Britain’s ten most-hated shares

The supermarket sector has been a rich hunting ground for short-sellers this year.

This is a list of the ten most-hated 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.

The supermarkets remain the most unpopular sector this month, while Petrofac joins the top ten after a huge profit warning amid falling oil prices. WH Smith's surge to record levels and a high valuation, and its trouble growing sales on the high street, makes a setback look likely.

CompanyWhat it does% of stock being shorted
J SainsburySupermarket11.4%
WH SmithRetailer9.9%
Wm MorrisonSupermarket8.5%
Serco GroupOutsourcing8.3%
Ashmore GroupEM specialist fund group8.0%
AsosClothing retailer7.7%
OcadoSupermarket7.0%
Greene KingPubs6.8%
Nanoco GroupNanotech/semiconductors6.7%
PetrofacOil & gas services6.0%

Recommended

Why investment forecasting is futile
Investment gurus

Why investment forecasting is futile

Every year events prove that forecasting is futile and 2020 was no exception, says Bill Miller, chairman and chief investment officer of Miller Value …
21 Jan 2021
Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket
Emerging markets

Why investors should beware of India’s surging stockmarket

The BSE Sensex benchmark index has soared by 90% since March, largely driven by foreign investors. But India's bull market is very vulnerable.
15 Jan 2021
US stocks are obviously in a bubble. But is it a rational bubble?
US stockmarkets

US stocks are obviously in a bubble. But is it a rational bubble?

Everyone wants to know if the US stockmarket is in a bubble. But that is the wrong question, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Of course it’s a bubble. The r…
14 Jan 2021
Yes US stocks are in a big bubble. But when will it burst?
US stockmarkets

Yes US stocks are in a big bubble. But when will it burst?

There are plenty of indicators to suggest that US stocks are in a massive bubble right now, says John Stepek. Here, he looks at what might pop it.
11 Jan 2021

Most Popular

Forget austerity – governments and central banks have no intention of cutting back
Global Economy

Forget austerity – governments and central banks have no intention of cutting back

Once the pandemic is over will we return to an era of austerity to pay for all the stimulus? Not likely, says John Stepek. The money will continue to …
15 Jan 2021
The MoneyWeek Podcast: bitcoin special
Bitcoin

The MoneyWeek Podcast: bitcoin special

Merryn talks to bitcoin experts Dominic Frisby and Charlie Morris to get the lowdown on the cryptocurrency to find out why it's such a huge global phe…
15 Jan 2021
A simple way to profit from the next big trend change in the markets
Investment strategy

A simple way to profit from the next big trend change in the markets

Change is coming to the markets as the tech-stock bull market of the 2010s is replaced by a new cycle of rising commodity prices. John Stepek explains…
14 Jan 2021
Free 6 issue trial then continue to