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Market Watch


SOME investors appear to be holding back on trading in construction stocks ahead of a reshuff le in classifications.

Just 47 companies rose among the 104 stocks on the Construction News index, with 14 stat ic and 43 down.

This lack of movement was also evident in the FTSE Construction sector, which put on just a penny despite interest created by St Gobain's offer for BPB. The UK plasterboard giant ? up a ha'penny to 735.5p ? rebuffed a bid from the French giant last week.

The forthcoming reclassification will see clearer sub sectors created so that contractors in the services sector are not ranked with firms that wash laundry, and house builders will not be classified with mater ials f irms. As par t of the changes, Alfred McAlpine ? up 11p to 370p ? will move into services.

Elsewhere, Montpellier firmed a penny to 31.5p ahead of shareholders confirming the sale for £42 million of social housing contracting subsidiary Bullock to its management on Monday this week.

Still among the contractors, Kier was the week's biggest gainer, with brokers Bridgewell reiterating an 'overweight' rating, while Numis upgraded its rating to 'buy'.

Brandon put out interim results that were less well received with the hirer's stock down 3.5p to 132p and Numis cutting its price target by 40p to 136p.

Temporary power hirer Aggreko was also featured on the top 10 leaderboard after releasing positive interims but Numis kept its hold rating to 205p and US investment bank Merrill Lynch also retained a 'neutral' tag.