Market Report: Hammerson rises high after new focus on retail

Hammerson was among the gainers as the FTSE 100, swept up by the mining sector, broke through the 5,700 mark last night.

The commercial property group was 8.6p higher at 423.8p after Goldman Sachs issued "buy" advice, citing the promise of Hammerson's new priorities. The broker said that besides cutting back on borrowings, the company seemed to be shifting away from riskier developments and from offices – moves which, when coupled with a growing focus on improving the management of its retail properties, opened the door to more sustainable earnings. That in turn, Goldman explained, promised to underpin growth in net asset values (NAV).

"We believe Hammerson has shifted its focus to deliver better service to retailers that better matches the strong physical qualities of its retail property portfolio. These actions should deliver superior income growth," the broker said, adding that, while the group's limited exposure to the recovering London office market was likely to lead to weaker growth prospects over the next couple of years, its strategy paved the way for "sustainable long-term growth for significantly less risk".

Overall, the markets rallied after hopes of monetary easing in the US triggered weakness in the dollar, sparking gains for the heavily weighted mining sector. As a result, the FTSE 100 moved closer to its April peak of 5,833.73, rising 85.76 points to 5,747, while the FTSE 250 gained 148.44 points to 10,902.

The dollar fell back following the release of the minutes of the last US Federal Reserve interest rates meeting, which supported expectations that policymakers would take further action to increase the money supply in the world's largest economy.

The resultant weakness in the greenback meant that dollar-denominated commodities such as oil and copper were cheaper for holders of currencies. That drove demand on the commodity markets, which swiftly fed through to equities. Vedanta Resources ended as the strongest of the blue chips, rising 131p to 2,347p, while Rio Tinto gained 176p to 4,038p.

Elsewhere, the banking sector was under pressure. Standard Chartered was the weakest, losing 32.5p to 1,876p after unveiling a cash call to bolster its capital buffers in the face of new regulatory requirements. The announcement was well received and the weakness was pinned on technical factors.

In the wider sector, HSBC rose by 7.9p to 671.1p as JP Morgan's earnings report boosted sentiment, but Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland were broadly unchanged at 72.6p, down 0.1p, and 47.53p, down 0.1p. Barclays fell by 2.75p to 292p amid talk that, based on Standard Chartered's rights issue, it may need to raise £7bn-8bn to strengthen its capital buffers.

The inter dealer broker Icap rose by 21.3p to 478.9p after Barclays Capital said the company was well placed to benefit from reforms in the market for over-the-counter derivatives. Barclays also played down recent news of broker defections in Singapore, labelling it "immaterial".

"The recent newsflow of 38 voice brokers defecting to rival Tradition in Singapore needs to be seen in context," Barclays said. "Icap employs around 400 in Singapore and 2,284 brokers globally. This loss therefore represents less than 2 per cent of [the] total."

On the second tier, Dunelm, the homewares retailer which rallied after KBC Peel Hunt adopted a "buy" stance earlier this week, rose by 11.2p to 460p after the broker repeated its positive view following a visit to one of the company's newer stores in Milton Keynes. "Retail standards were impossible to fault," KBC said, forecasting compounded annual earnings growth of more than 11 per cent over the next four years.

The gold producer Centamin Egypt sparkled, putting on 11.1p to 182.9p, after Goldman began covering the stock with a "buy" view. The broker was also keen on European Goldfields, which rose by 46p to 792p after Goldman issued "buy" advice. "As the gold price increases, we believe that mid- sized, emerging producers will outperform the major producers," the broker said, arguing that the combination of volume growth and rising prices opened the door to better margins and could potentially make the companies targets for deal activity.

On the latter point, Goldman highlighted Centamin's Sukari gold mine. In the context of the $20bn or so of gold sector deal activity in the last quarter, the broker said Sukari – "as one of only a few world-class assets providing significant near-term production growth not already owned by a gold major" – and hence Centamin – "as a single asset company" – was "strategically attractive".

Instem Life Science Systems, the specialist software group which helps the likes of GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca conduct drug studies, made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market. Aided by support from leading City institutions – the shareholder registers boasts the likes of Aviva and BlackRock – Instem raised £9.15m via placing of shares at 175p apiece. At the close, the stock was 10p higher at 185p.

Suggested Topics
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Client Services Executive / Account Executive - SW London

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Account Executive / Client Services ...

PA to CEO / Executive Secretary

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Executive PA to CEO & Executive Dire...

Generalist HR Administrator, Tunbridge Wells, Kent - £28,000.

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Administrator - Tunbri...

Senior C# Developer (.NET, C#, JMS, TDD, Web API, MVC, integrat

£45000 - £75000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Senior C...

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis