Tech stock gets a boost


The FTSE 100 Index made small gains in early trading yesterday (Thurs), helped by rises in tech and telecom stocks.

After an hour trading the Footsie was up 14.4 points at 5142, reversing a fall on wednesday when shares were hit in part by a disappointing statement from US chip maker Intel.

Yesterday, however, shares were helped by better news on the technology front, including figures from Compaq and Yahoo!.

In London, tech shares on the rise included computer services group Logica, up 14p at 618p and software firm Sage up 6p at 247p.

Upbeat figures from German mobile group Deutsche Telekom helped telecoms stocks, with mmO2 up 1p at 88p, Vodafone rising 3p at 165p, BT up 3p at 245p, Cable & Wireless up 4p at 320p and Orange 9p ahead at 597p.

Retailing stocks had a quiet day after a flood of trading statements over the last week kept investors busy. Among those reporting yesterday was chemist Boots, down a penny at 600p.

The group posted a small rise in festive sales but said it was not satisfied with trading over the Christmas period.

Body Shop International recorded flat like-for-like sales, with a good performance from the UK but a fall in sales in the US. Shares were unmoved at 110p.