* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 pct
* TUI extends post-results rise
* Oil and gas firms suffer as U.S. crude falls
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, Aug 14 (Reuters) - European stocks edged higher on Friday, buoyed by auto and travel stocks, although they remained on course for a weekly decline after China moved to weaken its currency.
After devaluing the yuan early in the week, China’s central bank said on Thursday the country’s strong economy meant there was no reason for the currency to fall further, helping to calm jittery global markets.
Those reassurances helped the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 close 0.9 percent higher on Thursday. However, it remains down 2.5 percent for the week, its biggest weekly decline in nearly a month, after China’s devaluation hit mining, auto and luxury stocks.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was up 0.3 percent at 1535.18 points by 0747 GMT, with carmakers continuing to rebound, up 1 percent. But traders said they would monitor the yuan in the coming days before making bigger bets.
“It was quite a shock what the Chinese did, there was no pre-warning. As the dust is still settling, the market is pausing here,” Markus Huber, senior sales trader at Peregrine & Black, said. “If the yuan (stays) halfway stable over the next few days, then confidence is going to come back.”
Carmakers were also boosted by a 2.4 percent rise in Porsche after prosecutors dropped a market manipulation investigation into a member of its board.
Travel and leisure shares also rose. A 3 percent gain by TUI led the FTSEurofirst 300.
TUI’s advance began on Thursday, after it said core earnings would come in at the top end of its forecasts this year. That brought on a spate of broker upgrades and positive comments from banks.
“We think TUI’s Q3 results and new guidance should reassure the market,” analysts at Barclays said in a note, reiterating an “overweight” rating on the stock. “It serves to reinforce our positive stance that TUI’s scale and diversification is under-appreciated.”
Aegon fell 1.8 percent, hit by a cut in target price from ING after it released disappointing results on Thursday.
Among top sectoral fallers on Friday, oil and gas firms dropped 0.4 percent after U.S. crude oil fell below $42 a barrel to prices not seen since March 2009.
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Editing by Larry King