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Oil holds above $40 and drives FTSE100

London Stock ExchangeFri close: Oil prices held above $40 with Brent crude rising 0.57% to $41.78 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate slipping 0.05% to $40.18.

Prices have risen more than 50% from 12-year lows in January, lifted by hints from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that production will be eased.

The oil price rise has driven the FTSE 100 upwards in recent sessions. It finished 0.19% lower today at 6,189.64 points after hitting an intra-day high of 6,237.02, but is not far from its 2016 high of 6,242.32.

In company news, shares in Sports Direct rose ahead of the stock’s demotion to the FTSE 250 next week.

Housebuilders Persimmon, Barratt Developments and Taylor Wimpey declined as traders viewed the sector as fully valued.

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