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Tesco tops trades as investor activity soars

Tesco tops trades as investor activity soars

Category: Investments

Updated: 20/01/2012
First Published: 20/01/2012

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.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 caught the trading bug last week despite the FTSE 100 finishing the week virtually level with where it began.

The number of trades conducted by investors in the week ending Tuesday 17 January was up 163% compared with activity in the previous seven days.

The amount of stocks bought outnumbered those sold by a ratio of almost 2:1, even though the number of sales conducted was up 50% on the previous week.

Stocks from the retail, financial and resource sectors all proved hugely popular, according to TD Direct Investing, with Tesco being the most bought stock.

The supermarket giant accounted for half of the top ten buys during the week with investors seemingly sensing a bargain after its share price dropped nearly 20% after a series of setbacks.

The announcement that it had suffered its worst Christmas in decades was accompanied by a shock warning that UK profits could fall in the coming year.

"Retail commentators suggested that Tesco's underperformance was in part down to its customers heading down other supermarkets' aisles over the festive period and one of Tesco's competitors, J. Sainsbury, was a new entry to the top ten buys in sixth place," said Stuart Welch, CEO of TD Direct Investing.

"Despite reporting a strong Christmas period, Sainsbury's share price lost nearly 7% on the back of Tesco's announcements, as the latter's news cast doubt on the robustness of the UK 's food retail sector."

Besides Sainsbury's, oil and gas explorer Red Emperor Resources was the only other new entry in the top ten buys table.

In terms of the stocks investors were selling, Royal Bank of Scotland led the way, with fellow banking giants Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays remaining in second and third places respectively.

The three banks combined to make up over half of the top ten sells in total, while accounting for just 13.5% of the top ten buys.

Taylor Wimpey came in as the tenth most popular sell during the week, after the UK 's second-largest house builder revealed it was expecting an 80% rise in operating profits after hitting its margin targets earlier than scheduled.

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