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Revealed! The most sold FTSE 100 stocks by Hargreaves Lansdown investors

Middle-aged white man pulling an aggrieved face while looking at a screen
Image source: Getty Images

The FTSE 100 index of stocks has performed more resolutely than many other major share bourses in 2022. But investor appetite hasn’t been robust across the Footsie.

In fact, the following FTSE index shares were the most sold of all UK and UK stocks — as well as investment trusts and exchange-traded funds — by Hargreaves Lansdown investors this year.

Here are the British stocks which experienced the highest number of net sells in 2022.

The wrong medicine

Unfashionable AstraZeneca’s (LSE: AZN) share price has endured a “volatile” time in 2022, Hargreaves Lansdown comments.

It says that “research and development is the engine of Astra’s long-term growth, and although it’s enjoyed a string of major approvals this year, this is a risky endeavour and there are no guarantees of Astra’s success”.

Drugs development is a highly unpredictable business. Problems at the R&D stage can result in enormous profits-sapping extra costs. Earnings forecasts can be left in tatters too if a drug in a fast-growing treatment area fails to get past regulators.

But AstraZeneca has a great track record of success in the laboratory. That’s why it had a colossal market-cap north of £175bn. In December alone, it received a string of approvals from the EU for various cancer and cardiovascular drugs.

Banking stock falls

HSBC has also been heavily sold by Hargreaves Lansdown customers in 2022. The share price here has been extremely choppy throughout 2022 as investors have reacted to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis in China.

The bank sources the lion’s share of profits from Asia. So worries over the Chinese economy — and the knock-on effect of slowing growth on the rest of the region — have climbed this year. Concerns over the country’s real estate sector have also sapped investor confidence.

The easing of lockdown restrictions in China might help HSBC’s profits recover looking ahead however. The Asian banking market is tipped for strong long-term growth as wealth levels there balloon.

Tech troubles

Meanwhile, Hargreaves Lansdown notes that “the trials of big tech this year is also showing up in investor behaviour with the tech heavy Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust”.

This FTSE 100 share has suffered as worries over tech-focused growth stocks have grown. Its core holdings include semiconductor manufacturing equipment supplier ASML, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla and online retail giant Amazon.

Scottish Investment’s share price slipped sunk 44% in 2022. However, a shallower-than-expected economic slowdown next year could help it recover ground.

Oil stocks slip

Oil majors BP and Shell were also among the most highly sold on Hargreaves Lansdown’s investment platform this year.

The firm said that “sky-high oil and gas prices kept the cash pouring in” in 2022. But it added that cautious investors have been booking profits following recent share price gains, noting that “profits will pump less vigorously in 2023”.

The ongoing war in Ukraine could support oil prices next year. So could continued production cuts by influential OPEC+ countries.

However, profits at Shell and BP might fall off a cliff as the global economy slows and oil demand weakens. The rise of renewable energy poses a significant risk in 2023 and beyond too.

The post Revealed! The most sold FTSE 100 stocks by Hargreaves Lansdown investors appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ASML, Amazon.com, HSBC Holdings, Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, and Tesla. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Motley Fool UK 2022