Fourteen British stocks have made gains since the coronavirus outbreak began to hit European markets just under two weeks ago.
London’s blue-chip stocks were down over 120 points, or 1.8 per cent, in morning trading as the UK faces a slowing economy as a result of lockdown measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. Just seven stocks were ahead in mid-morning trading including insurers Admiral and Aviva as well as industrial conglomerate Melrose Industries.
However, several firms in the wider FTSE 350 have performed well, or at least stayed in positive territory, since the third week in February, when the outbreak began to impact trading on European markets. Overall, the FTSE 350 is down 8 per cent since the attack.
Online trading platform Plus 500 was the best-performing stock jumping 16 per cent between February 16 and March 4, as investors believe this platform will boost trading fees as a result of the global market sell-off.
Investors betting on UK consumers stockpiling food
The platform said it was seeing better trading activity at its half-year results on February 12 and on February 28 confirmed a significant increase in trading activity.
Other notable rises include packaging firm Bunzl, which lifted just under 2 per cent over the period, as it makes medical masks and gloves.
Supermarket stocks Sainsbury’s and Ocado also rose as investors bet consumers will begin stockpiling food.
AJ Bell personal finance analyst Laura Suter said: “Shares in online trading platform Plus 500 are up 16 per cent during the global market sell-off as investors think it will benefit from wild swings in share prices, creating an environment favoured by people trading the markets. The more trades, the more commission and financing fees earned by Plus 500.”
She added: “Two supermarkets have also slipped into the top 10 risers, with online grocer Ocado rising by 1.5 per cent and supermarket giant Sainsbury rising by 1 per cent. Investors clearly think both will benefit from people stockpiling food or buying up cleaning supplies, as well as fewer people choosing to go out to eat. With Ocado, there may also be an expectation they could see a pick-up in online orders if people avoid physically going to the shops.”
|The FTSE 350 stocks that have risen since the market sell-off began|
|Pollen Street Secured Lending||5.6%|
|Foresight Solar Fund||1.3%|
|NextEnergy Solar Fund||0.4%|
|GCP Infrastructure Investments||0.2%|
|Source: Sharepad/AJ Bell. Data: 21 Feb 2020 market close to 4 March 2020 market close. Excludes NMC Health whose shares are currently suspended.|