Shares rise among construction and materials firms, with Morgan Sindall boasting a 15% leap

Construction and building materials groups performed strongly in the first day of post-Christmas trading.

Yesterday 10 of the 20 stocks listed in the Financial Times Share Service for the construction and materials sector increased, with only four fallers.

The big winner was contractor Morgan Sindall. Shares soared 15% to 725p.

This follows a strong trading statement issued earlier this month, which hinted at good set of year-end figures when they are announced in February.

The group said that it had plenty of cash in the bank as well as £100m in bank facilities. Morgan Sindall also confirmed that it had a £3.6bn forward order book, meaning that it has lots of work on despite the public spending cuts.

Housebuilder and contractor Galliford Try was another big mover, with shares up 11% to 297.5p.

At the start of the month Galliford Try announced chunky contract awards, which were a £50m Building Schools for the Future job in the North-west and £59m of infrastructure projects.