FTSE buoyant

A surge in property stocks buoyed the London market today after a bullish note on the sector.

A surge in property stocks buoyed the London market today after a bullish note on the sector.

British Land shares soared 2% or 28p to 1556p after HSBC upped its rating on the group, while sector rival Land Securities also benefited from an upgrade in the note, rising 15p to 2155p.

The stock increases helped push the FTSE 100 Index up 21.4 points to 6329.4 by mid-morning.

Daily Mail & General Trust topped the list of blue-chip risers, up 18p at 830p, as shares continued to benefit from a trading update last week when it suggested advertising revenues were on the ascent.

Investor activity was largely focused on economic data in an otherwise quiet day for corporate news.

While all eyes will be on the Monetary Policy Committee’s base rate decision later this week, an easing in manufacturing data was not enough to deter the Bank from considering another quarter point rise, according to economists.

Supermarket giant Tesco saw shares increase 3p to 447.25p after releasing a robust defence submission to the Competition Commission, which is investigating the UK’s grocery market.

B&Q owner Kingfisher was also one of the day’s share risers, up 2p at 280.25p, as private equity takeover talk was once again doing the rounds.

Meanwhile mortgage bank Northern Rock shares were trading up after a positive trading update that painted a robust picture of the UK housing market. Shares were ahead 4p at 1149p.

Investors appeared to be banking profits made in mining stocks after their recent strong run, with mining groups dominating the fallers’ board.

Antofagasta was off 8.5p, or 2%, at 509.25p, Lonmin shares were down 49p at 3271p and Kazakhmys was down 16p at 1155p.

In the second tier, Carphone Warehouse was trading down 2.25p at 274.5p after warning of additional costs of up to £15m as it continues to struggle with service problems at its broadband business TalkTalk.

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