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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.

Thursday newspaper round-up: Energy bills, electric cars, oil prices

(Sharecast News) - Households will begin the new year with a 5% increase in energy bills after the regulator raised the price cap to an average of £1,928 a year for the typical gas and electricity bill. Ofgem raised the maximum price that energy suppliers can charge their customers from £1,834 a year for the typical household between October to December, after a rise in global gas market prices after the start of the Israel-Hamas war last month. - Guardian Britain has downgraded its forecasts for the takeup of electric cars over the next seven years as higher financing costs and rising energy prices threaten to cut the incentive for drivers to replace combustion engines. The latest forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), released alongside the chancellor's autumn statement, said that just 38% of new vehicles sold in the UK in 2027 would be electric, down from the 67% it predicted in March. - Guardian

Bank losses across the Eurozone are beginning to mount as high interest rates hammer households and businesses, the European Central Bank has warned. ECB vice-president Luis de Guindos said lenders were beginning to see "early signs of strain" across balance sheets, fuelled by an increase in loan defaults and late repayments. - Telegraph

Oil prices slumped by as much as 5 per cent yesterday after the Opec+ alliance of big producer nations postponed a planned meeting amid an apparent disagreement over the extent of continued output curbs. Brent crude dipped as low as $78.41 at one stage before recovering some of its losses to trade down 1 per cent at about $81.58 a barrel last night. - The Times

Scottish ministers have been accused of ignoring the plight of hundreds of workers whose jobs have been threatened by the closure of the country's only oil refinery. The energy giant Petroineos announced on Wednesday that its oil refinery in Grangemouth will close in spring 2025 because it could no longer compete with overseas rivals. - The Times

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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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