European Midday Update: Tech, Telecom Shares Shudder at Tension - TheStreet

LONDON -- A jittery, tense mood hung over London's equity markets as investors reacted to the deteriorating situation in the Middle East. By midday, the

FTSE 100

was down 16.6 points to 6115.3 and the

Techmark 100

was 99.1 points lower to 3302.49.

Oil stocks, which rose sharply in early trade, succumbed to profit-taking. "Oil shares have had a good run of late on the back of rising crude oil", says

Williams de Broe's

Peter Hitchens. "But the slightest hint of disruption of supplies causes investors to take their profits while they still can." That led the shares of

BP

(BP) - Get Report

11.5p lower to 635 ($9.33), while

Shell

(SC) - Get Report

came off its early highs to trade 11p lower to 600 by midday.

Tech stocks were punctured by fears of an economic slowdown.

Sema

was one of the biggest decliners, shedding 69p to

10.00. Rival

Logica

wasn't far behind, plunging 84p to

18.76.

The negative vibes spread to some telecom stocks as well. Worries about financing and the costs of rolling out third-generation mobile communications just won't go away.

British Telecom

(BTY)

fell 10p to 680. In contrast,

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Report

was able to rise 3p to 240.

Banks were mixed.

HSBC

(HBC)

and

Standard Chartered

saw their shares marked down by 8p to 906 and 24p to 921 respectively after a poor

Asian trading session. But

Barclays

(BCS) - Get Report

bucked the trend and rose 41p to

17.32.

Europe's other major stock markets were mixed Friday, as the

CAC-40

in Paris was down 53.02 to 5937.68 and the

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 5.07 to 6470.33. The

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 124.2 lower to 4095.0.

German blue-chip tech shares were able to shake off the broader negative sentiment, as

Infineon

(IFX)

rose 1.50 euros to 49.25 ($42.45),

Siemens

was up 4.29 euros to 143.69 and

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

rose 4.50 euros to 230.30.

Telecom shares, however, were lower across the Continent, as

France Telecom

(FTE)

dipped 0.85 euro to 97.40,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

was off 0.15 euro to 35.75 and

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

was off 0.47 euro to 21.48.

Old Economy stocks performed well Friday, as

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

rose 1.59 euros to 53.19 and

Volkswagen

climbed 1.16 euros to 54.81.