Share indices in the week to 1 March 2002
Well, spring is coming, the trees are in blossom … and all across the Square Mile, rosy-cheeked shareholders are gathering to find out what the Easter results bunny has brought them.

Those who put their cash into housebuilders should be pretty happy – giants Persimmon and Wimpey have turned in impressive figures. Persimmon was up 11p to 435p after posting results on Monday, and Wimpey continued its favourable rating in the City after its acquisition of McAlpine Homes. It was up 13% last week and rose a further 6p this week to 273p, just one pence below its peak for the year.

Medium-sized housebuilders were also attracting interest, buoyed up by City predictions there would be a further wave of consolidation in the sector. Berkeley, Countryside, Wilson Bowden, Westbury and Prowting were all gainers.

On the contracting side, Alfred McAlpine was close to its year-end high on the back of its decision to spend some of the warchest it accumulated from the Wimpey sale on facilities management firm Steill last week.

The contractor’s stock had been hit by news that director Andy White was off to run Laing construction – but now it is up a healthy 35.5p to 460.5p.