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.

Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Morrissey pictured in 2013
sportVan Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Life and Style
Martha Stewart wrote an opinion column for Time magazine this week titled “Why I Love My Drone”
lifeLifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot... to take photos of her farm
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
filmReview: Sometimes the immersive experience was so good it blurred the line between fiction and reality
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
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

1st Line Support Technician / Application Support

£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...

Team Secretary - (Client Development/Sales Team) - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...

Accountant / Assistant Management Accountant

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices