Land Securities lift market as miners and Vodafone fall - London Report

BRITAIN’S top share index rose yesterday, led by Land Securities, which raised its dividend payout and offset a drop in heavily weighted miners and telecoms firm Vodafone.

The blue-chip FTSE 100 was up 26.23 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 6,995.10 at the close. The index is up nearly seven per cent this year.

Shares in Land Securities rose four per cent, one of the biggest FTSE 100 gains, after Britain’s largest listed property developer hiked its dividend by 3.7 per cent, saying that a boom in demand for commercial property boosted its net asset value by 27.6 per cent in the year ended March 31.

Broader gains were capped by a drop in miners, after prices of key industrial metals fell. The UK mining index was down 2.5 per cent.

BHP Billiton dropped 3.9 per cent, after J.P. Morgan cut its target price for the stock to 1,425p from 1,600p.

Among top decliners, Vodafone fell 3.2 per cent, as some traders said the mobile network operator’s guidance had been slightly below expectations, despite the company returning to quarterly sales growth.

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