Europe ends mostly higher
Paris, London indexes rally behind oil, telecoms but Dax dragged by Dow
LONDON (CNNfn) - Europe's main markets ended mostly higher Thursday, as indexes in Paris and London were underpinned by oil and telecom stock strength while Frankfurt's leading gauge got caught in a downdraft from Wall Street.|
London's FTSE 100 index edged up 14.3 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 6,131.9, with ad agency WPP Group (WPP) atop the list of gainers, up 5.3 percent. Index heavyweights Vodafone (VOD), the world's top cell-phone service company, and oil titan BP Amoco (BP-A) each rose more than 1 percent.
In Paris, the CAC 40 blue-chip index added 34.58 points, or 0.6 percent, to 5,990.70. Telecom equipment maker Alcatel (PCGE) rose 3.2 percent and oil company TotalFina Elf (PFP) gained 2.9 percent.
The Xetra Dax in Frankfurt sank 96.37 points, or 1.47 percent, to 6,465.26, mirroring a drop for blue-chip stocks on Wall Street.
Elsewhere, Amsterdam's AEX index closed up 0.6 percent, the MIB30 in Milan ended down 0.9 percent, and the SMI in Zurich finished with a gain of 0.4 percent.
click here for the biggest movers on the ftse 100 in London
click here for the biggest movers on the dax 30 in Frankfurt
click here for the biggest movers on the cac 40 in Paris
The pan-European FTSE Eurotop 300, a broad index of the region's largest stocks, climbed 0.6 percent, with the information technology sub-index rising 2.1 percent - but down considerably from its 5.9 percent gain earlier. The oil and gas component was up 2.6 percent after Brent crude oil prices in London jumped to a new 10-year high amid rising tensions in the Middle East.
The oil price spike cast a pall on Wall Street. The Nasdaq composite shed 0.4 percent while the Dow Jones industrial average sank 325.56 points, or 3.1 percent, to 10,088.23.
In the currency market, the euro weakened to 86.34 U.S. cents from 86.80 cents in New York late Wednesday.
European chip shares got support from better-than-expected earnings reported by U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD: Research, Estimates) after the market closed Wednesday.
French tech stocks generally held up. Chipmaker STMicroelectronics (PSTM) climbed 2.8 percent in Paris and Cap Gemini (PCAP) rose 1.3 percent.
U.K. fiber-optic component maker Bookham Technology (BHM) rose 3.6 percent in London, after losing more than 14 percent in the prior session.
Telecom shares also got a piece of the action, with British network operator Energis (EGS) up 3 percent and France Telecom (PFTE) up 2.1 percent.
Among banking shares, Royal Bank of Scotland (BSCT) gained 2.7 percent in London but in Paris Société Générale (PGLE) fell 2.2 percent and Commerzbank (FCBK) shed 3.6 percent in Frankfurt.
British bank Barclays (BARC) was up 1.1 percent after teaming up with investment bank Nomura International to say it will open an Internet shopping portal later this year under the Barclaycard brand.
Among gainers in the media sector, media and utilities company Vivendi (PEX) shed 1.7 percent and its 49-percent-owned affiliate Canal Plus (PAN) tumbled 5.3 percent amid concerns European Union regulators may extend a probe of their three-way merger with Canada's Seagram (VO: Research, Estimates).
Elsewhere, British financial news and data firm Reuters Group (RTR) rose 3.1 percent.
Outside London's FTSE 100, British conglomerate Tomkins (TOMK) added 2.2 percent, pulling back from an earlier 6.1-percent gain after CEO Greg Hutchings resigned amid "evidence of some corporate excesses in the past," according to David Newlands, who became executive chairman. Newlands earlier this week said he commissioned an external firm of auditors to carry out a review of some of Tomkins' business practices under Hutchings's long reign.
French luxury goods maker LVMH (PMC) added 1.3 percent. The company had attempted to sell its remaining 2.9 percent stake in Britain's
Diageo (DGE), but pulled back in the hope of an even higher price, market sources said.
Among the handful of gainers in Frankfurt, retailer Karstadt Quelle (FKAR) jumped 4.9 percent.
-- from staff and wire reports