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Important information: The value of investments can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. This is a third-party news feed and may not reflect Fidelity’s views.

Wednesday preview: Fed decision, China factory PMI in focus

(Sharecast News) - Investors' focus on Wednesday would be squarely on the U.S. central bank's most recent policy decision. At 1900 GMT, the Federal Reserve was expected to announce that it was keeping the target range for the Fed funds rate at 5.25-5.50%.

But were markets right in anticipating five interest rates cuts over the course of 2024?

There was also interest in whether - and when - the Fed would slow the pace of its so-called quantitative tightening.

The quarterly U.S. Employment Cost Index at 1330 GMT was also likely to draw the markets' attention.

Overnight, China's National Bureau of Statistics would release its purchasing managers' index for the country's factory sector covering the month of January.

Across the Channel, monthly unemployment and retail sales figures were due out in Germany.

On the corporate side of things meanwhile, Alphabet and Microsoft were both due to release their quarterly earnings reports on Tuesday night, after the New York close.

Shares of both companies were trading at record highs, helped by the recent excitement - when not frenzy - around the promise of artificial intelligence.

The former was seen raking in fourth quarter revenues of $85.3bn for earnings per share of $1.59.

In the case of Microsoft, consensus was for first quarter revenues of $61.1bn for EPS of $2.77.

Wednesday 31 January

INTERIMS

ITM Power

INTERIM DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

Amedeo Air Four Plus Limited Red Ord NPV, Mitie Group, Smith (DS), Triad Group

QUARTERLY PAYMENT DATE

Balanced Commercial Property Trust Limited , CT Private Equity Trust, Middlefield Canadian Income PCC

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

Chicago PMI (US) (14:45)

Crude Oil Inventories (US) (15:30)

Employment Cost Index (US) (13:30)

Import Price Index (GER) (07:00)

MBA Mortgage Applications (US) (12:00)

Retail Sales (GER) (07:00)

Unemployment Rate (GER) (08:55)

Q4

GSK

FINALS

Abrdn Private Equity Opportunities Trust, Banco Santander S.A., GSK

AGMS

Imperial Brands , Mobile Streams, Oxford Metrics, Schroder Asia Pacific Fund

TRADING ANNOUNCEMENTS

SSE

FINAL DIVIDEND PAYMENT DATE

BP 8% Cum 1st Prf, BP 9% 2nd Prf, DotDigital Group, Focusrite, Leeds Building Society 13 3/8% Bearing Shares, Lowland Investment Co, S and U 31.5% Prf. Cum. Prf 12.5P

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Important information: This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to one of Fidelity’s advisers or an authorised financial adviser of your choice. When you are thinking about investing in shares, it’s generally a good idea to consider holding them alongside other investments in a diversified portfolio of assets. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns.

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