FTSE 100 latest: Property giants in demand on London’s blue chip index

The pair jumped 4% to the top of the FTSE 100 index risers board as analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove backed the recovery potential after a period underperforming European rivals.

The fightback comes days after hedge funds including Marshall Wace increased their positions to make British Land one of the most shorted on the London market.

And JP Morgan’s note today went further by highlighting six encouraging trends that it believes support the outlook for physical retail in the UK, prompting the City bank to raise its target price to 600p from 550p.

British Land shares were today 20.7p higher at 514.2p, while Landsec rose 29.4p to 707p after JP Morgan upped its target to 850p.

The rebound for the property duo helped the FTSE 100 index to climb 16.90 points to 7,079.19.

The price of Brent crude oil above $75 a barrel meant BP and Royal Dutch Shell were a big factor after their shares rose 2%. British Airways owner IAG also rallied 2.9p to 200.7p on hopes that Britons who have had both Covid-19 jabs will be able to travel without quarantining from August.

The FTSE 250 index added 55.71 points to 22,512.79, with Buildbase owner Grafton up 3% or 39p to 1,164p after giving itself a platform for growth in the Nordics with the acquisition of Finland’s IKH in a deal worth 200 million euros (£171.4 million).

National Express, which rose 5.2p to 283.2p, was also on the overseas acquisition trail with the acquisition of Transportes Rober in Spain for £11 million.

Gear4Music continues to hit the right notes for its AIM shareholders after the online instruments retailer reported stronger-than-expected trading in April and May.

The company, led by Andrew Wass, also posted annual results showing an “exceptional” performance in the year to March 31, with revenues up 31% to £157.5 million and net profit 488% higher at £12.6 million as interest in playing music was boosted during Covid-19 lockdowns.

Shares rose 32p to 960p, compared with less than 400p a year ago.

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