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LONDON -- It was largely a case of "steady as she goes" for London's equities Friday, as the market seemed to hold its breath ahead of the U.S. employment report. The

FTSE 100

was 4.2 points higher at 6386.2, while the

techMARK 100

shrugged off the latest plunge in the

Nasdaq Composite Index

to stand 4.72 points higher at 3734.74.

There was robust trade in

British Telecom


, which plunged to its lowest level in two years as it fell to 670p ($9.77). A trader at a prominent European house summed it up when he says there is little chance of BT recovering until it makes some wholesale changes to its board.

Fellow telecom giant



handed back some of Thursday's impressive gains as it eased to 259.25p, a fall of 4.25p.

The two oil majors motored higher as front month Brent futures moved back above $30.



added 11.5p to 609, while



put on 14.5p to 580.5.

IT services group


was the stand-out stock among what many perceive to be the torrid technology sector. The stock basked in the glow of

Lehman Brothers'

bullish reaction to its acquisition of German IT services firm


. Leading the charge on the FTSE 100, the shares climbed 6% to


Following close behind Logica is telecom equipment supplier


, whose stock soared 3.7% higher at 954p as investors warmly welcomed this morning's upbeat trading statement and news that it intends to list on Nasdaq.

But tech stocks don't have it all their own way. Ever-volatile



plunged 4.3% to 220, amid persistent worries over the ISP market. Poor figures from Wanadoo, the French ISP, added to speculation that its considering a bid for Mobilcom's portal weigh on Freeserve. Freenet denied the rumor, but it was enough to leave Freeserve feeling alone and unloved.

Europe's other major stock markets were also mostly treading water Friday, as the


in Paris was 6.4 at 6341.5 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 2.1 at 6890.4. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index, however, was 140.3 lower at 4859.9.

That broader tech weakness largely had little effect on Germany's blue-chips in the sector, however.


rose 1.75 euros to 148.55 ($129.86) and



was up 2.00 euros at 260.00. Only chipmaker



fell 1.47 euros to 54.95.

Telecom shares were lower across the region, however, as

France Telecom


fell 2.00 euros to 118.00,

Deutsche Telekom


was off 0.59 euros at 39.57 and



was down 0.06 euros at 23.64.

Carmakers were mixed, as



fell 0.14 euros to 56.16 and



rose 0.29 euros to 51.00.