Trade deal optimism lifts European shares further as auto, tech rally

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STAFF(Reuters)
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European shares rose further on Wednesday with the export-oriented autos and tech sectors leading the way on growing optimism over a possible trade deal between the U.S. and China.

The pan-European STOXX 600 <.STOXX> benchmark hovered around its highest level in around three weeks, up 0.7 percent by 0841 GMT, while the UK's FTSE <.FTSE> hit its highest in five weeks, up 0.6 percent, and Germany's DAX <.GDAXI> was up 0.9 percent.

Chinese and U.S. teams ended trade talks in Beijing on Wednesday that lasted longer than expected and officials said details will be released soon, raising hopes an all-out trade war that could badly disrupt the global economy can be avoided.

Autos <.SXAP> rose 2.5 percent, making them the biggest sectoral gainer in early deals, while tech <.SX8> stocks added 1.4 percent, shrugging off reports that Apple had cut planned first-quarter production for its three new iPhones.

AMS, however, which is more exposed exposure to the newest iPhone models, fell 4.2 percent to the bottom of the STOXX 600, further hit by a downgrade at Credit Suisse.

Luxury stocks, which are heavily exposed to the China, were also in demand with LVMH up 1.7 percent, on expectations a trade deal could ease pressure on the slowing Chinese market.

Elsewhere the focus was on earnings updates.

TGS fell 2.4 percent after the Oslo-listed seismic surveyor posted a smaller-than-expected increase in quarterly revenues and cautioned on exploration spending this year.

Britain's third-largest builder Taylor Wimpey said indicators for 2019 sales were solid, sending its shares up 3.9 percent.