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Investors flock to financials and oil

Investors flock to financials and oil

Category: Investments

Updated: 18/03/2011
First Published: 18/03/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Investors have flocked to oil and finance stocks in the aftermath of the natural disasters in Japan.

The earthquake in Japan and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear scares spooked the financial markets this week, as the FTSE 100 fell to a low of 5593.90 in the week ending 15 March.

"Oil and financial stocks were almost the sole focus among customers this week, combining to make up nearly 90% of the top ten buys and 100% of the top ten sells," said Darren Hepworth, trading and customer services director at TD Waterhouse.

Figures from the investment broker show that stock buys rocketed by17% in the week, with Lloyds Banking Group the most purchased and most sold equity.

The activity around the bank is likely to have been fuelled by reports that the British division of the National Australia Bank was preparing to make a bid for 600 branches that Lloyds is having to sell as part of its bail-out agreement with the Government.

Insurance giant Aviva also featured as one of the week's most popular stock picks, rising from tenth to eighth place. Investors rushed to buy after news emerged that its price would be adversely affected by events in Japan.

"Barclays re-entered the top ten buys in fifth, with Royal Bank of Scotland Group retaining its sixth place in the table and lifting three spots to fifth in the sells," added Mr Hepworth.

The problems in the Far East saw oil fall to under $100 a barrel, with BP entering the top ten buys in third position as a result. The energy giant was also boosted after it announced an expansion of its biofuels business in Brazil – one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

BP also featured in the sells table, as the third most sold stock, while three other oil companies – Heritage Oil, Sound Oil and Rockhopper Exploration – also featured.

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