Business Week – Confidence drops.

Disheartened investors saw shares drop dramatically last week as the economic slowdown worsened and the world watched the horrific aftermath of last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC.

The Accountancy Age/ADVFN index fell a further 5.45 points dropping below the 70-point mark and ending the week at a new all-time low of 64.73 points.

As the devastation hit the world’s markets, the FTSE also lost more than five points, slipping to 91.51points. The New York Stock Exchange remained closed for four days, the longest closure since the Great Depression.

The day after the devastation in the US financial centre, all the accountancy-related shares lost ground on the index.

The biggest loser was QSP, which fell 21%, shedding 2.5p on Monday and remaining down the rest of the week.

Sage was the second-biggest loser, shedding 13%, closely followed by Reed Executive, which dropped 10%. Both are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Investors are also worried that, with the downturn in the economy, recruitment, one of Reed’s strongest businesses, will be affected.

Hays lost 8% despite positive statements from analysts and positive results ending in a 5% growth in pre-tax profits, as investors were not as confident as the company directors that its business can withstand the economic downturn.

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