Short Selling

The most shorted stocks on the ASX: Everything you need to know this week

Thu 15 Jun 23, 9:41am (AEDT)
Bear Market - Chart with trading values and graph with stock currency
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Flight Centre, Lake Resources and Core Lithium are still the most shorted stocks on the ASX
  • Investors have been covering their shorts in growth names this week, as the market continues to follow in the footsteps of the US mega-cap growth rally
  • Investors have been increasing their short interest in coal, gold, nickel and lithium-related companies

It seems with the long weekend behind us, the short sellers among us were also taking a well-deserved break. In fact, there has been no change to the 10 most shorted stocks on the ASX over the past week - despite the Reserve Bank of Australia hiking rates once again earlier this month and AI-related stocks taking flight. 

With the world reopening and international travel once again on the cards, you’d think a company like Flight Centre would be getting a lot of love from consumers, professional investors and pundits alike. And while its share price has truly soared since the beginning of the year (it’s up more than 48% in 2023), short interest in Flight Centre remains stubbornly high. 

For those not in the know, short sellers benefit when a stock’s share price sinks. These fund managers will “borrow” shares in a company at the current market price, and will buy the shares back (close out their positions) once the share price has fallen (if it does) at a later date. The difference between that initial price and the later buyback price would be a fund manager’s profit. 

A word to the wise, the maximum profit an investor can make from “shorting” a stock is 100%, as a stock’s share price can’t go below $0. Theoretically, a long position’s profit could be far more than 100%. Just as the downside on a short position could be far more than 100% (think GameStop, yikes!). 

Each week, Market Index will be following the ASX’s most shorted stocks to dissect any major trends or changes. It’s also worth noting that a large increase or decrease in a company’s short position can be an early indicator of changing sentiment on a stock, so we will be running our eyes over that data too. 

The data used below is four days behind, as reporting is not mandatory until three business days post-trade. The data below refers to short interest changes for stocks between May 31 and June 8.


The most shorted stocks

Ticker

Company

Short %

Prev

% Chg

FLT

Flight Centre Travel

11.17%

10.89%

-0.26%

CXO

Core Lithiuim

9.67%

9.35%

-0.33%

LKE

Lake Resources

8.90%

7.85%

0.05%

MP1

Megaport

8.42%

7.72%

0.33%

IEL

IDP Education

8.33%

7.27%

2.21%

AMA

AMA Group

7.80%

7.68%

-0.07%

TPW

Temple & Webster

7.68%

7.42%

0.10%

BRG

Breville Group

7.41%

7.33%

-0.12%

SHV

Select Harvests

7.32%

7.08%

0.24%

PLS

Pilbara Minerals

7.26%

6.75%

0.51%


What’s changed? 

As mentioned before, the stocks on this list didn’t change much over the week. It's mostly some incremental moves and changes in short interest. The most notable change was for English language testing business IDP Education, which saw a more than 2% surge in short interest during the week. 


Where is short interest on the rise? 

Ticker

Company

Short %

Prev

% Chg

IEL

IDP Education

8.33%

6.12%

2.21%

ADH

Adairs

3.94%

2.11%

1.83%

AMI

Aurelia Metals

2.12%

0.88%

1.24%

MNS

Magnis Energy

2.07%

0.87%

1.20%

MCR

Mincor Resources

2.38%

1.31%

1.07%

JHG

Janus Henderson

3.19%

2.32%

0.87%

PDN

Paladin Energy

4.81%

4.20%

0.61%

NIC

Nickel Industries

3.93%

3.32%

0.61%

WHC

Whitehaven Coal

3.07%

2.47%

0.60%

DXS

Dexus

2.49%

1.92%

0.57%


What’s changed? 

As mentioned above, IEL saw the biggest increase in short interest during the week - likely thanks to continued fears over Canada opening up its market to rivals for visa English language testing. 

Meanwhile, Adairs has been on a downward spiral over the past month, with the furniture retailer’s share price slipping nearly 40%. To make matters worse, Adairs also released a weak quarterly update earlier this month and reduced its previously guided figures for FY23. 

The third biggest increase in short interest was seen in Aurelia Metals. This could possibly be because the gold miner recently appointed a new managing director and chief executive officer, Bryan Quinn. Quinn is the former Growth, Strategy, Exploration, Sales and Marketing lead from OZ Minerals. Before this, he spent 27 years at BHP where he held a series of senior executive, operational and business improvement roles. 


Where are short sellers covering?

Ticker

Company

Short %

Prev

% Chg

SYA

Sayona Mining

6.82%

9.05%

-2.23%

JRV

Jervois Global

5.89%

7.99%

-2.10%

PBH

Pointsbet

5.08%

6.87%

-1.79%

MYX

Mayne Pharma

2.47%

3.90%

-1.43%

NMT

Neometals

2.70%

3.91%

-1.21%

ZIP

ZIP Co

6.35%

7.44%

-1.09%

NXT

NEXTDC

3.79%

4.72%

-0.93%

AEF

Australian Ethical

0.26%

1.09%

-0.83%

CTD

Corporate Travel

1.94%

2.58%

-0.64%

BET

Betmakers Technology

5.73%

6.26%

-0.53%


What’s changed? 

Short sellers have been covering their positions in beaten up battery material related stocks, with Sayona Mining (lithium and graphite), Jervois Global (cobalt and nickel), and Neometals (battery materials processing) all seeing their short interest drop over the past week. 

Meanwhile, growth names such as Pointsbet, Zip Co, NextDC, Betmakers and Corporate Travel have also seen short interest ease in recent weeks. Since the beginning of the year, Pointsbet, Zip Co, and Betmakers have seen their share prices plummet (down nearly 10%, 12.5% and 50% year-to-date respectively). 

Corporate Travel and NEXTDC have performed particularly strongly since the beginning of the year, so short sellers are likely covering to limit any further losses as thematics such as pent-up travel demand and AI hype sends share prices higher. 

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Written By

Ally Selby

Content Editor

Ally Selby is a content editor at Livewire Markets, joining the team at the end of 2020. She loves all things investing, financial literacy and content creation, having previously worked for the likes of Financial Standard, Pedestrian Group, Your Money, Sky Business and Sky News.

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