How construction fared in the City this week
Construction had another good week, with housebuilders setting the optimistic tone. WIMPEY issued a trading statement hailing the residential property market's return to "normal and sustainable conditions". You didn't need to read between the lines to see the real message: house prices will level off, not crash.

Wimpey ended last week up 3.3% at 251p. Its rivals in the sector did even better: Bellway led the charge with a 7.2% increase, Persimmon was up 6.2%, Westbury was up 5.1% and Wilson Bowden rose 5%.

Two of construction's biggest names also enjoyed a second week of price rises. Amec was the subject of takeover speculation that was vague even by the murky standards of the City. But the vaguer the rumours, the harder it is to prove them wrong, and its price gained 11.6%, following a rise of 6.9% the week before.

Meanwhile, Atkins was still enjoying a rosy glow from having finally signed the Tube PPP deal on 4 April. The support services firm's share price rose 20.7%, following a 25.1% rise the previous week.

There was much post-war jubilation, but the materials firms stayed away from the party. Hanson saw its shares fall 2.3%, while RMC and Wolseley trailed the rest of the sector with gains of 1.2% and 1.4%.