Business Week – Terror fuels stock market decline.

Accountancy-related stocks have dropped below the 60-point mark, hitting a new all-time low as the UK market continues to fall on the back of fears of war, writes Adriana Zea.

The Accountancy Age/ADVFN index closed at 59.86 points losing 4.87 points on last week. Meanwhile, the benchmark FTSE-100 index also dropped 7.16 points, ending the week at 84.35 points.

The week’s biggest loser was Misys, plunging 24% after the city downgraded the stock on banking fears.

Although analysts were aware that the software company’s banking division would be weak, they were surprised by Misys’ reports that its order book had fallen more than expected to #23m.

Weakness in the software sector also affected heavyweight QSP, which was the second loser, dropping 22% and dragging the index down. The sector has plunged since the World Trade Centre disaster, dropping 14% in the last week.

There was some good news, however, from ITNet, which gained 9% on positive interim results and upbeat prospects. The IT outsourcing company topped analysts’ forecasts with pre-tax profits of #5.3m and a 16% rise in turnover.

ITNet added it is about to sign an #18m contract with Oxfordshire County Council and expects underlying growth will be in line with expectations for 2001.

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