The ten most-hated shares on the FTSE

Company What it does % of stock being shorted % on 29-April
Carillion Construction/outsourcing 21.10% 20.88%
Wm Morrison Supermarkets 18.95% 19.07%
Ocado Group Online supermarkets 17.04% 21.67%
Mitie Group Facilities management 11.90% 11.74%
Tullow Oil Oil and gas explorer 10.89% 16.08%
Weir Group Industrial engineering 9.66% NEW ENTRY
Telit Comms Telecoms equipment 9.33% 8.43%
Victrex Plastics 7.67% 8.96%
J Sainsbury Supermarkets 7.57% 12.12%
Debenhams General retailers 6.88% 7.85%

This is a list of the ten most-despised shares on the London market, judged by the percentage of stock being shorted. Short sellers hope to profit from falling stock prices, so it can be useful to see what they are betting against. The list is also a good indicator of stocks with the potential to bounce strongly on unexpected good news.

“Short squeezes” occur when short sellers are forced out of their positions, which can send share prices surging. Investors remain worried that the supermarkets are having trouble with the German discounters.

This month’s new entry, Scottish engineer Weir, specialises in pumps for oil producers and miners, sectors that have seen cutbacks in capital expenditure in recent years. Weir’s profits look set to drop for a fourth successive year in 2016.