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.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

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%
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/517688/the-british-equity-market-is-shrinking
Stock markets

The British equity market is shrinking

British startups are abandoning public stockmarkets and turning to deep-pocketed Silicon Valley venture capitalists for their investment needs.
8 Nov 2019
Visit/511212/reasons-for-investors-to-be-bearish-but-stick-with-the-stockmarket-bulls
Stock markets

There are lots of reasons to be bearish – but you should stick with the bulls

There are plenty of reasons to be gloomy about the stockmarkets. But the trend remains up, says Dominic Frisby. And you don’t want to bet against the …
17 Jul 2019
Visit/510684/good-news-on-jobs-scares-stockmarkets
Economy

Good news on jobs scares US stockmarkets

June brought the best monthly US jobs growth of the year, but stockmarkets were not best pleased.
11 Jul 2019
Visit/510135/trade-war-ceasefire-boosts-stockmarkets
Economy

Trade-war ceasefire boosts stockmarkets

Stockmarkets sighed with relief after the G20 summit in Japan brought a handshake between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
4 Jul 2019

Most Popular

Visit/economy/uk-economy/600824/how-the-bbc-can-survive-the-end-of-the-tv-licence
UK Economy

How the BBC can survive the end of the TV licence

Th TV licence that funds the BBC is looking way past its sell-by date, says Matthew Lynn. Here's how it could survive without it
16 Feb 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/600837/rishi-sunak-new-chancellor-spending-splurge
UK Economy

Britain has a new chancellor – get ready for a major spending splurge

The departure of Sajid Javid as chancellor and the appointment of Rishi Sunak marks a change in the style of our politics. John Stepek explains what's…
14 Feb 2020
Visit/investments/property/600826/living-on-a-houseboat-the-pros-and-cons-of-a-floating-home
Property

Living on a houseboat: the pros and cons of a floating home

Living on a houseboat sounds romantic and peaceful. But it’s not as straightforward as it looks, says Nicole Garcia Merida
14 Feb 2020
Visit/investments/commodities/600729/the-rare-earth-metal-that-wont-be-a-secret-for-long
Sponsored

The rare earth metal that won't be a secret for long

SPONSORED CONTENT – You can’t keep a good thing hidden forever; now is the time to consider Pensana Rare Earths and the rare earth metals NdPr.
31 Jan 2020