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SHARES closed modestly lower after positive developments in the Kosovo conflict helped them off their lows. The FTSE 100 ended 7.2 points down to 6348.8 after news of a Serb troop withdrawal helped to pare earlier losses.

The index had been down as much as 75 points in the morning on fears of an interest-rate rise in the UK and US. A weak British Retail Consortium survey, leaked t ahead of publication today, also eased fears of a rate hike. The midcap ended 18.6 lower at 5,843.3; the small cap rose 4.8 to 2,583.2.