European Midday Update: Markets Post Modest Gains

London is quiet after Wall Street's uninspired performance, while the Dax enjoys tech gains.
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LONDON -- Following Wall Street's uninspired performance, the

FTSE 100

predictably began with an 11-point fall. However, by midmorning, it had recovered slightly to stand 12.8 points higher at 6699.6. Nevertheless, it's quiet.

Baltimore Technologies

fell 222p to 95.50 pounds (US$151.85) before rallying strongly to stand 478p higher at 102.50 pounds as the company confirmed a 10-for-1 share split and a share placing. However, it couldn't maintain this momentum, and the stock retreated to stand 228p higher at 100.00 pounds.

Elsewhere in techs,

QXL.com

(QXLC)

lost 132p to 12.00 pounds before steadying to move 32p lower to 13.00 pounds. This occurred in the wake of Monday's all-share deal to acquire

Bidlet

, a Scandinavian auction rival, for 313 million pounds.

Kingston Communications

advanced 12p higher to 11.10 pounds after the company said it will launch a range of its own branded mobile services following a major agreement with

BT Cellnet

. The telecom sector as a whole was brighter this morning, with

British Telecom

(BTY)

rising 23p to 12.84 pounds and

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

improving 6.5p to 371.

Colt Telecom

(COLTY)

was at one point up 63p to 34.75 pounds, but dipped 12p to 34.00 pounds.

The

Techmark

index of leading tech stocks was up 68.7 points to 4794.8.

Among the pharmaceuticals,

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

fell 14p to 814 and

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

shed a like amount to 17.75 pounds.

Oils were narrowly mixed, awaiting the outcome of

OPEC

talks on production levels. The meeting is expected to result in an agreement to a production increase.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

moved up 7p to 522.5, but

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

was 3p easier at 474.

Europe's other stock markets posted modest gains early Tuesday, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt up 128.32 to 8020.81 and the

CAC 40

in Paris 120.05 higher to 6570.90.

Technology shares were back in vogue in Frankfurt, with heavyweights like

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

and

Siemens

(SMAWY)

helping the Dax higher. Siemens was up 3.68 euros to 162.78 (US$157.90), and SAP moved 22.91 euros higher to 948.11.

Telcos around the Continent were also powering ahead, with

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

up 4.41 euros to 90.90,

France Telecom

(FTE)

6.50 euros higher to 202 and

Alcatel

(ALA)

up 5.30 euros to 245.30.

Carmaker

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

was hit by a round of profit-taking after gaining Monday on news of its

plans to acquire more than a third of

Mitsubishi Motors

. DaimlerChrysler was down 1.36 euros to 69.20.