LONDON -- European markets looked schizophrenic Wednesday morning as investors appeared to be of two minds.
In the U.K., by midday the
was down 15.10 points to 6737.40, while the
was down 36 points to 4067.
The mood of the market was encapsulated by the action in blue-chip IT stocks
. Logica fell 28p to
21.47 ($31.13) after what looked like very strong pretax results, as analysts apparently fear there's something nasty lurking in the figures. A similar fate befell Sema on Tuesday, but today bargain hunters were picking up the stock. Technically, major support is placed around the
10.00 level, which makes buying attractive from a risk/reward perspective. The shares recovered 23p to
Telecom stocks were traded heavily as
fell on news that
Moody's Investors Service
has cut the company's credit rating from AA1 to A2. Although Moody's says BT's outlook is now "stable," the shares slumped 30p to 874.
managed to shrug off talk that
may sell its remaining 3.4% stake in the company. The most heavily weighted stock in the blue-chip index was down just 1p to 291. Analysts at
are bullish on the stock, saying: "We think that Vodafone has turned a major corner -- acting in a way that should improve its ability to create value in the world of cellular once subscriber growth has peaked."
Europe's Continental bourses were mixed, as the
in Paris was down 24.84 to 6831.92, but the
in Frankfurt was up 8.05 to 7403.12. The
index was 31.6 higher to 6395.8.
German tech and telecom shares were once again weighing on the Dax, with
down 2.57 euros to 185.43 ($165.09) and
6.88 euros lower to 300.71.
slipped 0.35 euro to 46.72.
Elsewhere, telcos fared better, as
rose 0.19 euro to 23.94 and
gained 0.20 euro to 144.70.
Paris-listed network services firm
rose 1.3 euros to 53.00, amid reports the company was again in merger talks with
French oil company
Total Fina Elf
fell 1.20 euros to 176.30, despite reporting that first-half profit more than doubled.