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Gloomy IEA forecast spooks the oil market

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Brent crude retreated as much as 2.9pc to $61.36 per barrel with London’s oil producers sinking with oil prices. Mid-cap firms Tullow Oil and Premier Oil pulled back 10.2p to 181.6p and 4p to 72.3p, respectively, while oil giant BP slipped 3.9p to 503p.

Elsewhere, Spire Healthcare suffered a mysterious and short-lived plunge ahead of Mediclinic’s Monday deadline to submit an official bid for the FTSE 250 firm, which it already has a 29.9pc stake in.

Spire went from a 0.4pc gain to a 2.1pc loss in a matter of minutes with trading volumes doubling. Spire then gradually recovered to finish 3.1 higher at 299.2p.

Expectations-smashing German GDP growth and weaker-than-expected UK inflation easing any hawkish pressures off the Bank of England lingering from the recent uptick in economic data sent sterling sliding on currency markets against the euro for a second straight day.

Sterling fell as much as 0.9pc to €1.1142 against the euro and the currency’s dominance on forex markets quickly extinguished the DAX and CAC 40’s rebound with Europe’s stocks extending their losing streak to a fourth day.

The pound’s troubles mitigated the FTSE 100’s 0.76-point nudge lower to 7414.42. Vodafone’s 11.1p climb to 227.1p on a profit forecast upgrade and Tesco’s 11.1p to 188.1p rally after the competition watchdog gave its merger with Booker preliminary clearance offset miners sinking on China’s disappointing industrial production figure for October.

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