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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.

Friday newspaper round-up: Fuel prices, Microsoft, Aviva

(Sharecast News) - Pressure is mounting on petrol station owners to slash fuel prices after accusations of not passing on falling wholesale costs to drivers. The average price of petrol in the UK fell by 8p a litre in December to 151p and diesel by 9p to 174p, according to the RAC. But the motoring group accused retailers, including the largest supermarkets, of not cutting prices quickly or significantly enough compared with the falls in wholesale costs. - Guardian Microsoft is reportedly in the works to launch a version of its search engine Bing using the artificial intelligence behind ChatGPT, launched by OpenAI. The Information reported the news on Tuesday, citing two people with direct knowledge of the plans. - Guardian

Margaret Thatcher's efforts to turn Britain into a "property-owning democracy" appear to have been reversed after the census revealed that home ownership had plummeted to its lowest level since 1983. The proportion of homes owned in England fell from 64.1pc to 62.3pc between 2011 and 2021, data shows. This is the lowest level since 40 years ago, when the figure was 61.4pc. - Telegraph

Ireland plans to sue the EU for "overreach", as a row between Dublin and Brussels over how to regulate Big Tech escalates. Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) has announced plans to take the European Data Protection Supervision Board (EDPB) to the EU Court of Justice, accusing the Brussels-based body of overstepping its authority. - Telegraph

Manchester's grade II-listed Corn Exchange has been sold to a wealthy Middle Eastern businessman for about £40 million. It had been owned since 2005 by Aviva who paid about £67 million. The insurer also spent £30 million clearing out the old retail units and converting the interior to a hotel, bar and restaurants, including Pizza Express and Zizzi's. - The Times

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(Sharecast News) - Britons must accept that their country was now involved in the Middle East conflict, Tobias Ellwood said. The former defence minister warned that "nobody was in full control" of the growing conflict as more and more countries were sucked in. Ellwood also said that Tehran's strike had taken the conflict into a "new dangerous territory". - Sunday Telegraph
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(Sharecast News) - Everton has paid about £30m in interest charges to an opaque lender associated with a tax exile, corporate records suggest. The charges appear to have reached about £438,000 a week, according to the troubled Premier League club's most recent set of accounts, a figure more than three times the reported wages of the Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. - Guardian
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(Sharecast News) - New post-Brexit UK border controls coming into force later this month will cost British businesses £2bn and fuel higher inflation, according to a report warning that UK-EU trade will be damaged as a result. With less than a month before the introduction of new checks on animal and plant products from 30 April, the insurer Allianz Trade said the controls agreed under Boris Johnson's Brexit deal could add 10% to import costs over the first year. - Guardian

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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