Short and Caught: The ASX stocks investors are shorting right now
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Short & Caught is Stockhead’s fortnightly recap of which ASX small cap stocks are heavily shorted. Stocks that are shorted have investors betting that they fall.
Shorting works by selling stocks you do not actually own in the hope of buying them back at a lower price.
Because shorting is restricted under Australian law, any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about even if you own these stocks and only trade long.
Stockhead’s two preferred metrics are raw short interest as well as percentage changes within the last month.
In the last fortnight, Myer (ASX:MYR) has been the most shorted ASX stock with $82m against it. The company is currently partway through a month-long shutdown of its stores due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The reason? Oil prices are the lowest they’ve been this century.
Was about to buy a barrel of oil but suddenly there's this Jane Austen mug (with some of her famous quotes) on Amazon that's going for the same price of around $15. pic.twitter.com/8wr99Q8HKL
— David Ingles (@DavidInglesTV) April 20, 2020
Another target was Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL), which owns the Austereo Radio Network. It is currently undertaking a big capital raise to get it through the COVID-19 epidemic and it has been shorted by nearly $30m — triple what it was a fortnight ago.
Helloworld Travel (ASX:HLO) has become a recent target. Like its peers, it is still operating but it is having to pay back money rather than receive commissions as global travel demand continues to decline.
In spite of the solid run the gold sector has seen recently, a couple of players in the sector were still shorted. One was Big River Gold (ASX:BRV), which has a project in Brazil where it is looking to kickstart production but is trying to find the money to do so.
Recent exploration success story Oklo Resources (ASX:OKU) also made the list of shorted stocks as it retraced to highs seen in February.