How construction companies fared in the City in the week to 16 January 2001
It's been another lively week for construction stock watchers, especially when it comes to the housebuilders. After years of being urged by the City to consolidate, the sector finally startled everyone by doing just that.

Among firms involved in the mating frenzy were Taylor Woodrow, Persimmon and (as first suggested by Building last February) Berkeley group; surely more are on the way.

"I've been out of breath keeping up with it," one analyst puffed. The activity led to a 14p drop for one suitor, Persimmon, while Taylor Woodrow stayed steady. Courted couple Bryant and Beazer rose 4p and 6.5p.

Sap is also rising in the materials group. Reports linked Aggregate Industries with a bid for rival RMC, although analysts were sceptical about such a deal. "There would be nil premium," one mused. Both were up this week, Aggregate by 0.25p to 79p and RMC by 2p to 662.5p.

It was quite a good week for contractors as well. Amec saw an 8p rise, to 356p, despite uncertainty over the sale of its construction division. Laing also fared quite well, moving up 4.5p to a year-high of 418p.