European Midday Update: Stocks Dip as Danes Vote on Euro - TheStreet

LONDON -- On the day that Denmark goes to the polls to decide on whether to join the euro, Europe's markets were marginally lower.

The euro was steady around 0.8851 to the dollar as the Danes -- the first people to enjoy a referendum on membership of the single currency -- vote in a contest that is too close to call, although early exit polls suggest they will adopt the euro. The poll is being seen as a test of confidence in the euro after the concerted central bank intervention last week to try to halt its fall. As such, the result -- expected later tonight -- is being eagerly awaited by both supporters and opponents of the currency alike.

In London, equities were treading water, with little to entice investors into the market. The

FTSE 100

was down just 29 points at 6240 and the

Techmark 100

fell 47 points to 3702.

Telecom stocks looked a little jaded.

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

, whose rise did much to shore up the market earlier this morning, has run out of puff to stand 2.75p lower at 247.25.

British Telecom

(BTY)

was 12p lower to 716 and

Energis

(ENGSY)

shed 13p to stand at 497.

Technology stocks have also had a mixed session so far. Chip designer

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

took a bashing, falling 36.5p to 733.5.

Marconi

also looked soft and the shares slipped 9% to 900p.

The UK's biggest ISP and portal

Freeserve

(FREE)

fell 5.25p to 236.75 after reporting that pretax losses more than doubled to

17.8 million for the first quarter to Aug. 19 from

8.56 million in the same period last year, due to higher sales and marketing costs.

Media stocks were in the spotlight.

Granada Media

recovered from its recent sharp slide to stand 6p higher at 444. But news that

Tibco

, majority owned by

Reuters

(RTRSY)

, has announced a product alliance with

Nokia

did nothing for the media company's share price. Reuters' shares were 26p lower at

12.93.

Europe's other major stock markets were lower. The

CAC 40

in Paris was down 24 points at 6296 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 50 points at 6764.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

fell 2.02 euros to 50.70 ($44.61) as

Goldman Sachs

cut its earnings

forecast for this year for the carmaker by 15% to 4.85 euros.

Phone equipment makers also fell as investors, worried over the current market sentiment, began to take profits in some of the best-performing shares of this year. By midday,

Alcatel

(ALA)

was down 5.40 euros to 75.60 and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

was down 2.03 euros to 44.77.