Shares in London close higher after early losses

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Last Updated at 19 Mar 2018, 16:36 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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(Close): Shares in London recovered from early losses helped by a recovery for oil and gas shares.

The FTSE 100 closed 0.3% higher at 6,852 and, with a gain of 2.9%, BG Group was the biggest winner.

BP closed 1.5% higher and Shell added 1.2%, after the secretary-general of OPEC said he thought crude oil prices might have fallen as low as they are likely to go.

On the currency markets, the euro recovered after early falls.

In Asian trade, the euro had briefly hit an 11-year low against the US dollar of $1.1088 following the Greek election result.

But by late trading on Monday the euro was 0.6% higher against the dollar at $1.12680.

The pound was little changed against the euro at €1.3381, while against the dollar, sterling was up 0.6% at $1.5076.

Investors welcomed news of another bid by IAG for Irish airline Aer Lingus. IAG's shares were up 2.4% after Aer Lingus said it was considering the higher offer of €2.55 a share.

Shares in energy firm SSE rose 1.6%. SSE became the latest of the major energy firms to announce a cut to gas prices for domestic customers.

SSE also said it expected full-year profits for the current financial year to be similar to that achieved in 2013-14. It confirmed that it expected to increase its full-year dividend by at least RPI inflation.

Outside the FTSE 100, shares in Flybe sank 23% after it said it only expected to break even in the year to March, against expectations of a £9m profit.

The carrier said that it had seen increased competition on its routes from London City airport, and that this would "extend the period of time that these routes take to reach maturity and deliver the full contribution we expect".