LONDON -- London's equities held up remarkably well despite the kicking Wall Street got overnight. By midday, the FTSE 100 stood 4 points up at 6372, while the Techmark 100 was 43 points lower at 3414.

Traders say that good demand for European telecom stocks is helping. Both

British Telecom

(BTY)

and

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

could have been expected to be hammered this morning following

Nortel's

slump, but BT has actually bounced strongly from its session low of 737p to stand up 1.5p at 755.5 ($10.80) and Vodafone was just a modest 0.75p lower at 277.25.

Tech stocks were also defying the doom merchants. Certainly when the markets opened, optical component maker

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

got slammed. But after falling to a session low of

22.00, as midday approached it had recouped some of those losses to stand down 40p at

23.84

Phone equipment maker

Marconi

also bounced off today's early low of 840p to stand a more modest 19p lower at 851 by midday.

E-security software provider

Baltimore Technologies

(BALT)

announced a deal with

Motorola

(MOT)

and saw its shares reach a high of 572 but by midday was down 5.5p at 545.5.

Parthus Technologies

(PRTH) - Get Report

was being weighed down by confirmation that it will place 47 million shares during the week of Nov. 6. The stock declines 4% to 257.5.

Banks stocks fared markedly different.

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

is an even bigger bank after having completing its purchase of

Woolwich

and had its weighting in the FTSE 100 index recalculated. The shares were 32p higher at

19.36.

HSBC

(HBC)

received a downgrade to neutral from outperform from

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. The shares slipped 9p to 974.

The Continent's markets were mixed as the euro fell to new lows against the dollar. The

CAC-40

in Paris was down 14 points at 6264 but the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 72 points at 6842.

The euro hit new lows this morning when it fell to $0.82, but by midday had crawled back to $0.83