Analysts have poured cold water on rumours the Qatari Investment Authority could make a fresh move for Sainsbury's.

Shares in the retailer hit a high of 368p after it was touted yet again as a target of the fund. The Qataris, who already own a 26% stake, acquired Harrods in May and have been linked to a move for Sainsbury's ever since pulling out of a 600p-a-share bid in 2007.

"The rumour comes up every few months," said one analyst. "Their involvement in a top-of-the market buyout bid back in 2007 is probably more of an embarrassment to them now than anything else."