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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 slip as World Bank warns of hit to global growth

(Sharecast News) - European shares fell at the open on Wednesday as the World Bank warned the war between Israel and Hamas would hit global economic growth. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 0.06% after weaker sessions in the US and Asia.

"Negative sentiment has descended about the prospects for the global economy after warnings from the World Bank about the knock-on effect of conflict in the Middle East," said Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter.

"The bank is forecasting that trade and investment will also be stifled by conflict. Although oil has ticked back up with supply issues rearing up again amid fears the Gaza-Israel war will escalate, metals prices have largely fallen back, putting pressure on mining stocks."

Oil prices gained as fears that the Israel-Hamas war would escalate into a broader conflict, along with continued attacks on shipping by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi militants on shipping in the Red Sea. Brent Crude was up 0.27% to $77.80 a barrel.

In equity news, shares in UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's fell despite strong Christmas sales and maintenance of annual guidance as analysts noted weakness in its general merchandise and clothing operations.

Dutch insurer NN Group made strong gains after reaching a €360m settlement on a long-running fight over index-linked products. A court last September last year said the company had at various points offered customers insufficient information about the costs linked to its products.

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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