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(Close): Shares in London closed almost unchanged after gains earlier in the day.

The FTSE 100 index is up 3.82 at 6689.08.

BHP Billiton shares are up 1.2%. It says it may demerge unwanted assets, which may include aluminium, bauxite and nickel. It wants to focus on commodities including iron ore, copper, coal and petroleum.

More public spatting between Carillion and Balfour Beatty over Carillion's plan to take over the latter.

Balfour has dismissed Carillion's recent deal sweetener, saying it is not worth anything it isn't offering itself.

Carillion is down 4% and Balfour is down less than a penny.

Balfour has rejected two bids already. Carillion has until 21 August to make a final move.

Sterling was unchanged against the dollar at 1.6682, and is down 0.2% against the euro again to 1.246 euros.