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Europe open: Shares up on US tech rally; Wizz soars as routes reinstated

(Sharecast News) - European markets rallied at the open on Friday after a strong showing from tech stocks on Wall Street overnight, as investors turned their attention to US job numbers later in the day.

After a deluge of corporate and economic released this week, the pan-European Stoxx 600 index was up 0.39% in early trade at 485.73, with all major bourses higher.

"The market was hit by a wave of tech earnings on Thursday night, and it seems these huge names are still carrying the market on its back," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Sophie Lund-Yates

Interest rates in the US and UK were left on hold as expected with policymakers still divided on whether inflation is under control. The BoE's policy committee was split three ways on cutting, holding or raising.

"This is the first three-way split on whether to cut, hold or raise since 2008. Interest rate cuts are now explicitly on the table and if inflation hits 2% in April (as Bank of England forecasts suggest it could) and growth remains anaemic, the pressure to bring forward the timing of cuts will increase," said Tom Lloyd-Jones, chief investment manager at Zenzic Capital.

"The tone of the commentary feels similar to that of US Federal Reserve but there are clear differences in economic performance between UK and US. While the Bank of England will be loathe to move ahead of the Fed - the leader of the orchestra - it may need to."

US Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell on Thursday dampened expectations that a rate cut could also come as early as March.

In equity news, Wizz Air shares soared as the budget carrier reported a sharp jump in January passenger numbers and announced the reopening of routes to the Middle East, despite the war between Israel and Hamas.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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