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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.

Sunday newspaper round-up: British Steel, Moody's, Christmas

(Sharecast News) - British Steel is planning to let go 2,000 employees amid a push by its Chinese owners to radically overhaul its operations and cut pollution. As many as 2,000 people could be let go as part of the turnaround plans, two people familiar with the company's thinking said, although no final decisions had yet been taken. The cost reductions are understood to be a critical part of plans to convert from blast furnaces to electric ark furnaces, which could unlock over £1bn in fresh funding from its owner, Jingye Group. - The Sunday Times

Ratings agency Moody's has revised the outlook for the UK's sovereign debt from 'negative' to 'stable', arguing that policy was now again predictable, unlike in 2022 when Liz Truss announced her mini-budget. The rating on the country's debt meanwhile was kept at Aa3. Structural pressures on spending and relatively elevated inflation posed risks to the government's fiscal plans but the agency still anticipated that fiscal policy would tighten over the coming years. - The Financial Mail on Sunday

Britons will purchase fewer items and less expensive ones this Christmas - particularly online - due to the cost of living crisis. According to GlobalData, over the last three months of 2023, total spending will increase by 3.4% to reach approximately £110bn, but shoppers will be looking out for bargains. And the sharp increase in prices meant that in real terms spending would be down year-on-year. Key to that outcome, the savings built up during the pandemic had now been nearly run down. - Guardian

The UK economy is on a knife-edge with the war between Israel and Hamas and the risk of a broader regional conflict loom in the background. And further rate increases risk tipping the stalling economy into an unnecessary recession. Furthermore, the Chancellor should push back if the OBR tries to push him into tax increases, among other reasons because the OBR has been shown to be systematically too pessimistic. Yet while one is relatively sanguine about the outlook for activity and prices, geopolitics is a very large blot on the landscape, particularly the risk that Iran might try to blockade the Straits of Hormuz. - The Sunday Telegraph

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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
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(Sharecast News) - The government is investing more than £55m in expanding facial recognition systems - including vans that will scan crowded high streets - as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offence of assaulting a retail worker. - 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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