Property and house building stocks were boosted by a large sector switch as some investors decided it was time to go bargain hunting, despite the poor figures reported by IPD. Daily Telegraph

British Land was the top blue-chip riser, gaining 38.5 to 920.5p as some traders continued to suggest that Middle Eastern or Asian investors would eventually start building positions in this bombed-out sector. Liberty International firmed 33 to 975p, Hammerson edged up 30p to £10.23 and Land Securities improved 40p to £15.25.

The mid-cap property groups also had a good session, with Segro up 27.75 to 473.5p and Workspace strengthening 14.75 to 257p.

TaylorWimpey ended 5.6 better at 164.8p and Barratt Developments closed 19.75 better at 362.75p.