European Midday Update: Markets Trade in Narrow Ranges

Banks, oils and Deutsche Telekom's bid for VoiceStream are on investors' minds.
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LONDON -- Banks, oils and market newcomer

Granada Media

may not flow easily off the tongue, but they're most definitely on investors' minds this morning. The

FTSE 100

traded within narrow limits and was recently 24.7 points higher to 6490.9.

Looking at banks first,

Standard Chartered

and

HSBC

(HBC)

stand out as both have reduced exposure to the U.K. domestic banking market, which analysts think may be heading for a price war. The two companies made further good progress with sentiment again boosted by Monday's

Deutsche Banc

upgrade of both stocks. Standard gained 12p more to 900 ($13.62) and HSBC gained 20p up to 787. No such luck for big U.K. mortgage lenders such as

Lloyds TSB

, which slipped 7p to 576, and

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

, which fell a few pence more to

14.80.

In oils,

BP Amoco

(BPA)

attracted support ahead of an annual strategy presentation to analysts and rose 7p to 622. In a statement this morning, the company said it's aiming for double-digit earnings growth over the next three years.

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

edged forward 4p to 571.5.

Granada Media, in which conditional trading started at 8 a.m. GT, recently stood at 544p -- in line with market estimates -- compared to the offer price of 515p. Turnover so far has been 55 million shares.

Deutsche Telekom's

(DT) - Get Report

move on U.S. mobile phone company

VoiceStream

(VSTR)

shook market speculators out of

Cable & Wireless

(CWP)

shares this morning. (For more on the

story, check out coverage from

TheStreet.com

/

The New York Times

joint newsroom.) C&W was down 33p to

12.15 now that it seems less likely that DT will make a play for the telecom group.

Meanwhile,

British Telecom

(BTY)

was steady at 920p as regulators proposed to bring local loop unbundling conditions into force. These will require BT to allow operators to place digital subscriber line technology equipment in the local exchange to upgrade the local loop. Dealers had been expecting this news and said it was factored into the BT share price.

Vodafone AirTouch

(VOD) - Get Report

continued its recent roller coaster ride and was trading 6p lower at 308.

British Airways

(BAB) - Get Report

slipped 4p to 385 as the market awaited news from the annual general meeting. Chairman Lord Marshall will today tell shareholders that the

2 million payment to ousted chairman Bob Ayling is required by law. This is not likely to be taken well, but shareholders should also hear how the proposed merger with

KLM

(KLM)

is going.

Among the techs,

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

was hurtling along at a record high of

47.95, up 135p with buying sentiment boosted by the news of the Canadian fiber-optics group

JDS Uniphase's

$41 billion takeover of U.S. company

SDL

.

Most of Europe's other major stock markets were lower early Tuesday, with the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt down 41.34 to 7029.48 and the

CAC 40

in Paris down a mere 15.41 to 6472.01. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was down 182.6 to 5924.9.

Deutsche Telekom was weighing on the Dax amid the reports it is considering a $30 billion bid for VoiceStream Wireless. Midday, DT was down 2.00 euros to 59.35 ($56.69).

France Telecom

(FTE)

, which is also thought to have an interest in VoiceStream, was off 3.00 euros to 148.00.

Elsewhere in the telco world,

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

was down 0.08 euro to 24.37 and

Alcatel

(ALA)

was up 0.65 euro to 75.05.

Blue-chip German technology shares were mixed, with software maker

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

down 0.20 euro to 198.20,

Epcos

(EPC) - Get Report

1.08 euros lower to 108.12 and

Siemens

(SMAWY)

up 1.60 euros to 167.60.