How construction companies fared in the City in the week to 27 November 2000
The market was awash with rumours this week. Speculation continued about the potential buyer of Laing's construction arm – most market watchers were still scratching their heads about this one – and other deals were being mooted.

According to City speculation, there was a resurfacing of talks between ALFRED McALPINE and rival BRYANT GROUP, although this was rubbished by both parties. One analyst thought both sides could be keeping quiet so as not to replicate the very public failure of talks in January.

The speculation fuelled a 7% jump in McAlpine stocks to 227p, before they settled back to 219.5p earlier this week. Bryant stood still at 146p.

These developments capped a small renaissance for housebuilders in November. Despite storms, floods and rising energy costs, the sector has improved by about 30% in the last month, suggesting that the City is beginning to understand that it will not collapse in the face of stagnant house prices.