How construction fared in the City this week
Perhaps it was apt that Aukett unveiled plans last week for a £75m business park in Sunderland. For like that north-eastern city's football club, it seems that Aukett can't get away from the bottom end of the league.

Last week, Aukett fell 4.8% to a paltry 2.5p. Only one company in the support services sector, property firm Orbis, is valued lower – at 1p. Directors of the country's only listed architect are determined to remain listed – but then, Sunderland FC wants to stay in the Premiership …

Another loser in a week in which share prices were otherwise buoyed by hopes that war with Iraq will be a brief affair [see above] was Swan Hill. The poor housebuilder's share price fell 7.9% to 64.5p despite recording a 20% rise in pre-tax profit and a 50% increase in turnover.

Unfortunately, honesty is clearly not well regarded by the City. Swan Hill was one of the first housebuilders to admit that it was feeling the affects of a slowdown in the housing market, with buyers becoming more cautious.

Another faller was Laing. Its share price decreased 6.2% to 120.5p. This happened despite Building's headline last week: "Laing shares set to soar despite loss". Does nobody listen? Ah well, according to our article, Laing's share price should be at the 200p mark in 12 months' time.