Record levels of trading have been witnessed after the volatility in the stock markets caught the eye of investors eager to snap up a bargain.
Unprecedented trading activity has been reported by TD Waterhouse in the week ending Tuesday 9 August, with trading volumes up 140% compared with the previous week.
Shares being bought by investors outweighed those being sold by a ratio of almost 3:1, as the FTSE 100 index dipped below the 5,000 mark, registering its lowest level since July last year.
"As worries over global debt and growth fears led to extremely volatile trading conditions in the markets, it appeared our customers were looking to bag discounted shares among the mass of falling share prices," said Darren Hepworth, trading and customer services director at TD Waterhouse.
The big banks dominated both the most bought and most sold charts as the debt crisis continued to grip the Eurozone and credit rating agency Standard & Poor's brought to an end the US 's 70-year reign as an AAA rated economy.
Having announced a £3.3 billion loss for the first half of the year, Lloyds Banking Group was both the most bought and most sold stock of the week.
Lloyds' losses included a figure of £3.2 billion that the bank put aside to compensate customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI).
Despite allocating a much smaller amount of £850 million to cover any claims it might receive for PPI mis-selling, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) also announced half-year losses of £1.4 billion.
As a result, investors were eager to both buy and sell the stock, while Barclays also attracted a significant amount of investor attention.
The insurance giant Aviva also announced its interim results during the week.
Having reported a total operating profit of £1.3 billion for the first half of the year, 5% higher than in the same period a year earlier, investors looked to snap up the stock in their droves.
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