Market Report: Liberty leads charge on property values

Liberty International led the real-estate sector higher last night, advancing to pole position on the benchmark index after a new survey sparked hopes of a recovery in commercial property values. Data from the Investment Property Databank (IPD) revealed that commercial property values had climbed by 1.9 per cent in October, compared with a 1.1 per cent rise in September. The index showed gains in all three sub-sectors, with retail property rising by 2.6 per cent, industrial property climbing by 1.5 per cent and office values growing by 1.1 per cent. Traders soon piled in, driving Liberty to 504p, up almost 4 per cent or 19p. British Land, at the number two spot on the FTSE 100, rose to 498.2p, up 2.8 per cent or 13.5p, and Hammerson gained 2.3 per cent or 10.1p to 445p. Land Securities was also strong, closing 16p higher at 726.5p.

Overall, the FTSE 100 was broadly unchanged, with a weak start on Wall Street hampering progress in London. At the close, the benchmark was 19.88 points ahead at 5296.38p, while the FTSE 250 was 77.82 points stronger at 9373.74. Traders booked profits following the release of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which fell to 66 points in November, down from 70.6 points in October. Analysts had pencilled in a rise to 72.

The hospitality group InterContinental Hotels gained ground on the back of a new Credit Suisse poll of large listed European companies, which showed that 66 per cent expect to "either maintain or increase spending" over the next 12 months. "IT and travel spending are the areas that are expected to improve the most compared to the previous six months," the broker said, aiding InterContinental, which climbed to 857p, up 19p, as traders saw scope for an uptick in the demand for hotel rooms.

British Airways stood firm, rising by 2p to 217p, after confirming plans to merge with Spain's Iberia. Panmure Gordon, which raised its target price for the stock to 225p from 160p in response, said that overall, "the deal makes sense". "There is greater potential for future growth by optimising the dual hubs of London and Madrid," the broker said, maintaining a "hold" stance on the stock. "The combined network is a stronger one and there are attractive synergies."

On the downside, parts of the mining sector remained unsettled, as the profit-taking trend persisted. The Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation, the target price for which was scaled back to 965p from 1010p at Nomura, was among the weakest, easing by 2.6 per cent or 23.5p to 883p. Kazakhmys, which was downgraded to "reduce" from "buy" by the same broker, lost 12p to 1258p.

"We expect both ENRC and Kazakhmys to suffer from the potential appreciation of [the] Kazakh Tenge and [the] absence of reduction in Kazakh tax rates," Nomura said. The broker retained its "buy" stance on ENRC, however, saying that its "long-term chrome price forecasts were probably conservative".In the wider sector, Vedanta Resources fell to 2330p, down 59p, while Lonmin retreated by 22p to 1592p. The copper miner Antofagasta eased to 868p, down 12p.

The banking sector was mixed, with Barclays declining to 320p, down 4.1p, and Lloyds Banking Group easing by 0.15p to 89.85p. The Royal Bank of Scotland managed to rise, gaining 0.23p to 37.44p, as traders bought in on recent weakness. HSBC was the strongest, advancing to 741.6p, up 9.1p, while Standard Chartered fell back to 1665p, down 18.5p.

Elsewhere, Marston's, the pubs group, gained 2.15p to 86p, thanks to some words of support from UBS, which said the shares were now fairly valued. "A fairly priced valuation on most metrics causes us to upgrade the shares to Neutral, while uncertain prospects and the lack of an immediate catalyst mean [they] are not yet a 'buy'," the broker said, abandoning its "sell" stance on the stock.

Further afield, Goldman Sachs supported sentiment around IMI, which gained 7p to 526p after the broker issued a new capital goods sector review, reiterating its "buy" stance and raising its target price for the stock to 640p from 580p. The broker also repeated its positive stance on Cookson, which was 3.9p firmer at 432p at the end of play. Weir, which is rated "neutral" by Goldman analysts, was 2p ahead at 744.5p, after the broker revised its target price for the stock to 820p from 722p.

ITV edged up by 0.6p to 51.3p after Credit Suisse weighed in, raising its estimates and upping its target price for the stock to 50p from 40p to reflect the update last week. "We see upside given the momentum behind operationally leveraged cyclicals such as ITV; regulatory upside; and the eventual resumption of takeover speculation," the broker said, adding that it nevertheless remained "neutral" stock owing in part to its concerns that the bounce in TV advertising as a recovery takes root may disappoint.

Further afield, housing sector stocks rose with their large-cap commercial property peers, with Barratt Developments gaining 1.7p to 140.2p and Bellway rising by 19p to 780p. Bovis Homes was also strong, gaining 9.8p to 440.8p, while Taylor Wimpey advanced to 42.51p, up 2.01p or almost 5 per cent.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Financial Adviser

£20000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you recently QCA Level 4 qu...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Guru Careers: Application Support Analyst / 1st Line Support

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Application Support Analyst / 1st L...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer / Web Developer

£45K - £55K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a full stack .NET D...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence