FTSE 100 makes tentative gains as retailers ‘in crisis’

<p>The FTSE 100 has made tentative gains as retailers struggle despite peak trading in December.</p>

The FTSE 100 has made tentative gains in trading this Christmas Eve (December 24th), as retailers up and down the UK are finding themselves facing critical financial issues and are depending on the festive period to turn matters around.

Business recovery firm Begbies Traynor's UK business solvency survey found 13,700 more firms were in a state of difficulty – a 35 per cent rise in the quarter to December.

Furthermore, nearly 140 retailers are in "critical condition" despite this being a period of peak trading.

Begbies Traynor has anticipated the rise in the number of both national and regional insolvencies next year, with its report suggesting the worst-affected shops to include specialists in books and stationery.

However, supermarkets and household goods outlets have seen an improvement in recent weeks.

At 09:40 GMT, the FTSE 100 rose by 0.2 per cent to 5955.4 points – a rise of 15.4 index value points.

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