June 14, 2017 / 7:37 AM / 3 months ago

European shares get tech support, Hexagon soars on M&A talk

LONDON, June 14 (Reuters) - Recovering technology stocks gave European shares another leg up on Wednesday, while deal chatter sent Sweden’s Hexagon soaring to a record high.

The pan-European STOXX 600 benchmark and its euro zone counterpart rose 0.4 percent, in line with blue-chips with broad investor focus on the U.S. Fed rate decision later in the day in which the bank is widely expected to raise rates.

In the U.K., the FTSE 100 was little changed while midcaps rose 0.6 percent.

Hexagon stole the limelight, jumping more than 16 percent to a new record high after a Wall Street Journal report that the Swedish measurement firm was in talks for a potential sale to undisclosed buyers.

Technology stocks were the best-performing for the second session running, up 1.3 percent and clawing back after a nosedive fueled by jitters over valuations, particularly in the U.S.

Chipmakers Infineon, Dialog Semiconductor and ASML all gained 1.2 to 1.5 percent.

British housebuilder Bellway gained ground after its trading update showed robust demand for homes did not slow ahead of a national election on June 8.

The builder’s upbeat tone also lifted peers Barratt Development and Taylor Wimpey.

And Italian banks maintained their strength with Banco BPM was again among top Italian gainers after saying it would repurchase retail bonds from smaller Italian lenders for 123 million euros.

Meanwhile Euronext fell to the bottom of the European index after BNP Paribas and Societe Generale sold shares in the firm for 45 euros per share.

Euro zone industrial production data later in the day will give investors a steer on the underlying health of the economy, while British wage growth and unemployment figures could add to evidence of a squeeze on Britons’ paychecks. (Reporting by Helen Reid, Editing by Vikram Subhedar)

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