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(Close): London's benchmark index closed higher, helped by an easing of investor concerns over the unrest in Ukraine and Iraq.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.58% at 6,878.49, led by B&Q owner Kingfisher, up 3.7%. Sports Direct gained 3.2%.

BHP Billiton was the main faller, down 5%, after announcing profit figures and a demerger. Investors were hoping for a share buy-back.

Europe's other big share markets, the Cac and Dax, were 0.62% and 1% up.

Persimmon rose 1.05% after the housebuilder reported a 57% rise in half-year profits.

It is the second day of gains for the FTSE 100, and comes as as foreign ministers involved in talks over the Ukraine crisis reported progress. Meanwhile, in the US, a survey showed sentiment among home builders improved in August for a third month.

On currency markets, the pound fell 0.64% against the dollar to 1.66200 US dollars after UK inflation dropped unexpectedly sharply to 1.6%, dampening expectations of an interest rate rise.

Sterling was also lower against the single currency, at just under 1.24820 euros.