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Market slips as oil ‘heads for $20’

London Stock ExchangeMon: London stocks reversed gains earlier in the session  to end lower as oil prices reached six-year lows.

Oil companies Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group and BP slid on the FTSE 100 as Brent crude plunged 4.2% to $41.24 per barrel.

There were warnings that global oil prices could fall as low as $20 per barrel next year, as Opec’s decision to abandon a formal production quota exacerbates a supply glut.

The FTSE100 finished 14.8 points lower at 6,223.5.

Earlier sentiment was in support of the US’s robust economy to withstand a hike by the Fed next week, helping offset disappointment over last week’s meagre European Central Bank measures.

EasyJet was among the top FTSE 100 risers today, up 2.4% at £17.14 as the oil price continued to trade at subdued levels, down 0.9% on the day at $42.63 a barrel.

However, the weak oil price saw energy stocks add to Friday’s falls. Shell fell 2.4% to £15.60, BP was down 2.4% at 351p and BG fell 1.2% to £10.13.

On the FTSE 250. Petrofac was down5.9% to 763.4p, Premier Oil dropped 4.8% to 61.9p and Tullow Oil  lost 4% to hit 180.7p.

The biggest mid cap faller was Serco, losing almost 10% after the outsourcing group led by former Aggreko chief Rupert Soames said it expected revenues and trading profits to fall in 2016.

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