The market was still unable to decide what to do with itself this week – perhaps not surprising ahead of results season.

This meant housebuilding and construction stocks bounced around randomly, with one analyst describing the market as having “gone haywire”.

Another said: “People can’t make up their minds at the moment about which way the market will go. It’s useless for investors because nobody’s trading.”

Mike Foster, an analyst at KBC Peel Hunt, was more apocalyptic, pointing to more bad news out of the US this week in the shape of the ISM service index, which showed that the service sector in the US had fallen to 2001 recession levels. “This could be 1930 all over again,” he said, reassuringly.

All the turmoil caused many to ask why on earth consultant Turner & Townsend was pressing ahead with its flotation. The answer came on Wednesday. It wasn’t. The group finally bowed to the inevitable due to what it called “unprecedented market conditions”. Indeed.