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Europe midday: Shares muted ahead of US CPI data; HL hit by FCA warning

(Sharecast News) - European shares slipped into the red as investors looked ahead to US inflation data, while Britain's FTSE 100 outperformed after strong jobs figures. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.05% to 473.48 in early deals with all major bourses higher after a strong session in the US overnight. The FTSE 100 rose 0.42% after figures released earlier by the Office for National Statistics showed that the amount of people out of work remained unchanged in October, while wage growth cooled.

The unemployment rate was largely unchanged in the three months to October, at 4.2%. Also largely unchanged was the economic inactivity rate, at 20.9%.

Annual growth in total pay was 7.2%, or 7.3% once bonuses were stripped out. That compares to last month's growth of 7.7% and was a smaller increase than analysts had been expecting, with consensus for 7.5% growth in regular pay.

In Germany, investor sentiment ticked higher this month with the latest ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment came in at 12.8, three points up on November's reading and well above consensus, for 8.8.

The assessment of the current economic situation also improved, by 2.7 points, though it remained firmly in negative territory at -77.1.

Investors are also looking ahead to a triple-whammy of rate decisions this week with the Federal Reserve due on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank on Thursday.

In the meantime, eyes are on the US headline consumer price index number later on Tuesday.

"CPI is expected to nudge down a notch to 3.1% year on year with core price increases to remain flat at 4.0%. Should the Fed's outlook remain more hawkish than the market, the current optimism is likely to fade," said Derren Nathan, head of equity research at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"That could see safe havens, such as gold, come back such as gold into play, but for now the price of bullion remains some $150 per oz lower than the record highs seen at the beginning of the month."

"As for oil, the price of Brent Crude has nudged up to $76.6 per barrel, still a long way from the annual peak of nearly $95 seen just a few months ago, and concerns about over supply remain firmly in place."

In equity news, Carl Zeiss Meditec climbed more than 8% in early trade after the German medical technology company beat annual revenue expectations and offered a more positive 2023/24 outlook than the market was expecting.

UK online investment platform Hargreaves Lansdown fell more than 6% after the UK's Financial Conduct Authority announced it had written to 42 companies warning of possible intervention on client charges on cash deposits after they were accused of "double dipping" on fees as interest rates grew.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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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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