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Market Wwatch

FINANCE

SHARES in Amec slipped last week, finally producing evidence of a much awaited selloff of the UK infrastructure and construction business this September.

Brokers UBS re-iterated a 'buy' rating on Amec but investors continue to show little appetite and the stock lost tuppence to 364p Severfield-Rowen, the UK's last listed structural steel contractor, firmed 9p to £12.45p last week as stockbroker ABN raised its estimates and re-iterated an 'add' rating.

Among the plant hirers, Speedy gained 38p to 868p after posting solid results, with broker Teather & Greenwood re-stating a buy rating up to a 950p target price.

One of the week's biggest gainers was McCarthy & Stone. Shares in the retirement home builder had been gaining all week on rumours of a bid that were confirmed on Friday, sending the stock up further but still below the 12-month high of 907.5p.

Instead of sparking interest in other house builders, many other stocks in the sector were undone by prof it tak ing.

The sector's top three players, Persimmon, Wimpey and Barratt, were all among the week's biggest losers.

The two players seen as the next candidates for consolidation also sank with Bovis off 17.5p to 321.5p and Redrow down sixpence to 472.5p despite both being upgraded from 'hold' to 'buy' by Cit igroup.

Prices and sales have topped Citigroup's own expectations said the broker, which upgraded on the grounds that without more houses being built, price inflation is a given.