These were the most popular stocks among UK investors last week

Tesla has again topped the list of the most bought shares. But what else have British investors been buying recently? Karl Talbot explores.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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Tesla tops the list of last week’s most bought and sold shares. The electric car manufacturer’s volatile share price continued to be popular with short-term traders. So which other stocks have UK investors been buying and selling recently? Let’s take a look.


What were the most popular stocks to buy among UK investors last week?

According to Hargreaves Lansdown, here are the five most popular stocks to buy among UK investors last week.

1. Tesla

Tesla tops the category of the most bought shares last week in terms of value. The electric car manufacturer accounted for 3.4% of stocks traded. Tesla stock was valued at $1,145.25 (£845.49) on Monday 1 November, reaching a high of $1,239 (£914.90) by Thursday, before ending the week at $1,222.09 (£902.34).

On Saturday, Tesla founder Elon Musk asked his Twitter followers to help him decide whether to sell 10% of his Tesla stock. After more than 3.5 million votes, roughly 58% voted in favour of Musk offloading his shares.

As a result, Tesla stock is expected to drop significantly when the NASDAQ stock exchange opens on Monday morning in the US. Tesla’s European-listed shares already fell by 9% in early trading on Monday.

2. Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust

In second place, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust accounted for 2.8% of stock trades last week.

The publicly traded investment trust had a steady week, with its share price rising from £1,504 to £1,415. Despite a modest increase over the past week, this stock has had a very strong 12 months, rising by almost 40% since November 2020.

3. iShares plc

iShares PLC took third place, with its shares bought accounting for 2.23% of trades. The company is a collection of exchange-traded funds managed by BlackRock. The iShares plc share price increased by 1.19% last week.

4. BP plc

Despite the oil and gas industry facing a lot of negative press coverage in recent weeks as the world turned its attention to the COP26 summit, BP was still a popular pick among UK investors last week.

Trades in BP shares accounted for 2.15% of all trades, though its price has wobbled over the past week from £357 to £345.

5. Lloyds Banking Group plc

Lloyds was the fifth most popular buy last week, with the financial giant accounting for 1.9% of trades. However, despite experiencing an excellent October, the Lloyds share price fell from £51.11 to £49.11 during the course of the week.


What were the most popular stocks to sell?

According to Hargreaves Lansdown, Tesla also topped the list of the most sold shares last week in terms of value traded. The platform’s data reveals sales in Tesla stock were 5.96% of total sales. 

Other stocks featuring on both the most purchased and most sold list include iShares plc and Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust. Sales in these stocks accounted for 2.68% and 2.37% of the overall sales total.

International Consolidated Airlines Group SA was the fourth most sold stock last week among Hargreaves Lansdown clients. Share sales in the Anglo-Spanish multinational airline company accounted for 2.05% of sales, suggesting investors are losing confidence in the company’s future profitability.

The fifth most sold stock last week was Darktrace plc. Sales of the cyber-defence company’s stock accounted for 1.88% of all trades. Darktrace has had a difficult year. Its price has almost halved over the past six months as a result of early investors offloading its stock.

What does this data tell us?

Tesla, Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, and iShares plc appeared near the top of both the buy and sell lists last week. We can therefore assume that these stocks are favoured by short-term traders hoping to capitalise on sharp movements in share prices.

With BP featuring on the most bought shares list, we can also assume that some investors feel its share price is undervalued despite the growing global appetite to move away from fossil fuels.

Lloyd’s place on the most popular list could be attributed to the ‘bandwagon effect’ following last month’s excellent performance. Despite this, its recent share price slump is likely to have disappointed many of its investors over the past week.

Can this data help with future investing decisions?

Unfortunately, the past price movement of stock cannot be relied upon to give an indication of future performance. As a result, anyone using the above data in order to make future investing decisions could be making a mistake.

The value of any investment can go down as well as up. You should only ever invest what you can afford to lose. 

If you’re new to investing, our investing basics guide can help you get started. And if you’re looking to invest, see our list of top-rated share dealing accounts.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered so you should consider taking independent financial advice.

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