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The shares UK investors snapped up as markets tanked

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

UK investors held their nerve in the wake of this week’s dramatic market falls, adding to their portfolios rather than panic selling, according to one of Britain’s largest investment platforms.

AJ Bell, which has around 240,000 customers, said its platform had one of its busiest days ever yesterday, with more people buying than selling.

Global markets plummeted on Monday in reaction to an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

In the UK, the FTSE 100 fell by almost 8% at opening, wiping more than £130bn off the value of Britain’s listed companies.

The catastrophic losses left commentators labelling yesterday “Black Monday”, while others suggested a global recession was “almost inevitable”.

However, AJ Bell said market falls prompted its customers to go “hunting for bargains”, with the platform reporting two and a half times more buys than sells so far this month.

Oil giants BP and Shell were the most bought shares on the platform yesterday having seen their share prices fall by almost 20% and 18% respectively following the collapse in the oil price.

Laura Suter, personal finance analyst at AJ Bell, said: “While the dividends of both of these stocks may be put under pressure following the oil price fall, at current valuations the dividend yield looks very attractive for income-seeking investors.”

Elsewhere, investors snapped up airlines, such as easyJet and International Consolidated Airlines Group, which have been among the hardest hit during the recent market volatility.

UK finance firms were also top of the buy list for investors, including banking giants Lloyds and Barclays, and insurance groups Aviva and Legal & General.

“All the companies saw a 10% fall on markets yesterday, adding to already significant falls over the past few weeks,” said Suter.

A number of investment trusts also fell to discounts yesterday, which investors snapped up.

“Scottish Mortgage saw its share price fall 4% yesterday and investors dived in to buy the technology-heavy trust on a discount,” Suter noted.

“City of London was also popular among investors having seen a 6% fall in the day and a near 15% fall in its share price over the market volatility.”