Reason for optimism for UK retailers?

Investors in Britain’s battered retailers breathed a sigh of relief Thursday following positive figures from clothing giant Next the first listed retailer to report on the state of trading over the crucial Christmas period.

The figures are a bellwether for conditions on the High Street and the strength of consumer confidence after what has been a dire 12 months for U.K. retailers; Toys “R” Us and electronics retailer Maplin collapsed into administration as did House of Fraser, which was rescued.

But Next chief executive Simon Wolfson warned MarketWatch: “I’d be careful to draw big conclusions from small pieces of information. This is only one company.

“I think generally if you only read headlines of the last few weeks it would give a false impression of what’s going on. Everyone said November was a disaster because of Brexit — but it was more likely to be the mild weather seen in November.”

MarketWatch

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.