How construction fared in the City this week
Housebuilders' recent annual results may have been glowing but the City continues to cast a long shadow over the sector. Last week Taylor Woodrow announced that its pre-tax profit for 2002 had soared 15% from its 2001 level to £233m – but its share price fell like a stone, dropping 5.1% to 171.25p.

Similarly, results at Persimmon threw the group into the spotlight, with shares positively screaming "buy me" – yet investors still scampered away into the night. Persimmon's pre-tax profit for 2002 was up 42% to £268m on 2001. The result? The firm's share price fell 5.4% to 416.75p.

Housebuilders generally fared poorly as the market was hit by jitters over the impact of probable war with Iraq. Westbury fell 6.5% to 296p, Wilson Bowden dropped 5.6% to 758.5p and Wilson Connolly slid 4% to 155.5p.

It's the same old story. When the FTSE 100 index suffered its 11-day tumble in January, housebuilders were among the first hit.

Housebuilders have long moaned that the City undervalues them – surely their remarkable 2002 results should win them some support?