Alfred McAlpine’s shares continued to fall last week after the announcement that fraud in the slate division had cost the contractor £56m before tax. McAlpine’s shares dropped 8.7% to 460p over the week, making it the industry’s biggest casualty.

The week was a relatively steady one for the sector, with the construction and materials index rising 1.1% to 6137.66p

Building materials companies enjoyed a fairly buoyant week, as prices in the sector continued to rise.

Hanson reported a 3.8% rise to 858.8p, and Travis Perkins, listed in the support services sector, rose 0.9% to £20.10. However, Wolseley dropped 2.5% to £12.04, amid continued concern over the housing market in the US.

Elsewhere, investors remained unperturbed by Atkins’ announcement of problems with Metronet.

The company’s share price rose for the second week running, up 3.4% to £12.