Accountancy stocks regain some ground

Outsourcing company Xansa was the biggest gainer, with shares climbing 4.13% today, while Logica improved 3.37% to 199.5p and ITNet rose by 0.6%. Reed Executive shares were unchanged at 161.5p.

Last week Accountancy-related stocks continued to plummet as a climate of fear and mistrust hit world stock markets following a fresh crop of accounting scandals.

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The Accountancy Age/ADVFN index plunged to its lowest point since October following the WorldCom?s revelation last Monday that its figures were overstated.

The scandal sent stock markets crumbling as investors? accounting fears were reinforced by yet another company unexpectedly saying it is on the brink of bankruptcy. The FTSE fell as much as 0.91 points but recovered towards the end of the week closing at 84.05, down 0.73 points on last week.

The biggest loser this week was Xansa plunging 12% after saying pre-tax profits on ordinary activities were £2.4m, down from £3.5m last year and signalling business was not expected to pick up until 2003.

Xansa, which manages BT’s accounts, expressed concerns about the profitability of its £250m contract with the telecoms giant. Other companies topping the losers’ list included ITNet, which fell 7% and Reed Executive, which dropped 5%. The only winner in this week’s gloomy market was Logica, which, after sliding steadily since March, was up 3% despite sector downgrades.

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