LONDON -- The U.S. election was casting a long shadow over Europe's markets Tuesday morning and trade was on the quiet side.
In London, the
was up 16 points to 6447, while the
was down 43 points to 3456.
The FTSE strength was largely thanks to the two big telecom stocks. A midmorning rally by index heavyweights
took the FTSE 100 back into positive territory. Vodafone was up 11.75p to 254.75 ($3.67) and British Telecom rose 19p to 777 after it announced a $300 million deal with
to expand its Internet backbone.
fell 92p to
20.39 ahead of earnings out later today. There has been some heavy short-selling of Colt, according to the brokerage
Tech stocks were definitely skittish. Fiber-optic component maker
was the biggest downer on the main index, although volume was very light. By midday, the shares were 3.6% down to
23.30. Internet security firm
was down 8.5p to 506.5, but again on very thin volume. Both companies will report earnings this week.
The oil sector was active as
fell despite posting record third-quarter results. Profits in the third quarter came in at $3.8 billion compared with $2 billion a year ago, but the shares slipped 1p to 567.
On the Continent, the
in Paris was largely unchanged at 6351 and the
in Frankfurt was down 84 points to 7052.
Telecom equipment makers were among the biggest losers as investors continue to fret over
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's
decision on Monday to cut the forecasts for
earnings estimates for 2001. Ericsson fell heavily Monday and again by midday was down another 4.00 Swedish Kronor to 128.00 ($12.80).
Elsewhere in the sector,
was down 1.24 euros to 48.15 and
was down 4.25 euros to 149.64.
was down 3.50 euros to 20.00 after the Dutch telco said losses for the third quarter rose 82% from the last quarter to 162.8 million euros. VersaTel is currently embroiled in a dispute with British Telecom about a meeting that took place between the two telcos during Holland's recently held auction for third-generation mobile-phone licenses. The Dutch competition authorities are investigating alleged collusion between the two.