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Europe: Shares steady as tech-financials rotation continues

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[LONDON] European shares see-sawed on Tuesday with sectors strongly diverging as a rotation from tech stocks into financials, bolstered by the US tax bill, gathered pace.

Eurozone blue chips, fresh from their best day in five months, held steady, while the broader euro zone index edged up 0.1 per cent as strength in banking and consumer stocks outweighed weak tech and mining sectors.

Germany's industrials and autos-heavy DAX outperformed peers, up 0.1 per cent, while Italy's FTSE MIB was buoyed by banks Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit .

Euro zone banks maintained positive momentum after their best gains in two months on Monday, up 0.3 per cent.

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Societe Generale and BNP Paribas were among the biggest boosts to France's CAC 40.

Following the pattern in Wall Street and Asian trading overnight, chipmakers led the tech sector down as investors switched from highly valued tech stocks into financials.

Chipmaker Ams was among the biggest fallers, down 2.4 per cent. It's by far the best-performing European stock this year, up 213 per cent.

Ams peer and iPhone supplier Dialog Semiconductor, which sank 24 per cent on fears crucial customer Apple could in-source its chip production, bucked the tech trend, recovering slightly to trade up 1.7 per cent.

Miners were the worst-performing as metals prices slipped, shrugging off positive Chinese services data as investors took profits.

Retailers were set for a rare positive day, the best-performing sector after Goldman Sachs upgraded UK supermarket Tesco to a "buy", boosting its shares by 3 per cent.

Provident Financial sank 15 per cent in early deals after UK regulator FCA opened an investigation into its Moneybarn unit.

REUTERS