Skip to main content

LONDON -- The sun is shining down on the London market, as a combination of positive factors pushed the FTSE 100 above strong technical resistance at 6450 points. By midday, the Footsie had climbed 34 points to 6454.

The initial impetus came from Wall Street's storming overnight performance. In addition, firmer oil prices meant that both the heavily weighted

BP Amoco

(BP) - Get BP Plc Report

and

Shell

(SC) - Get Santander Consumer USA Holdings, Inc. Report

were likely to be back in vogue after Monday's minor losses. BP added 12.5p to 601.5 ($9), while Shell gained 9p to 567.5.

However, every time the market has tried to rally recently, an event from overseas has conspired to take the steam out of the rise. The most likely spoilsport on Tuesday is the German auction for third-generation mobile-phone licenses, which is entering its last stage. Regulators have instituted new rules to slow the exponential growth of the bids, which have topped 80 billion marks ($37 billion).

FTSE 100 heavyweight

Vodafone

(VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report

is clearly lagging the rest of the market and by midday was down 0.25p at 276.25, as concerns grow that the company is about to pay too much for its foothold in the German market.

British Telecom

(BTY)

also looks heavy, down 2p to 832.

TheStreet Recommends

Among the European bidders,

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Dynatrace, Inc. Report

rose 1.44 euros to 49.79 ($45.08),

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Telefónica SA Report

rose 0.48 euro to 25 and

France Telecom

(FTE)

was up 0.05 euro to 24.9.

Renewed enthusiasm for tech stocks resurrected the shares of optical chipmaker

Bookham Technology

(BKHM)

. The company was the main index's biggest percentage gainer, rising 265p to

37.80.

Psion

, the palm-top maker and member of mobile-phone venture

Symbian

, was also back in favor and soared 18p to 763. Monday's rally in semiconductor stocks in the U.S., which followed through into Asia, triggered demand for

ARM Holdings

(ARMHY)

. The shares reached a session high of 693p, before easing back to stand 30.5p to the good at 695.

All this helped lift the

Techmark

index 39.2 points to 3561.56. Europe's other stock markets were higher. The

CAC 40

in Paris was up 61.6 to 6670.9 in extremely light trade, as banks and the government were shut for a holiday. The

Xetra Dax

in Frankfurt was up 37.5 to 7369.1 and the

Neuer Markt's

tech-heavy

Nemax 50

index was 98.3 higher to 5797.3.

Germany's biggest utility

E.ON

(EON)

rose 0.72 euro to 59.00, after

Goldman Sachs

rated the company market outperformer.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

fell 0.65 euro to 61.45 and

Siemens

was up 1.25 euros to 166.75.