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(Close): After spending most of the morning in positive territory the FTSE 100 closed down lower, with airline Easyjet leading the fallers.

Shares in Easyjet fell 94p, or 6.4%, to 1,365p after Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut its rating on the carrier to "underperform".

The benchmark FTSE 100 index closed down 13.83 points at 6,743.94.

Drinks group Diageo was among the top risers, up 18.5p, or 1%, at 1,866p on rumours it could merge with SAB Miller.

Shares in drugmaker Shire had risen sharply in early trade on speculation it could receive a higher takeover bid from suitor AbbVie, and after the firm said it had received a $410m (£241m) tax refund from Canadian authorities.

However, as the morning progressed the shares lost some of their gains and they eventually ended the day flat at 4,570p.

Sports Direct shares fell 17p. or 2.4%, to 706.5p. The sports goods retailer denied speculation that it was mulling a takeover bid for shoe retailer Office.

On the currency markets, the pound edged up 0.04% against the dollar to $1.7043, and rose 0.1% against the euro at 1.2494 euros.