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Short sellers piled into bets against UK firms in August as political turmoil and a looming recession continue to drag on London’s markets, new data has revealed.
The UK made up 23.46 percent of all short positions in Europe at the end of August, up from 22.6 percent in July, followed by Germany with 21.83 percent, which has seen a decline from 22.18 percent in July from July, according to data to investment intelligence firm SEI Novus.
It marks a continuation of long term trends across the continent with the UK and Germany consistently topping the rankings of biggest short exposures since February 2022.
Analysts at SEI Novus said that investors were shorting UK firms as markets showed little sign of stabilising amid political turmoil and soaring inflation.
“Data from the month of August also implies that confidence in the UK economy has not returned, as the country held the greatest short exposure in Europe at 23.46 percent in August as inflationary pressures weigh and as the prime minister takes on a host of challenges,” said Andrea Gentilini, Head of SEI Novus.
Industrials stocks were the most shorted in August, according to SEI Novus, closing the month accounting for 22.98 percent of total short activity in Europe after having reached their highest level in two years on 18 August at 26.57 percent.
Consumer discretionary stocks have also suffered as shoppers feel the squeeze and rein in their spending this year. Some 18.85 percent of registered European short positions were in consumer discretionary stocks, the firm found. Despite the Short position count rising in the UK, the number of overall short positions across the continent dipped to 452 on 31st August, down from 483 on 31st July.
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