Property shres were hit after a note headed Keep the tin hats on, from HSBC said that hard-pressed tenants would start to demand rent cuts from their landlords and promptly triggered a sell-off in commercial property stocks. The Times, Daily Telegraph

HSBC said that a shift in the balance of power to tenants undermined the case for long-term investment in commercial property and it downgraded every real estate stock that it covers (apart from Land Securities, down 44p to £15.10, which it upgraded to 'neutral').

Hammerson, owner of 14 big shopping centres, including Brent Cross in North London and a share in the Bull Ring in Birmingham, was the biggest victim. It fell 54p to £10.19 as HSBC slashed its target to 700p.

Capital & Regional, the shopping centre developer whose tenants include DSG International’s PC World and Currys, as well as Kingfisher’s B&Q sheds, fell 27p to 437.5p.

HSBC cut its target on Liberty International to 680p, but Liberty, rumoured to be potential target for foreign predators, slipped only 20p to close at £10.12. British Land fell 30.5p to 840p.