Tech and telecoms perk up after slump

The London Stock Exchange rallied as positive news from the US provided tech and telecom stocks with a much-needed boost.

The London Stock Exchange rallied as positive news from the US provided tech and telecom stocks with a much-needed boost.

By the close of a mixed session, the FTSE-100 Index of leading shares was ahead 21.7 points at 6197.9.

Among the telecoms, Colt Telecom, BT, Vodafone and Orange, all of which had fallen heavily on Wednesday, have perked up in trading.

Colt was up 84p at £14.70, BT was up 22½p at 590p, Telewest Communications was up 12¼p at 139½p, Vodafone rose 5¾p to 216¼p and Orange was 14p stronger at 573p.

Tech risers included telecoms equipment group Marconi, up 24p at 603p, Electrocomponents, up 23p at 665p, computer services group Logica, ahead 52p at £16.85 and chip designer Arm, up 24p at 443p.

Among those heading south, railways' operator Railtrack was leading the Footsie fallers' board, off more than 5%, or 53½p at 956p.

But the main drag on the markets was coming from oil giants and utilities, with Shell down 9p at 578p and BP Amoco off 10p at 578p.

Among the utilities, United Utilities was down 14p at 606p, PowerGen was off 12p at 688p, National Grid was down 10½p at 623½p and Scottish Power was 9p weaker at 472p.

The biggest Footsie risers were Telewest Communications up 12¼p at 139½p, CMG up 59p at 950p, South African Breweries ahead 35p at 565p, and 3i Group up 83p at £14.00.

The biggest fallers were Railtrack down 53½p at 956p, Diageo off 35½p at 682½p, Cadbury Schweppes down 18½p at 450p, and Boots off 20½p at 604½p.

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