Britain’s ten most-hated shares

These are the most-hated shares on the London market, judged by the percentage of stock being shorted.

Short sellers hope to profit from the price of a stock falling, so it can be handy to see what they are betting against: such stocks might have the potential to bounce on unexpected good news – ‘short squeezes’ happen when short sellers are forced out of their positions, and they can send share prices surging.

This month, the supermarket sector is still well represented, with short positions in both Sainsbury’s and Morrisons rising on last month. Scandal-hit outsourcing group Serco is a new entrant, as is semiconductor and nanotechnology specialist Nanoco, which has missed several profit forecasts this year.

Share Business % of stock being shorted
J Sainsbury Supermarket 12.1%
WH Smith Retailer 10.6%
Serco Group Outsourcing 8.2%
Wm Morrison Supermarket 7.6%
Amec Engineering consultancy 7.6%
Monitise Alternative finance 6.9%
Ashmore Group EM specialist fund group 6.8%
Quindell Reinsurance 6.7%
Nanoco Group Nanotechnology/semiconductors 6.6%
Ocado Supermarket 6.4%