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Trade talks and tech fuel rally in European stocks, Investec jumps

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Trade talks and tech fuel rally in European stocks, Investec jumps
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at Frankfurt's stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski   -   Copyright  Ralph Orlowski(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – Led by technology and autos stocks, European benchmarks rose on Friday after Asian markets climbed overnight on hopes of new trade talks between the United States and China, while asset manager Investec shone after announcing a demerger.

The pan-European STOXX 600 was up 0.5 percent by 0725 GMT, set to seal its strongest weekly gains in seven weeks.

Investec <INVP.L> jumped 12 percent to top the STOXX and the FTSE 100 after the company said it would demerge and separately list its asset management arm.

Tech stocks <.SX8P> were among top gainers, up 0.7 percent after Apple climbed further on Wall Street following Europe’s close, fuelling a rebound in the tech sector.

Chipmakers ams <AMS.S>, Infineon <IFXGn.DE>, and Siltronic <WAFGn.DE> were up 2.4 to 6.3 percent. STMicro <STM.MI> got an extra boost when Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded the stock to “neutral”.

Autos <.SXAP> also rose 0.6 percent, building on the previous session’s rise as China and the United States planned a new round of trade talks to defuse a dispute that has disrupted markets.

UK housebuilders Taylor Wimpey <TW.L> and Barratt Development <BDEV.L> were the worst-performing FTSE 100 stocks. They fell 0.8 to 0.9 percent after Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned ministers that a no-deal Brexit could cause house prices to fall by 35 percent over three years, according to the Times.

(Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Larry King)

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