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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.

Europe midday: Shares slip into red after positive start

(Sharecast News) - European shares slipped into the red at midday after a positive start to the session as renewed strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen in response to attacks on Red Sea shipping tempered sentiment. The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index was down 0.18% at 472.01 in early deals with all major bourses now lower. Markets in Asia were up as the Bank of Japan kept interest rates unchanged.

"Although hopes for super-early rate cuts have dissipated there are still expectations that with inflation heading in the right direction in the US, policymakers will go easier. The S&P 500 crept even higher to fresh new levels, and the expectations are that this will support a slightly higher open again in Europe," saidHargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

Meanwhile the US has carried out its eighth round of airstrikes against targets in Yemen on Monday, which thePentagon said was "proportionate and necessary". Houthi militants, backed by Iran, have been attacking merchant ships in the Red Sea, forcing vessels to take longer routes to port, adding to costs and creating delays.

In the UK, the government borrowed much less than expected last month, according to data released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics.

Public sector borrowing, excluding banks, rose £7.8bn in December, which was below the £14.1bn economists were expecting.

It was also £8.4bn below the amount borrowed a year earlier and marked the lowest borrowing for the month of December since 2019.

In equity news, Logitech fell 4.5% lower after reporting a fall in sales.

French healthcare firm Sanofi fell after it agreed to purchase the development project INBRX-101 from its parent company Inhibrx in a deal worth $2.2bn.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for

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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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