Investment Solutions


Investment Solutions


Investment Solutions


Selfwealth Most-Traded ASX Stocks: January 2022

Rene Anthony

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Sunday, February 6, 2022

With global markets entering a tailspin last month, the ASX also followed suit, recording its worst monthly result since the height of the market crash in March, 2020. The ASX 200 shed 6.4%, resulting in the local benchmark third monthly loss from the last four.

Just about every sector proved vulnerable to the sell-off, with tech leading the way given the direct hit to the Nasdaq overseas. Iron ore names, however, held up incredibly well, posting strong gains and saving the local market from what would have otherwise been an even larger drop due to their significant weight on the ASX.

With reporting season now under way, what have Selfwealth members been buying over the last month?

Which shares and ETFs are the most held?

While Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) remains the most-held stock across the Selfwealth community, it was another bank that rose up the ranks, with Westpac (ASX: WBC) displacing CSL (ASX: CSL) to take the mantle as the second most-popular ASX stock.

A 10.5% drop in the share price of CSL was one contributing factor, however, Selfwealth members have also stepped up heavily to take a position in Westpac, with the value of holdings across the community increasing last month despite the underlying share price sinking 4.9%. Investors may be betting on a performance discrepancy' here, with Westpac having significantly underperformed its banking peers over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, BHP (ASX: BHP) edged into fourth position as the most-held ASX name. That follows a positive month for the mining giant, which saw its share price rise 11.7% despite the broad-based market sell-off. Last month the company announced the unification of its Australian and UK listing in a move backed widely by investors, and with iron ore prices rallying towards US$150 per tonne throughout the month, it was enough to help prop up interest in the stock, and its peer Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), which moved into 14th position.

The absentees from the list of the most-held stocks were almost as telling as the names that featured. For the first time since we began compiling monthly data on trading across the Selfwealth community, neither Zip (ASX: Z1P) nor Afterpay (ASX: APT) featured among the most-held stocks. Zip share price has come tumbling down amid negative sentiment in the BNPL sector, and Afterpay was wrapped up in newly-listed Square (ASX: SQ2), a stock that has also fallen foul of investors amid competition, regulatory concerns and the like.

Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) is another name that was evicted from the leaderboards, with a number of battery metals and lithium stocks proving vulnerable to last month market volatility. One exception to this was Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS), which moved higher into 15th place. One possible reason behind this is its more established mining operations may have drawn interest from investors watching an industry that is set to become prominent over the coming years.

And finally, Brainchip (ASX: BRN) edged its way into the top 20 for the first time, with the AI chip developer having a bumper month in terms of the development of its Akida product. We'll touch more on this in the most-traded section, where it was a leading name.

We saw a new name emerge among the most-popular ASX ETFs in January, with the BetaShares Diversified All Growth ETF (ASX: DHHF) making its first-ever appearance. That came at the expense of the BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX: ASIA), which fell out of the top 10 after hitting a 52-week low on the back of a sell-down in international tech stocks. 

The DHHF ETF is an 'all-in-one' fund offering exposure to Australian shares, US shares, as well as global developed markets and emerging markets. The appeal of international equities has been an instrumental driver in ETFs throughout the pandemic, with this name proving no exception.

ASX share trading activity

Westpac (ASX: WBC) and Brainchip (ASX: BRN) finished January as the two most actively-traded stocks, with investors and traders flocking to the stocks in a huge showing. In fact, both stocks saw more than $75 million worth of overall trades, which across the last 11 months has only been topped by Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) and Zip (ASX: Z1P). Brainchip was also the second most actively-traded stock by the number of orders filled, with nearly 5,000 trades in BRN shares, and just shy of 60% of them being buy' orders.

Elsewhere, lithium stocks were still a popular trade, even as their share prices took a large hit. Last month saw the likes of Core Lithium (ASX: CXO), Novonix (ASX: NVX), Vulcan Energy (ASX: VUL), Lake Resources (ASX: LKE) and Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) all feature in the top 20 for trades filled, with trades heavily skewed towards buying. Several of these stocks were also among those with the largest value of shares exchanged, as was AVZ Minerals (ASX: AVZ), however, the impact of larger sell orders meant a more even split across the total flow of funds in this sector.

In a surprise result, Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) was the share with the lowest buy-to-sell interest in terms of the value of all orders. Just 40.3% of the value of all shares traded were driven by buy orders, and it may have been a case that investors rotated out of the bank after its strong performance into Westpac hoping its underperformance might reverse course.

On the contrary, CSL (ASX: CSL), which has at times seen greater selling interest than buying interest, was among the highest-conviction plays last month. It recorded the highest buy-to-sell ratio outside of any ETF. The recent sell-down in the stock may have incentivised some investors to place bigger orders in the biotech giant, which at one stage circled near its lowest point since March, 2021.

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

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