How construction fared in the City this week
Equipment hire firm Speedy Hire lived up to its name last week as it leaped athletically to 360p, a rise of 4.7%. This was perhaps partially the result of the £1.4m acquisition of rival Kingfisher Hire and Sales, based in South Wales.

Making a false start was contractor Alfred McAlpine – its share price fell 1.5% to 268.5p. This was despite a trading update last week that showed its order book was strong and that performance has been in line with expectations.

Does this negative response to such a positive statement suggest that the market is not telling the whole truth when it says it just wants stability and certainty in its contractors? Could it be that there is a bit of yearning for adventure in those pinstripe investors after all? Do they secretly lust after the ups and downs, like – you know – normal people?

The market certainly seemed to continue its passionate love affair with megaconsultant Atkins. Investors were not so much impressed with the size of the business, as it was with Keith Clarke, the incoming chief executive.

The week after the announcement of his appointment, Atkins' shares continued to benefit with an 8.5% surge to 307.5p. The previous week the price rose 8.6%.