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
could have been expected to be hammered this morning following
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
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
Phone equipment maker
also bounced off today's early low of 840p to stand a more modest 19p lower at 851 by midday.
E-security software provider
announced a deal with
and saw its shares reach a high of 572 but by midday was down 5.5p at 545.5.
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.
is an even bigger bank after having completing its purchase of
and had its weighting in the FTSE 100 index recalculated. The shares were 32p higher at
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
in Paris was down 14 points at 6264 but the
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