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Market Watch

FINANCE

SHARES in Kier fell from a 12-month high last week after a rollocking run from the construction-to-housing firm.

The dip came as Kier boss Robert Gregory offloaded 2,500 shares, which may have unsettled some traders but profit taking was a more likely reason for the dip after the shares' recent good run up to the annual results.

Shares in Mears, another contractor recently unveiling bumper results, were also undermined by the same tactic in a week shortened by the Easter bank holiday.

Severfield-Rowen surged ahead earlier this week when it unveiled its yearly results.The structural steel outfit rose 26p to 598.5p .

Congolmerate Amco also gained after it revealed a return to profit at the end of last week, helped mainly by record trading at its structural steel arm Billington.

These firms brought up the rear in the results season but there was a flurry of statements from companies with a financial year ending in March.

Utility AWG was up on a positive trading update with a solid order book at contracting arm Morrison.

BSS also rose after issuing an end-ofyear update, which prompted some analysts to upgrade forecasts for trading at the plumbing products outfit for the year to March 2005.

Among those brokers raising their forecasts was Teather & Greenwood.

T&G analyst David Taylor said: 'The distinguishing feature of BSS is how it went from a textbook turnaround of an ailing but recoverable company to a growth business.'