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Investors laugh all the way to the bank

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Banking stocks have dominated private investors’ trades over the past week, according to TD Waterhouse.

The online brokerage has revealed its users’ top three most traded stocks this week were Barclays, RBS and Lloyds TSB, with all three retaining the same position as last week.

Angus Rigby, chief executive officer of TD Waterhouse, said: “Barclays and RBS seemed to bear the brunt of continued volatility in the markets, exaggerated by predictions that they would have to raise more equity to strengthen their positions against the onset of a recession. Our customers were quick to react to market sentiment, placing the stocks at the top of both this week’s buys and sells.

“Elsewhere, Woolworths is the only retailer to make it into the top ten trades this week. Earlier this month, Woolworths’ shares sank to an all-time low after its Christmas trading update revealed a poor festive season. The company has said it expects its retail unit to return to profitability later this year but that 2008 would be tough.”

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