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The correction in equity markets over the last two weeks has resulted in a dramatic shift in behaviour from nabtrade investors. While market strength and reporting season had investors taking profits or looking for cheeky side bets like Zoono, Wisetech and Evolution Mining, recent volatility has led to strong buying in financials and resources as investors add to their positions in favoured large caps.
Following last week’s falls, investors have loaded up on the big four banks, with nab leading the way (84% of trade value as a buy). CSL has fallen from the most traded stock of the last four weeks (mostly buys on another strong result in an otherwise quiet reporting season), to the 6th most traded stock. With its share price up 10% this year against a market fall of 12%, 67% of confirmations were a buy. Telstra (TLS) is the only sell in the top 10, with only 40% buys. Fortescue (FMG), Rio and Macquarie (MQG) round out the ten most traded stocks, with bigger sell than buy sizes, but the number of buyers taking the overall value of buy trades to over 70%.
On international markets, investors started selling in the last week of February, trimming or exiting positions in Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.US), Tesla (TSLA.US), Microsoft (MSFT.US), IBM (IBM.US) and Apple (APPL.US). This reverses the long term trend of buying US mega caps, and increasingly Chinese tech titans such as Alibaba (BABA.US) and Tencent (0700.HK). Weakness brought back buyers in Microsoft last week, but all other stocks in the top ten swung to the sells.
Extreme volatility resulted in significantly increased volumes as investors rushed to exit positions at risk, or snap up preferred stocks on weakness. The ASX200 has fallen to levels reached during the correction in the December quarter of 2018, giving back 14 months of gains.