LONDON -- The U.S. elections rather overshadowed proceedings in Europe on Tuesday, with the markets ending a relatively quiet day mixed.

In London, the rise in Vodafone ( VOD) alone was enough to keep the FTSE 100 in positive territory. Vodafone closed 15p, or 6.2%, higher at 258 ($3.72). The stock has been trading in a range between 234p and 295p for some time, and technically it may have reached a bottom Monday, prompting today's bounce.

The sheer size of Vodafone's weighting meant it accounted for 40 points on the FTSE 100, which closed 36 points higher to 6467. Meanwhile, the Techmark 100 finished a rather subdued day's trading 36 points lower to 3462.

British Telecom ( BTY) also closed higher, up 10.5p, or 1.4%, at 278.5, helped by news that British Telecom's business Internet subsidiary Ignite has struck a $300 million deal with Cisco ( CSCO) to build out its Internet backbone.

However, the rise in these two stocks was countered by weakness elsewhere in the sector. Colt Telecom ( COLT) reported good third-quarter earnings, but investors remain worried by the company's admission that it has yet to appoint a replacement for departing boss Paul Chisholm. Colt announced earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation, or EBITDA, of 2.4 million in the third quarter, compared with 0.6 million last year. Analysts had expected the numbers to be between 1.5 million and 2 million. The shares extended earlier losses to close 126p lower, or 5.9%, at 20.05.

In the oil sector, BP ( BP) reported that third-quarter profits doubled to $3.8 billion as a result of higher crude prices, and its shares closed 8p higher, or 1.4%, at 576. This helped Shell ( SC), which ended 12p, or 2.2%, higher at 552p.

Blue-chip technology stocks succumbed to selling pressure ahead of a clutch of earnings results later this week. Bookham Technology ( BKHM) fell 134p, or 5.5%, to 22.83, while Baltimore Technologies ( BALT) fell to a session low of 502.5p before recovering to end unchanged at 515p. Both companies will report earnings Wednesday.

On the Continent, the CAC-40 in Paris closed up 33.8 points, or 0.5%, at 6385.1, and the Xetra Dax in Frankfurt was off 49.0, or 0.7%, to 7087.3 late in German trading. The Neuer Markt's tech-heavy Nemax 50 index was down 63.9, or 1.4%, to 4599.7.

German semiconductor maker Infineon ( IFX) plunged 3.03 euros, or 5.6%, to 51.50 ($59.80), as slumping demand for chips overshadowed solid fourth-quarter earnings.

Infineon parent Siemens ( SMAWY) fell 5.84 euros, or 3.8%, to 148.05, a day ahead of releasing its own earnings.

France Telecom ( FTE) closed down 0.30 euros, or 0.3%, at 119.70 euros, after reporting nine-month sales largely in line with expectations.

Elsewhere, Deutsche Telekom ( DT) rose 0.51 euros, or 1.2%, to 42.00 euros, and Telefonica ( TEF) fell 0.17 euros, or 0.8%, to 22.57.