Share indices in the week to 31 August 2001
There's been an autumnal feel to the start of September for the listed contractors and housebuilders.

Perhaps our friends in the City were a bit miserable at having to drag themselves away from sun-drenched beaches and back to the office, but whatever the reason they have gone a bit cold on the sector, with falls easily outweighing the rises.

Only a few – most notably KIER, up 10% to 483p – managed to improve their share prices over the course of last week. MONTPELLIER, the parent company of contractor YJL, improved 3% to 30p and AMEC also edged up 3% to 465p after a strong set of results (see opposite page).

The big fallers included LAING, down 7% to 394p, Balfour Beatty, down 4% to 195p, and Wimpey, which fell 5% to 216p.

This has left some stock watchers wondering if this is the end of the golden weather for the sector after its unprecedented run of popularity with the money men. Of course, with shares well ahead of this time last year, not too many chief executives will be overly concerned just yet. And after all, the Americans do call autumn "fall".