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Hedge funds bet against retailers as squeeze bites


British retailers such as Asos and B&Q owner Kingfisher being targeted by hedge funds making huge bets that they will struggle

British retailers such as Asos and B&Q owner Kingfisher are being targeted by hedge funds making huge bets that they will struggle. 

As the cost-of-living crisis spirals, short-sellers are targeting companies whose shares could drop. 

Other targets include Boohoo, Aston Martin, Dixons Carphone and Royal Mail. 

Struggle: Targets include Boohoo (pictured), Aston Martin, Dixons Carphone and Royal Mail

Research shows Britons are restricting spending to essentials, leaving purchases such as clothing, furniture and white goods on the shelves. 

Investors can short a stock – or bet against it – by borrowing and selling it on the assumption its price will fall and they will be able to buy it back cheaper and pocket the difference. 

Boohoo, Kingfisher, Naked Wines and AO World are among the top ten shorted stocks. 

Others being lined up include leisure firms such as Cineworld, which is the most exposed, with 8.1 per cent of its shares being shorted. 

Neil Wilson, chief analyst at the online trading platform Markets. com, said: ‘There is a perfect storm for retailers and brands who have little to no pricing power. They’re very exposed to rising input costs and falling consumer demand.’

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