European Midday Update: Markets Recover After Early Dip

Bourses followed Wall Street's lead at the outset.
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LONDON -- The FTSE 100 began with a 25-point fall -- less than feared after the fall in the Nasdaq overnight -- and has since managed to recover, now up 49.1 to 6494.3. The Techmark index of leading technology stocks dropped sharply at the outset and has extended an initial 84-point loss to 174.47 points, for a decline to 4227.20. There was no panic selling, but the Nasdaq fall couldn't be ignored and it doesn't take much to move U.K. tech stocks because of the lack of liquidity.

Baltimore Technologies

(BALT)

dipped 428p (US$6.82) to 80.99 pounds,

Psion

retreated 69p to 38.00 pounds,

Durlacher Corporation

dropped 50p to 22.00 pounds, and

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

lost 269p to 35.00 pounds.

London Bridge Software

fell 137 to 58.25 after the company proposed a 5-for-1 share subdivision to increase the marketability and liquidity of its shares.

Oil shares provided support for the Footsie as the market continued to view

OPEC's

decision to raise production by a modest 1.45 million barrels a day as unlikely to put any significant downward pressure on the oil price.

BP Amoco

(BPA)

gained 36p to 578, while

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

rose 16p to 512.

Publisher

Dorling Kindersley

gained 10p to 423 following a recommended 430p cash offer worth 311 million pounds from media group

Pearson

, which was 4p higher to 20.65 pounds.

Telco shares were mixed.

British Telecom

(BTY)

was up 20 to 11.72 pounds, but

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

, down 2p to 345, failed to draw any inspiration from the

Federal Communication Commission's

decision to give a green light to its joint venture with

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

.

European markets were mixed. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 31.28 to 7676.17, and the

CAC 40

in Paris was down 26.20 to 6287.62. Again, the telecom sector was not the source of market inspiration.

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

dropped 2.45 euros (US$2.34) to 81.00 amid reports that it has decided to lower the IPO price range for its ISP

T-Online

to 30-40 euros from 35-40 euros.

France Telecom

(FTE)

was down 4.0 euros to 180.00.

Mobile handset makers suffered after China refused to cave in to World Trade Organization demands for more access to its telecom markets.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

fell 6.48 euros to 209 and

Ericsson

(ERICY)

was down 30 Swedish kronor (US$3.46) to 744.