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European Midday Update: Markets Snap Losing Streaks

The end of the fuel protests in the U.K. cheers investors.


FTSE 100

broke its seven-day losing streak as investors celebrated the end of the national petrol blockade. The blue-chip index bounced back with a 99.60-point rise to 6577.80.



was one of the stocks leading the charge higher. The shares, after being hammered for the last few sessions, rose more than 10% to 580p ($8.18). The reaction comes after reports that the

European Commission

is poised to quash the

14-billion merger with

Time Warner's


music arm

Warner Music

unless big concessions are agreed to by early next week.

One media analyst says investors could be buying on the anticipation that EMI might become a takeover target if the deal is blocked, with




both mentioned as possible bidders.

Telecom stocks were also higher.


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was responsible for more than half the rise in the Footsie, climbing 5.5p to 269.75.

British Telecom


was up 15p to 817 and



moved up 42p to 610.

Colt Telecom


was the morning's second-biggest riser with a gain of 230p to

22.76. A positive broker's report from

Lehman Brothers

probably helped.

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Europe's other major stock markets were in positive territory, as the

CAC 40

in Paris was up 81.09 points to 6649.98 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 92.18 to 7098.44. The

Neuer Markt's


Nemax 50

index was 17 higher to 5999.

After getting hammered over the past couple of days, technology shares surged early on, with



up 0.15 euro to 64.15 ($55.07),


up 1.11 euros to 176.60 and software maker


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7.61 euros higher to 279.61.

Telcos also gained, with

Deutsche Telekom

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up 1.49 euros to 43.80,


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up 0.58 euro to 24.12 and

France Telecom


up 5.60 euros to 132.00.

Elsewhere in Paris,



jumped 3.60 euros to 87.40. Missing out on the broad rally, however, was French food group



, which fell 3.10 euros to 158.80 despite reporting climbing profits in the first half of the year.