Sage gloom sends index down

Accounting software specialist Sage saw its shares slump 5% after US consultancy firm Independent Research was highly critical of the company’s accounting and it was warned its profits would be battered if it moved to a standard accounting system.

Logica’s shares fell 4%. Morgan Stanley lowered its forecasts after second generation mobile messaging traffic showed signs of decelerating. The biggest loser was Mysis, which plummeted 10% on rumours that investment bank Goldman Sachs had placed 26.3m, or 4%, of its shares on the market at a discounted price.

On the upside, however, Capita saw its shares climb steadily over the week to close 6% higher on news that it won a £500m ten-year contract with the BBC to administer the TV station’s licensing service. This and ABN Amro’s repeated ‘add’ recommendation on the support services sector cheered Capita, and competitors Xansa, up 7%, and Hays up 2%.

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