Short Selling

Bearish Bets: Investors remain short-heavy among lithium, retail and unprofitable tech stocks

Wed 29 Mar 23, 4:18pm (AEDT)
Bear Market - brown bear powerful pose in forest at summer
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • The top 10 most shorted stocks sees three new stocks but thematically unchanged

Welcome back to the Short Seller Series – where we take a look at some of the most shorted stocks in the ASX and those that have experienced a notable rise and fall in short interest.

Before we get to the tables, it's worth noting that the lithium sector is experiencing some short covering after Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) received a 64% premium bid – which triggered a broad-based rally across most lithium names.  

Short selling data is four days behind today’s date as reporting isn’t mandatory until 9 am AEDT three business days post trade. So the movements in short interest won’t become public data until next week.

The data compares short interest for companies from 21 March to 29 March.

Most shorted stocks

Ticker

Company

Short

FLT

Flight Centre Travel

11.45%

CXO

Core Lithium

10.17%

ZIP

ZIP Co

9.88%

MP1

Megaport

9.23%

LTR

Liontown Resources

9.03%

SYA

Sayona Mining

8.66%

JBH

JB Hi-Fi

7.79%

BRN

Brainchip

7.34%

BET

Betmakers Technology

7.33%

PBH

Pointsbet

6.98%


The most shorted list saw a few incremental movements here and there but thematically remained focused on lithium, retail and unprofitable tech stocks. 

A rise in short interest

Ticker

Company

Short

Prev

% chg

WBT

Weebit Nano

4.26%

0.67%

3.59%

BOE

Boss Energy

5.03%

3.23%

1.80%

STX

Strike Energy

3.02%

1.36%

1.66%

DOW

Downer Edi

6.45%

5.20%

1.25%

ARU

Arafura

1.85%

0.60%

1.25%

SGP

Stockland

3.09%

2.01%

1.08%

PLS

Pilbara Minerals

3.81%

2.89%

0.92%

LTR

Liontown Resources

9.03%

8.18%

0.85%

HVN

Harvey Norman

5.19%

4.39%

0.80%

DMP

Domino's Pizza

3.61%

2.82%

0.79%


Thematically, stocks that experienced a rise in short interest are in-line with the most shorted ones: lithium (as well as uranium and rare earths), retail and unprofitable tech stocks.

Weebit Nano is a notable one after experiencing an abrupt 20.2% selloff on Wednesday 22 March. The stock received an ASX price query the next morning and the company responded by saying it was considering a capital raising but a final decision was yet to be made. An hour later, it went into trading halt to kick off a $45 million capital raising at $5.00 per new share (10% discount to last close).

WBT chart
Weebit chart (Source: TradingView)

A fall in short interest

Ticker

Company

Short

Prev

% chg

AMI

Aurelia Metals

0.92%

5.54%

-4.62%

CCX

City Chic Collective

1.40%

4.95%

-3.55%

BVS

Bravura Solutions

1.87%

4.91%

-3.04%

BET

Betmakers Technology

7.33%

10.19%

-2.86%

EML

EML Payments

3.46%

5.57%

-2.11%

ASM

Australian Strategic Materials

1.85%

3.68%

-1.83%

NVX

Novonix

3.44%

5.02%

-1.58%


Battery metal and tech names that have been obliterated were among the stocks that experienced the largest declines in short interest compared to two weeks ago.

Looking at their 12-month performances:

  • Betmakers Technology -73.0% 

  • Novonix -78.6%

  • Aurelia Metals -78.7%

  • Bravura Solutions -78.9%

  • Australian Strategic Materials -83.8%

  • EML Payments -85.6%

  • City Chic -86.5%

The slight decline in short interest has not resulted in an improvement in share price performance, as most of these stocks have continued to grind lower over the last two weeks. 

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Written By

Kerry Sun

Content Strategist

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Monash University. He is an avid swing trader, focused on technical set ups and breakouts. Outside of writing and trading, Kerry is a big UFC fan, loves poker and training Muay Thai. Connect via LinkedIn or email.

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