As the lockdown eases, investments are changing
The last month has seen the UK start to move slowly out of lockdown and make a cautious return to normality. We’re even allowed to exercise with other people now!
The stock market has reflected this trend to a certain extent. Aside from a minor dip mid-way through the month, the FTSE 100 was trending upwards for most of May.
Some companies on the index have been performing better than others, particularly those that may get a boost as more restrictions are lifted by the government.
Freetraders haven’t been immune to these developments. Last month saw some interesting investment trends on the app, with mergers and CEO departures also playing a role in the decision-making process.
As the lockdown eases, investors are thirsty — and not just for a cold pint.
Pub chain Marston’s entered the top 10 most popular buys on the Freetrade app for the first time ever in the last week of May.
That came after the group announced that it would be merging with the UK division of Carlsberg. Shares in the company doubled when the news was released, jumping from 33p to 66p.
The merger is expected to strengthen the brewing, distribution and pub operating sides of both businesses.
Fellow pub operators Wetherspoon and Whitbread also rose in the Freetrade rankings during the last week of May and featured in the top 40 most popular buys on the app.
One of the most popular buys on Freetrade since the pandemic began has been Florida-based Carnival, one of the largest cruise operators in the world.
Unsurprisingly, it was hit hard by the coronavirus and subsequent dissemination of the tourist industry. The group’s UK-listed division was trading at over £30 per share in February.
That number dropped to £6 in the same month, with some recovery since then taking it back up to just over £10.
Still, its enduring popularity with Freetraders — it has been amongst the most bought stocks since its price crash — indicates that many of them believe the firm will recover once the current crisis has passed.
In 2018, Aston Martin shares were trading at £18. Last week they were trading at 35p. How did that happen?
Huge debts, investments in unpopular products and a downturn caused by the pandemic have hit the carmaker hard. Most of these problems have been laid at the feet of outgoing CEO Andy Palmer.
Previously with Nissan, Palmer was brought in to shape things up at Aston Martin six years ago. He had some initial successes but the company’s performance over the past couple of years has made those a distant memory.
Palmer announced his resignation in the last week of May. Investors responded by buying Aston Martin Shares, pushing them up from 35p to close to 60p.
Freetraders were keen to get in on the act too. Only one company on the Freetrade app received more buy orders in May — Tesla.
When you invest, your capital is at risk. The value of your portfolio can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
This should not be read as personal investment advice and individual investors should make their own decisions or seek independent advice. This article has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is considered a marketing communication.
Freetrade is a trading name of Freetrade Limited, which is a member firm of the London Stock Exchange and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England and Wales (no. 09797821).