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Oil price plunge hits energy shares



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Last Updated at 11 Sep 2017, 15:36 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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(Close): Shares in energy stocks fell further on Friday as investors continued to react to the sharp fall in oil prices following Thursday's Opec meeting.

The oil producers' cartel said it would maintain production at current levels.

Shares in BG Group fell 8.7% and oil giant BP dropped 1.4% having been lower earlier in the day.

But overall the FTSE 100 index closed just fractionally lower by 0.01% or 0.8 points at 6722.62.

After falling by more than $5 a barrel on Thursday, Brent crude fell further to hit $71.12 a barrel - before recovering to $72.20.

The prospect of cheaper fuel boosted airline shares at first on hopes that fuel bills would be cut. However, some of the early gains were erased. Easyjet was up 1.2%, but shares in British Airways owner IAG were 0.07% lower at the close.

Shares in BT Group were up 4.9p at 410.20p, a rise of 1.2%. On Thursday, the Reuters news agency reported that Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of UK mobile operator 3 Group, was preparing to bid for the EE or O2 mobile businesses. BT Group is currently in talks with both EE and O2 about a possible takeover.

Retail shares rose as the Black Friday sales saw frenzied scenes in UK stores and heavy demand online. Sports Direct shares rose 2.5% and Argos owner Home Retail Group climbed 3.09%.

On the currency markets, the pound fell 0.63% against the dollar to $1.56370 and dropped 0.38% against the euro to €1.2573.