Short selling spikes in March as coronavirus crisis deepens

Up 40% year on year

Jenna Brown
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"On a daily basis, there is an update of the human tragedy of this virus, and understandably this has spooked investors, including the more sophisticated ones who look to hedge risk by shorting stocks."  - Will Rhind, founder and CEO at GraniteShares
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"On a daily basis, there is an update of the human tragedy of this virus, and understandably this has spooked investors, including the more sophisticated ones who look to hedge risk by shorting stocks." - Will Rhind, founder and CEO at GraniteShares

Shorting of UK stocks rocketed in March as the global coronavirus pandemic caused widespread market uncertainty, according to analysis.

ETF provider GraniteShares looked at official Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) figures and found the number of short positions reported to the regulator in January and February was down 12% year on year. However, as the crisis deepened in the first half of March the number of short positions were up 40% on the same period in 2019. GraniteShares said the initial market falls from the coronavirus outbreak - which first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 - would normally have encouraged shorting. However, the lack of visibility around how the crisis would evolve resulted in the rever...

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