European Midday Update: Markets Perk Up Before Weekend - TheStreet

LONDON -- Europe's markets were going into the weekend higher as a reasonable performance overnight on Wall Street took some of the pressure off technology stocks.

The

FTSE 100

was 72.9 points higher to 6363 and the

Techmark 100

stood up 50 points at 3408.

Optical component maker

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

rose from Thursday's ashes to stand 10.7% higher at

23.81 ($34.05) as

JDS Uniphase's

(JDSU)

blockbuster results replaced

Nortel's

(NT)

nightmare in the minds of investors. Fiber-optics group

Marconi

(MCONY)

was also one of the session's biggest gainers as it climbed 46p to 880.

Among chip stocks,

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

was 30p to the good at 682.

Parthus Technologies

(PRTH) - Get Report

reached a session high of 265p before falling back to stand 0.5p higher at 248.5.

It was not all sweetness and light as palm-top maker

Psion

issued a profit warning, causing the shares to plunge 24%. The company announced that its full-year profit would fall well short of expectations. The familiar theme of a weak euro, compounded by the rising cost of parts and problems with its PC Card modem, were to blame. By midday, the shares were 140p lower to 435.

Telecom stocks also gained.

Colt Telecom

(COLT)

rose an impressive 131p to

22.42 and

Cable & Wireless

(CWP)

advanced 38p to 938.

British Telecom

(BTY)

was 20.5p to the good at 758, while

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

was up 7.5p to 277.5 on confirmation that it is in talks to buy the mobile-phone assets of Ireland's

Eircom

In addition, heavyweight broker

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

reiterated its "overweight" stance on the sector.

Media stocks were buzzing on the news that

Reed Elsevier

has won the auction to

buy U.S. rival

Harcourt

(H) - Get Report

for around $5.7 billion, which lifted its shares 25p to 604.5. Rival

Pearson

(PRSNY)

reacted badly to news as it adds to competition in the educational publishing market. The shares tumbled 12p to

17.70.

It was a similar story on the Continent, with the

CAC-40

in Paris up 84.4 points to 6292.8 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt up 128.2 points to 6896.1.

Big gainers were again the tech and telecom stocks, with

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

up 3.09 euros to 47.14 ($39.13),

Alcatel

(ALA)

up 5.60 euros to 75.10 and

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

up 2.23 euros to 44.43.