The Most Bought UK Shares In August

  • Most bought UK shares in August on HL’s platform focussed on financial and mining giants
  • UK valuations in the spotlight
  • Overseas trends saw investors clamouring for a slice of the AI pie

Where did HL’s clients put their money in August 2023?

In August, investors looked to align their portfolios with some of the big themes of the month. One of these themes is financial services and insurance. The UK market is heavily weighted towards these areas, and some of the big names have reported results in recent weeks, bringing them to the attention of investors.

There are also some questions arising about the near-term challenges of these companies because their valuations have come under some pressure. The higher interest rate environment is a double-edged sword for high street banks, on one hand it boosts margins but, on the other, a recession will see loan defaults rise. The FTSE is also partial to an insurance giant and the highly competitive environment continues to create challenges.

There are also some big mining companies on the list too. These have come into the spotlight because of rumblings in China – which is the biggest consumer of commodities in the world. There have been headlines swirling about the Chinese economy and what weakness here could mean for some of the UK’s large materials companies.

Clients have clearly been proactive in trying to capitalise on the recent dips, and further volatility could be ahead depending on the trajectory of China’s economy. Simply put, if China’s economy is caught napping, fewer skyscrapers and cars get built and that means fewer tonnes of precious metals are needed.

Most bought UK shares in August (net buys, alphabetical)
Anglo American plc (LON:AAL)
Aviva plc (LON:AV)
Barclays PLC (LON:BARC)
BT Group (LON:BT.A)
Glencore PLC (LON:GLEN)
Legal & General Group Plc (LON:LGEN)
Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY)
Phoenix Group Holdings PLC (LON:PHNX)
Rio Tinto plc (LON:RIO)

When it comes to overseas names, there’s quite a wide spread that’s been piquing investor interest. Tech remains front of mind, across everything from AI, cars, payments and cybersecurity. This serves as a reminder of the famous saying ‘price is what you pay, value is what you get’. That’s not to say there isn’t opportunity in these spaces, but investors should always remember to approach investing with a level head, rather than because they’re following a crowd.

Other mega-trends include obesity drug treatments, as markets became fired up over the potential for drugs like Ozempic. Over the next few years, pharmaceutical giants are facing the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars as patents expire, meaning prices on once blockbuster drugs can come under huge pressure. Obesity and diabetes treatments are seen as the next revenue wave for pharma and investors don’t want to miss the swell.

Top overseas shares, August (net buys, alphabetical)
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRK.B)
Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY)
MicroStrategy Inc (NASDAQ:MSTR)
Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO)
PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL)

Article by Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown