LONDON -- The overnight fall in the Nasdaq was putting pressure on London technology stocks Friday morning.
fell 24 points to 3659, as major tech stocks such as
were sold off in response to the Nasdaq's weakness. ARM was down 17.5p, or 2.3%, at 757.5 ($11.44) and Bookham was down 141p, or 2.9%, at
On the opposite side of the coin were the oil and media sectors. With Saudi Arabia keeping the lid on
oil production, the price of one-month Brent crude has risen to $26.90 and the price of three-month Brent to $27.22. All good news for those money-making machines like
, which gained 14p to 596, and
, up 10p at 541.5.
United News & Media
fell 95p to 850 on confirmation that
is to acquire United's TV interests -- Meridian Anglia and HTV -- for
1.75 billion. Trouble is, the market was hoping for a full-blown bid, so there's the smell of burnt fingers wafting around the market. Granada Media says it is not interested in bidding for
either and Carlton was off 53p to 770. Granada Media rose 40p to 625.
The result of all this means the
by midmorning was up 18.7 points, or 0.3%, at 6370.80.
Pharmaceutical shares are also lending some support to the index, with
still responding to its solid interim results of Thursday with a fresh gain of 20p to
19.30. Merger partner
was up 14p at 866 and
added 40p more to
In the banks,
announced this morning that pretax profits in the first half were slightly ahead of forecast this morning with profit before tax up 12% to
2.06 billion from last year's
1.85 billion. Analysts had predicted profits of between
2.01 billion. Earnings per share increased by 11% to 26.8p and the interim dividend by 15% to 9.3p per share. But there's no pleasing some people, who are now worrying about the pressure on margins. The shares dipped 10.5p to 575.5.
was given a modest thumbs-up to its first-quarter figures and the shares added 3.5p to 524. Profits were 3.6% higher during the period at
144 million against
139 million last year.
Europe's other bourses were mixed. The
in Paris was down 32.86, or 0.5%, to 6478.67, while the
in Frankfurt was up 14.72, or 0.20%, to 7198.16.
managed to rebound somewhat after Thursday's slump of over 21% after the company said it sees third-quarter earnings below those of the second because of the timing of new product introductions. By midmorning, Nokia was up 2.96 euros, or 6.6%, at 47.74 ($44.40).