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(Close): Shares in energy firms helped to boost the London market on Wednesday as fighting in Iraq sent oil prices higher.

Royal Dutch Shell A and B shares were among the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 share index, adding 1.5% and 1.8% respectively.

BP also notched up gains, closing 1.6% higher.

Overall, the benchmark FTSE 100 closed just in positive territory, up 11.79 points or 0.17% to 6,778.56.

Two of the biggest fallers both lost ground after going ex-dividend. United Utilities and Severn Trent shed 2.8% and 2.1% respectively.

And shares in Premier Foods the owner of Hovis and Mr Kipling cakes, closed down 9.6% at 52p.

The sharp fall came after it said that "subdued" grocery markets meant it no longer expects its leading brands to grow by 2% or 3% this year.

However it said cost cuts meant that profit was still on track to meet expectations.

On the currency markets, the pound slipped 0.09% against the dollar to 1.6949 and fell 0.29% against the euro to 1.2487 euros.