Shares in Sainsbury's rose 8.5p to finish on 559.5p yesterday following stake-building rumours.

Investors were speculating that Qatari-based investment fund Three Delta, which already owns a 17.4% stake in the supermarket group, had acquired a further 4% stake.

Sources close to the Sainsbury family denied it had been approached by the Qatari fund to sell more stock but dealers believe the group is eager to raise its stake to 29.9%, according to reports in the Daily Mail.