LONDON -- Europe's markets are behaving pretty much as expected. The technology sector was sold off on the back of the

Nasdaq Composite Index's

slide overnight, while the overall market was fairly quiet because of the lingering

uncertainty about the U.S. presidential election.

In London, the

FTSE 100

was up just 9 points to 6486, while the

Techmark 100

was down 58 points to 3379. Further crimping any trading is an imminent decision from the

Bank of England

on monetary policy.

One big area of interest was

British Telecom

( BTY). Shares rose to a session high of 807.5p ($11.47) in a knee-jerk reaction after its earnings results and some clarification from the company about its breakup plans, but as lunchtime approached traders said that everyone was waiting for BT's analysts' briefing. Tension is high, and the fact that the company has not raised its dividend has disappointed some. By midday, BT was down a hefty 34p at 754.

In reality, BT has not unveiled anything new, and ratings agency

Standard & Poor

said it would leave BT's credit rating unchanged. Darren Sinden from brokers

IG Markets

said there was good two-way trading in BT but that IG has been advising customers to sell the stock anywhere near 800p. He cites the lackluster reception toward


(T) - Get Report

breakup plans as evidence that the market is, at least for the moment, not overly enamored of the large former incumbents. There is also a sense that BT has done too little too late.

Highflying tech stocks were grounded following the Nasdaq's 5.4% slide. Predictably, optical component maker

Bookham Technology

( BKHM) suffered yet another triple-digit loss. By midday, the ever-volatile shares were down 9.8% to

19.29, their lowest level since April 17. Similar fate befell rival


( MONI), which gapped lower at the open and was 33p lower at 837.

In the media sector,


surged 7% to 548 after a rumored placing by

Schroder Salomon Smith Barney

of a block of 8.5 million shares, which should have weighed on the stock but was snapped up immediately, giving rise to hopes that the music publisher is about to tie up with German media giant


. Such a deal makes sense, according to commentators, as Bertelsmann needs other big music groups to join in, if its content distribution deal with


is to work.

On the Continent, the markets were lower. The


in Paris was down 22 points to 6314 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 17 points to 6992.

One huge gainer was

Munich RE

, which surged 12.59 euros to 385.49 ($327.67) after

Goldman Sachs

raised its price target to 430 euros from 385 euros and kept it on its recommended share list.

Loser included

France Telecom


, down 3.50 euros to 112.00 after Wednesday's purchase of


( EON) 42.5% stake in the Swiss mobile-phone company

Orange Communications



( SMAWY) was down 5.31 to 135.50 as

SG Securities

cut its target to 155 euros and downgraded the stock to hold following disappointing third-quarter figures.