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These were the most popular stocks among UK investors last week

These were the most popular stocks among UK investors last week
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Stock markets tumbled on Friday amid fears the new Covid-19 ‘Omicron’ variant could significantly impact the global economy. In light of this, data from Hargreaves Lansdown reveals UK investors piled in to buy stocks that fell in value last week.

So which stocks have UK investors been buying and selling recently?

What happened to the stock market last week?

On Friday, the FTSE 100 tumbled by over 240 points. This decline of more than 3% was the biggest daily drop the share index had witnessed in almost a year and a half. The FTSE 250 experienced a similar slump last week. The UK’s second-biggest share index plummeted by over 600 points.

These drops, alongside similar declines seen in stock markets around the world, have been driven by fears surrounding the new Covid-19 variant. Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest losers on Friday included airline and hospitality companies.

Despite the recent slump, both the FTSE 100 and 250 remain significantly higher than they were at the start of the year. On another positive note, both indexes recovered some ground by Monday morning following last week’s losses.

What stocks have UK investors been buying recently?

Following the recent stock market slump, these were the top five shares bought among Hargreaves Lansdown investors last week, in terms of value of shares purchased.

1. International Consolidated Airlines Group

Following the news of the Omicron variant, shares in International Consolidated Airlines Group took a huge tumble last week. IAG shares are down almost 15% over the past seven days.

This slump indicates investors are clearly concerned that the travel industry could be one of the worst-hit sectors if the variant turns out to be as bad as is currently feared. IAG is comprised of five airline brands including British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and low-cost carriers LEVEL and Vueling.

Despite this significant fall, IAG was the most-bought share among UK investors last week, accounting for 2.9% of purchases made by Hargreaves Lansdown clients.

2. Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group was another big name that experienced a tough day on Friday. Its share price slumped by over £2.50 a share.

The banking group that includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland has had a very strong 2021 so far with its share price up almost 35% since the turn of the year. 

Investors buying Lloyds shares accounted for 2.7% of the total among Hargreaves Lansdown clients last week.

3. iShares plc

iShares plc took third place in the list of the most-bought shares, with buys in the ETF fund accounting for 2.17% of the total. 

The iShares plc share price was another that slumped on Friday, with the value of each share falling by over £30.

4. Tesla Inc

A list of the most bought sold among UK investors wouldn’t be complete without Tesla featuring. This week, the electric car manufacturer accounted for 2.07% of share purchases. 

Despite being known for its extremely volatile share price, Tesla’s value remained relatively stable over the past week. The share price of Elon Musk’s most famous company is just 1.54% lower than a week ago.

5. Rolls Royce Holdings plc

The fifth most popular stock to buy among UK investors last week was Rolls Royce Holdings plc. The aerospace company’s share price is down by a massive 8% over the past week, with investors fearful that demand for its engines will drop due to the new Covid-19 variant.

UK investors buying Rolls Royce shares accounted for 2.05% of last week’s total.

What stocks have UK investors been selling?

Now that we’ve touched on which stocks have been popular buys, these are the top five shares British investors have been keen to offload over the past week

Share Sector Percentage of total
Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust plc Mortgage trusts 1.93%
iShares plc ETF funds 1.79%
BP plc Oil and gas 1.78%
Lloyds Banking Group Banking 1.61%
International Consolidated Airlines Group Airline 1.48%

What does this data reveal?

With International Consolidated Airlines Group featuring on both lists, it is clear to see that UK investors have been keen to act following the airline group’s volatile share price over the past few days.

While some traders have been keen to snap up IAG’s stock at a perceived ‘knock-down’ price, others have been offloading, fearful that the Omicron variant will send its share price plummeting further.

However, investors that acted swiftly to offload IAG stock on Friday may now be ruing that decision. That’s because the airline group’s share price rallied on Monday morning, climbing more than 3%.

Remember, while it can be interesting to look at which stocks have been popular buys, past performance should not be used to make future investing decisions. If you’re new to investing, take a look at the Motley Fool’s guide to investing basics

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