How construction fared in the City this week
The share price of contractor MJ Gleeson fell like a stone this week after it announced a second loss on a disputed contract to build a £32m cement plant in Buxton, Derbyshire. Gleeson has now written off nearly £10m on the contract. The result was a 17% drop in the price of its shares, which fell to 732.5p.

In a statement, Gleeson admitted that there were "fundamental disagreements" over the project's contract conditions. The dispute is unresolved, but the Gleeson board deemed it prudent to set aside a figure for a potential loss.

Housebuilders fared somewhat better, perhaps boosted by rumours of another wave of consolidation. Swan Hill and Taylor Woodrow benefited more than others. Investors pounced on their shares. Swan Hill, which rose 5.3% to 70p, has long been considered a target for larger companies looking to build up their landbanks. Taylor Woodrow, which rose 5.3%, to 180.25p, has openly admitted that it is in the mood for a few acquisitions.

However, Berkeley Group continued the genteel decline that began when Tony Pidgley Jr announced that he had taken a fancy to daddy's company. Shares fell 1.4% last week to 626p, well below the year-high of 837.5p.