in Freeserve, and Dixons too. The latter is 33p to the good at 354.

Baltimore Technologies

(BALT)

attracted fresh support after Tuesday's move to merge its two Japanese subsidiaries and moved up 44p more to 462.

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

moved up 5.5p to 579 and

Psion

added 34p to stand at 592.

Invensys

put out good earnings figures, but the market ignored these, preferring to concentrate on the company's offer for ailing Dutch software company

Baan

(BAANF)

. Invensys fell 17.5p to 248, while Baan rose 0.45 euro to 3.05.

Europe's other stock markets were also higher on a tech rally. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 10.9 to 7130.2 and the

CAC 40

in Paris was 50.7 higher to 6376.2. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was up 195.5 to 6144.1.

In Frankfurt, blue-chip techs led the Dax higher, with

Siemens

(SMAWY)

up 1.24 euros to 156.80 ($145.75),

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

3.40 euros higher to 130.75 and software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

up 21.00 euros at 572.00.

Dresdner Bank

(DRSDY)

was down 0.25 euro to 43.65, erasing early gains made amid reports it was seeking greater cooperation with

BNP Paribas

, which was up 0.45 euro to 96.00.

Major European telecoms were also higher, as

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

climbed 0.68 euro to 22.33 and

France Telecom

(FTE)

rose 3.10 euros to 152.00.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

rose 1.11 euros to 66.11.