European Midday Update: Tech Stocks Lead Markets Higher - TheStreet

LONDON -- After making an early move to 62,560, the FTSE 100 eased back to stand up 38 points at 6248 by midday as the market remains unsure whether the recent selloff is over.

J.P. Morgan

is bullish. "We think the market will make headway these next three months," the bank wrote in a report Monday. "But also that it will be led by neither the

technology, media, telcos and electronics block nor the cyclicals."

J.P. Morgan notes that since last November, the TMT&E block has remained flat, while most cyclicals have underperformed. Yet the overall market has risen, driven primarily by the oil, drug, food and insurance sectors. Therefore, the bank argues, "Our current call shouldn't be that contentious."

TMT stocks were prominent this morning. As well as falling under the

Nasdaq Composite Index's

spell, the market has started to anticipate good news on the earnings front. Forthcoming results from European semiconductor stocks such as

Philips

(PHG) - Get Report

and

STMicroelectronics

(STM) - Get Report

are not expected deliver any nasty surprises.

Fiber optic company

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

was up 150p to

24.58 ($35.64), microprocessor designer

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

firmed 25p to 690 and

Parthus Technologies

(PRTH) - Get Report

gained 7p to 269.5.

Internet service provider and portal

Freeserve

(FREE)

bounced off Friday's lows to gain 4.6% to 207.75p, making it the main index's biggest gainer.

Overall, the

Techmark 100

was up 19.5 points to 3435.

London-listed Israeli tech stocks staged a comeback as tensions eased somewhat in the region and two companies --

BATM

and

DMATek

-- announced good news Monday morning.

Shares in

GEO Interactive

, an Israeli video compression company, were up 70p to

10.87, while those of BATM, an Israeli switching company, rose 25p to 515p. DMATek, an Israeli provider of electronic monitoring technologies, was up 18.5p to 220p and

TECC-IS

, an incubator investing in Israeli start-ups, was up 0.5p to 22.25p.

BATM has been helped along by news this morning that it signed a distribution agreement for its VDSL products with a telecom services distributor in Scandinavia. Both parties anticipate generating initial orders of $500,000 over the next 12 months. BATM's CEO Zvi Marom said he expects to announce further orders in due course.

DMATek, meanwhile, announced a clutch of new orders valued at around $1.5 million to supply its electronic monitoring equipment for the U.K. home detention program.

Markets were mixed on the Continent. The

CAC-40

in Paris was up 11 points to 6075, but the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was down 29 points to 6632.

French pay-TV firm

Canal Plus

surged 9.00 euros to 174.00 ($147.90) following news Friday that its parent

Vivendi

(V) - Get Report

has been given the all-clear by the

European Commission

for the acquisition of

Seagram

. Vivendi was unchanged at 84.50 euros.

Telco-related companies were higher.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

was up 0.89 euro to 39.09 and

Alcatel

(ALA)

was up 0.80 euro to 77.00.

France Telecom

(FTE)

rose 4.00 euros to 105.00 while

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was up a more modest 0.82 euro to 38.41.