Revealed: February’s top trades
On 24th February, the FTSE 100 closed the day at 6,865 points, the highest close in 14 years. The London market was lifted by a rally on Wall Street, where news of yet more US merger and acquisition activity pushed the S&P 500 to a record high. It was also aided by the knock-on effect of the Vodafone demerger, with many reinvesting their windfall from the Vodafone/Verizon deal, following Vodafone’s share consolidation the same day.
However, more than just the result of a combination of phenomena, I see the FTSE 100 performance this month as an illustration of the return of investors’ confidence, encouraged also by general improvements in both America and the Eurozone.
Internationally, foreign political concerns and poor news from China are having an impact on trading and global Indexes. Escalating tension in Ukraine, as well as reports that North Korea had fired four short-range missiles into the sea late February have undoubtedly hit global market sentiment. China’s unexpected trade deficit in February – the highest in two years – and fear of lower growth have also dragged indexes down, with a particular weight on the mining sector; China being the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals.
Such remind us that renewed investor confidence in the UK is still fragile and not yet being mirrored at global level and, therefore, continues to be contingent on these macro developments.
Looking at February’s movers and shakers for UK investor activity, below are some key drivers of the FTSE 100 high – and players in the wider global market activity.
• Technology brands continue to dominate international top trades well into 2014, with five of the world’s tech giants (Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Twitter) featured in the top six international buys in February. In December, tech stocks were pegged to benefit from growing business confidence in 2014 and the TD February trades data proves these predictions are already beginning to bear fruit. This month, Amazon rose to take second spot behind Apple as its share price continues to rise, despite a disappointing fourth quarter and a forecast which triggers negative reactions from many financial analysts.
• Unsurprisingly, Verizon topped the international sells in February, with some Vodafone investors selling the Verizon shares they acquired through the $130 billion buyout of the telecom’s U.S. joint venture.
• Gulf Keystone Petroleum achieved a huge milestone in February, announcing that its shares are expected to commence trading on the London Stock Exchange Main Market and consequently be removed from the AIM stock exchange on or after 24 March.
The Top 10 UK TD client Buys and Sells for February 2014
|Top UK Buys||Top UK Sells|
|1||QUINDELL PLC||1||LLOYDS BANKING GROUP|
|3||LLOYDS BANKING GROUP||3||BARCLAYS|
|5||ROLLS ROYCE HOLDINGS||5||BLINKXX PLC|
|6||HSBC HOLDINGS PLC||6||GULF KEYSTONE PETROLEUM|
|7||GULF KEYSTONE PETROLEUM||7||ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND GROUP PLC|
|9||COMS PLC||9||CENTAMIN PLC|
The Top 10 International Buys and Sells for February 2014
|Top International Buys||Top International Sells|
|1||APPLE INC||1||VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS|
|2||AMAZON COM INC||2||APPLE INC|
|3||GOOGLE INC||3||TESLA MOTORS INC|
|4||TESLA MOTORS INC||4||3D SYSTEMS INC|
|5||FACEBOOK INC||5||FACEBOOK INC|
|6||TWITTER INC||6||CITIGROUP INC|
|7||3D SYSTEMS INC||7||DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST|
|8||GENERAL ELECTRIC CO||8||WOODSIDE PETROLEUM|
|9||POET TECHNOLOGIES INC||9||GOOGLE INC|
|10||DIREXION SHARES ETF TRUST||10||CELESTICA INC|