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These were the FTSE 100’s biggest flops in January!

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

The first month of 2023 was a good one for UK shares. The FTSE 100 index rose by 4.3% between 30 December 2022 and 31 January 2023. That’s a pretty decent start to the year. Of course, while the vast majority of Footsie shares went up last month, not all did.

Three FTSE 100 flops in 2023

For the record, 16 shares in the FTSE 100 lost value last month. Here are 2023’s three biggest fallers so far:

#1 Fresnillo (-8.9%)

The FTSE 100’s worst-performing share in January is in silver miner Fresnillo. Fresnillo is listed in London, has a dual listing on the Mexican Stock Exchange (Bolsa), and is based in Mexico City. Established in 2008, Fresnillo is the world’s largest producer of primary silver (silver from ore) and Mexico’s second-largest gold miner.

Despite Fresnillo’s pedigree, its stock dropped 8.9% in January. This lowered its market value to around £6bn. Yet at 796p, the shares are still well above their 52-week low of 610.6p, hit on 11 February 2022. Also, the stock is up almost a quarter (+22.5%) over one year. I don’t own Fresnillo shares, but shall add it to my watchlist to keep an eye on it. But I know from experience that mining stocks can be volatile.

#2 AstraZeneca (-5.6%)

AstraZeneca is the UK’s largest ‘Big Pharma’ firm and the second-largest company listed in London. The British-Swedish multinational, based in Cambridge, became a household name following widespread adoption of its Covid-19 vaccines.

Thanks to rapid growth, this FTSE 100 firm’s shares have more than doubled over the past five years, soaring 107.7%. What’s more, the share price has jumped by 22.9% over the past year. Even so, the shares lost 5.6% in January, making them the Footsie’s second-worst performer in 2023.

Though I think of AstraZeneca as a great British success story, I don’t own its shares. At their current price of 10,414p, they trade on a price-to-earnings ratio nearing 100. That’s way too expensive for my tastes as a veteran value investor.

#3 British American Tobacco (-5.6%)

Number three on my list of January’s FTSE 100 flops is tobacco giant British American Tobacco. Established in 1902, the London-based cigarette manufacturer is the world’s largest tobacco company by sales. At the current share price of 3,114p, BAT has a market value of £69.7bn.

Despite slipping by 5.6% in January, BAT shares have only dipped by 1.9% over the past year. Of course, BAT’s products harm and even kill their users — something I know well as a smoker for decades. That’s why BAT is shunned by Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investors. Also, this may partly explain why the shares are down a chunky 34.6% in the last five years.

I don’t own BAT shares, but I’d happily buy them for their juicy 7% dividend yield. However, my wife and better half refuses to buy tobacco stocks. So there’s no room for BAT in our family portfolio!

The post These were the FTSE 100’s biggest flops in January! appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Cliff D'Arcy has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended British American Tobacco P.l.c. and Fresnillo Plc. 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 2023