For the second month in a row, the ASX 200 posted a monthly decline, easing 0.9% across November. 

While the iron ore majors managed to turn around losses and help prop up the overall market, the impact of a sharp slump in stocks from the energy, financial and information technology sectors proved too difficult for the market to overcome. 

Weakness in these sectors was driven by crude oil prices sinking throughout the month on demand concerns, narrowing margins reported by the ‘Big Four’ banks, and the emergence of the Omicron COVID variant sparking a sell-down in growth assets. 

On that note, let’s take a look at last month’s most-popular trades within the SelfWealth community.


Which shares and ETFs were the most held?

Although the top four names remained the same, with Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) leading the way, its lead over second-place CSL (ASX: CSL) narrowed considerably, with banks having a torrid month. It came as the nation’s largest banks flagged fierce competition in the home loan market, ballooning costs and shrinking net interest margins. 

Despite negative sentiment in the sector, however, there was a strong increase in the value of holdings in Westpac (ASX: WBC) across the SelfWealth community in November. The stock tumbled 20.1%, but investors were scurrying to buy the dip, with holdings across the community actually rising by 10.6% on account of long-term shareholders topping up their portfolios as the stock hit a multi-month low.

Iron ore stocks delivered a rebound after sliding in recent months, with both BHP (ASX: BHP) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) rising up the list, into fifth and sixth position respectively. They were joined in the top 20 by Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), which makes its first appearance among the leading names since August. Share prices for the trio rallied across the month, with sentiment lifting on speculation China’s sharp cut to steel production could soon moderate.

Meanwhile, lithium names are now entrenching themselves inside the top 20 most-held stocks across the SelfWealth share trading platform. While previously stocks from this segment were a regular sight on the list of the most-traded names, long-term conviction is becoming increasingly apparent as time goes on.

On this occasion, Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) inched its way higher by one spot into 15th place, while Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) made its debut among the most-popular names slotting in at number 18. The latter was the major mover in terms of share price action, up 18% for the month and hitting an all-time high as it locked up additional funding for the staged restart of its Ngungaju spodumene plant in Western Australia.

ASX Stock Company
1 CBA Commonwealth Bank
2 CSL CSL Limited
3 WBC Westpac
4 NAB National Australia Bank
6 FMG Fortescue Metals Group
7 MQG Macquarie Group
8 AFI Australian Foundation Investment
10 IHL Incannex Healthcare
11 TLS Telstra
12 APT Afterpay
13 WES Wesfarmers
14 Z1P Zip Co
15 LTR Liontown Resources
16 RIO Rio Tinto
17 FLT Flight Centre
18 PLS Pilbara Minerals
19 SOL Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co
20 WPL Woodside Petroleum

ETF popularity continued to build last month, with the top 50 ETFs now representing 37.4% of the value of all ASX holdings across the SelfWealth platform, up from 36.5% just a month ago. 

One of the key drivers of this growth was the debut of the highly-popular Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF (ASX: CRYP), which set a record for opening day trading across the industry. Being the first crypto-related ETF of any sort on the ASX, it is apparent that a number of investors are keen to tap into this theme, with already more than $10 million tied up in the fund among SelfWealth members.

As for the top 10 ETFs held by value, the Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ) and BetaShares Australia 200 ETF (ASX: A200) traded positions among what was otherwise a host of familiar names. Only one name saw an outflow last month, and a marginal one at that, with holdings in BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX: ASIA) decreasing.

ASX ETFs Company
1 VAS Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
2 VDHG Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF
3 VGS Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF
4 VTS Vanguard U.S. Total Market Shares Index ETF
5 IVV Ishares S&P 500 ETF
6 NDQ Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF
7 A200 BetaShares Australia 200 ETF
8 VEU Vanguard All-World ex-U.S. Shares Index ETF
9 VHY Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF
10 ASIA BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF


ASX share trading activity

Further highlighting the extent to which Westpac was one of the only favoured bank names last month, the stock was the second most-traded by value across the community in November. With a whopping 70.4% of all money coming from the buy side, this was higher than every other non-ETF security on the platform. Rarely do we see a non-ETF security achieve this sort of dominant favour among buyers, particularly when the stock has been smashed in recent times. There were more than 2,600 orders involving WBC shares in November, with almost 84% being buy orders.

For the first time, Novonix (ASX: NVX) featured as one of the most-traded stocks by value. Previously, we’ve seen a couple instances where there was a large volume of trades in the battery metals tech firm, but this has now translated into larger orders for a bigger overall representation. However, these orders were skewed to the sell side, something likely attributed to profit taking as the stock set new records.

Meanwhile, Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX: VUL) returned to the list of the most actively-traded names, placing 15th. During November, the stock found itself the target of a ‘short report’, with claims levelled at the company and the feasibility of its plans to develop zero-carbon lithium operations in the heart of Germany’s Upper Rhine Valley. SelfWealth members seemingly looked past the uncertainty, as well as the large share price slump, with more than 2,700 orders and well in excess of $20 million worth of VUL shares trading hands.

Lake Resources (ASX: LKE), Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) and Magnis Energy Technologies (ASX: MNS) rounded out the lithium and battery metals intrigue, with each making the top 20 stocks by trade numbers, and Magnis also featuring in terms of the value of shares that swapped hands. In the case of the latter, the strategic lithium investment company had a volatile month amid allegations directed at the business and reports its chairman is under investigation by ASIC. 

And finally, the aforementioned Betashares Crypto Innovators ETF was at the centre of more than 4,200 filled orders via the SelfWealth share trading platform, beaten only by the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS) and Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF (ASX: VDHG). The other names rounding out the top five in terms of orders filled were also ETFs in the Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (ASX: VGS) and Nasdaq 100 ETF.

Top 20 stocks traded by value
Code  Security Buy-Sell Ratio
1 FMG Fortescue Metals Group 50.7%
2 WBC Westpac 70.4%
3 VAS Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF 70.1%
4 CBA Commonwealth Bank 52.8%
5 BHP BHP 52.6%
6 BBOZ Betashares Australian Equities Strong Bear Hedge Fund 48.2%
7 ANZ ANZ 47.8%
8 GEAR Betashares Geared Australian Equity Fund 52.1%
9 Z1P Zip Co 53.7%
10 VDHG Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF 72.8%
11 VGS Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF 80.0%
12 CSL CSL 45.6%
13 TLS Telstra 40.1%
14 FLT Flight Centre 49.1%
15 VUL Vulcan Energy Resources 56.5%
16 NAB NAB 49.6%
17 IVV iShares S&P 500 ETF 74.4%
18 NST Northern Star Resources 47.9%
19 NVX Novonix 44.1%
20 MNS Magnis Energy Technologies 52.6%


That’s all for this Trade Trends report, stay tuned for the next edition this time next month!


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