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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 open: Shares flat ahead of central bank meetings; China data weighs

(Sharecast News) - European stocks were flat at the opening session of the week as investors turned their attention to central bank meetings this week for further clues on the future path of interest rates. The pan-regional Stoxx 600 index had barely moved the needle in early deals, with most major bourses in the red. The US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and Bank of England all publish rate decisions this week.

Sentiment was also tempered by data released over the weekend showing China was moving deeper into deflationary territory as consumer prices fell 0.5% year on year in November, with food prices slumping and core inflation unmoved.

"With global growth expected to slow further in 2024, there will be little support coming from overseas, while the property market's woes keep consumer confidence subdued. The clamour for a big bazooka of stimulus is growing to restore vigour to the economy," said Hargreaves Lansdown analysts Susannah Streeter.

"Authorities also have their eye on debt laden local authorities which pose another risk to financial stability. Hopes are being focused on the Central Economic Work Conference later this month for more medicine to try and put the economy on the road to better health.''

In equity news, Syensqo shares jumped in early trade on the specialty chemicals firm's first day of trading since its spin-off from Belgian multinational Solvay.

German renewable energy company Encavis fell 5% after Morgan Stanley cut the stock to underweight from equal-weight.

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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