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UK food inflation cools

A person shops at a supermarket in London, United Kingdom.

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Inflation in U.K. food prices eased to 6.7% in December from 7.7% the previous month, figures compiled by the British Retail Consortium showed.

It brings price rises to the lowest level since June 2022.

Overall shop price inflation was unchanged at 4.3%.

“Retailers will continue to do all they can to keep prices down in 2024, but there are obstacles on the road ahead. New border checks for EU imports, hundreds of millions more on business rates bills from April,” Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said.

— Jenni Reid

CNBC Pro: Goldman Sachs says these 3 Big Oil companies ‘screen as attractive’ – giving one 33% upside

Energy stocks may have had a tough year, but Goldman Sachs sees promise in European Big Oil – naming integrated oil stocks to play the theme in the new year.

“We are currently at a turning point as EU Big Oils started to outperform U.S. Big Oils, to potentially close their 40% valuation gap against their U.S. peers,” the investment bank’s analysts said.

The investment bank’s positive outlook on Big Oil comes even oil prices were pushed up as major shipping lines and oil transporters suspended travel through the Red Sea. The 2024 outlook for oil has also been underwhelming, with the International Energy Agency expecting the slowdown to continue next year.

Even so, Goldman noted that “EU Big Oils now screen as attractive thanks to enhanced buyback programs, leading to double digit cash returns to shareholders,” naming its top picks to play.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

Dutch government partially revokes ASML’s chip equipment export license to China

The Dutch government has partially revoked semiconductor equipment maker ASML‘s export license to China for two of its systems used in manufacturing advanced chips.

“A license for the shipment of NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i lithography systems in 2023 has recently been partially revoked by the Dutch government, impacting a small number of customers in China,” said ASML in a statement.

NXT:2050i and NXT:2100i are deep ultraviolet lithography machines used in the volume production of the most advanced logic and memory chips.

The company said it does not expect the move to have a material impact on its financial outlook for 2023.

ASML has been restricted by the Dutch government from exporting its extreme ultraviolet lithography machines to China, in a bid to contain China’s chip making tech. ASML has not shipped the equipment to China so far.

— Sheila Chiang

CNBC Pro: Time to invest in alternative assets? The pros aren’t so sure

From family offices to financial advisors and beyond, interest in alternative assets appears to be growing — but the pros appear mixed on whether retail investors should get invested.

For Caesar Sengupta, CEO of financial services firm Arta Finance, there is “incredible value in private markets” and the assets shouldn’t be overlooked.

Elsewhere, Saxo’s chief investment officer Steen Jakobsen argues that retail investors need to err on the side of caution when dabbling in alternatives.

“I think you need to be more than a private retail investor to go into these — my advice is don’t buy it, even if it’s priced to perfection,” he said, adding what asset classes he is bullish on for 2024.

CNBC Pro subscribers can read more here.

— Amala Balakrishner

European markets: Here are the opening calls

European markets are set to open higher Tuesday as investors kick off trading in 2024.

The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index is expected to open 20 points higher at 7,742, Germany’s DAX up 48 points at 16,799 and France’s CAC up 27 points at 7,570, according to data from IG. 

There are no major data releases Tuesday.

— Holly Ellyatt

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