MORE gloom from the retail sector helped drag down the FTSE-100 on Wednesday on a shortened day of Christmas Eve trading.
Concerns over the prospects of many on the high street deepened when music, games and DVD retailer Zavvi called in administrators.
Falling oil prices also depressed blue-chip stocks as well as declines for Asian and US markets – leaving the Footsie 39.4 points lower at 4,216.6 at the close.
Zavvi became the third high street chain to crash in 24 hours, following the Officers Club chain and Whittard of Chelsea into administration.
In the top flight, B&Q owner Kingfisher lost 3.4p to 130.2p and Argos firm Home Retail Group was 4.25p worse off at 205p, although fashion chain Next overturned earlier losses to finish 4p up at 1,084p. Marks & Spencer was unchanged at 213.25p.
Retailers in the second tier also saw mixed trading, with Debenhams up 1p to 24p and Currys owner DSG International steady at 17p. Kesa Electricals – which owns Comet – was 1.75p up at 85.25p after losses earlier.
But Zavvi's collapse did lead its rival HMV upwards, closing up 6p at 101p on hopes of reduced competition. Game Group was unchanged at 120p.
In the top flight, the latest dire economic news saw oil slip to $38 a barrel on fears over a lack of demand. This knocked 8.75p off BP, which closed at 496p. Royal Dutch Shell ended 43p lower at 1,654p and prospector Cairn Energy eased 33p to 1891p.
The leading FTSE 250 riser was subprime lender Cattles, up 13 per cent, or 1.5p, to 12p. The firm was bouncing back from the record lows hit the previous day when Merrill Lynch cut its target price on the firm amid concerns over delays to its banking licence application.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east