Property takeover rumours keep Footsie positive

Takeover rumours in the property sector kept the FTSE 100 Index in positive territory today as commodity stocks also gave the top tier a boost.

Takeover rumours in the property sector kept the FTSE 100 Index in positive territory today as commodity stocks also gave the top tier a boost.

Speculation of takeover interest in British Land sent the group higher and helped fellow property firms.

The wider Footsie added to yesterday’s new 10-month high with a gain of 9.1 points to 4764.5.

Spirits have been lifted by recent optimistic comments on the US economy from the Federal Reserve, as well as France and Germany’s exit from recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up again overnight to add to a 1.3% surge the previous session, which helped put London’s FTSE 100 on the front foot.

The biggest gains of the session came from the property sector as reports suggested a consortium of Asian investors was planning a possible bid for British Land that could be worth as much as £10bn (€11.5bn) including debt.

British Land shares rallied for a second successive session with a gain of 20.4p to 513.5p.

Hammerson, which also benefited from an upgrade by broker Societe Generale yesterday, climbed 15.3p to 412.6p.

Miners followed closely behind amid brighter economic prospects, led by Kazakhmys with a 33.5p gain to 934p.

Housebuilders were also making headway as figures today revealed that the number of people who lost their homes fell during the second quarter to around 11,400 people, down 10% on the previous three months.

An upgrade from Royal Bank of Scotland for Taylor Wimpey spurred on the shares rally, with the stock up 2.44p to 42.73p, or 6%.

Also in the FTSE 250, Barratt Developments gained 12.4p to 241p and Bellway was 37p stronger at 848p.

Elsewhere, Chrysalis rose 7% after an upbeat third quarter update that also revealed it was set to benefit from a boom in royalties on surging sales of Michael Jackson songs – many of which were penned by Chrysalis writer Rod Temperton.

Shares in the music group added 4.5p to 72.25p.

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