Most-popular global shares in October 2018

by Lee Wild from interactive investor |

UK investors seeking exposure to technology, marijuana and industrial conglomerates must go overseas. Lee Wild reveals what interactive investor's customers have been buying this past month.


Bargain hunters are all over Amazon, Apple and Netflix, the latter jumping from tenth place the previous month to fifth most-bought US stock in October. 
Trading volumes for the tech giants were up across the board, especially for Amazon where buying activity more than doubled following a 27% crash from October peak to trough. After hitting a six-month low, Amazon shares had already begun to bounce back before month-end. 

Electric car manufacturer Tesla is accelerating higher, although owning the shares comes with plenty of speed bumps, potholes and surprises – think regulator fines, tweets about privatisation and other social media misdemeanours.

The number two most-bought US stock for a second month, Tesla bottomed out at a six-month low during the October stockmarket rout at less than $248. It ended the month at $337, up 36%!

Investors clearly liked a first profit ($312 million) following seven consecutive quarterly losses, as fans of Elon Musk's green motors traded in their cheaper vehicles for the more expensive Model 3.

Tesla. Source: TradingView (*)      Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Cannabis has moved out of the bedroom and into the boardroom in recent months after Canada legalised the drug for recreational use on 17 October. But investors lost some of their enthusiasm for marijuana play Tilray ahead of maiden results as a listed company. 

Up from $17 to $300 in quick time, Tilray dropped out of the top 10 in October. Investors may have been banking profits ahead of numbers published late in the session on Tuesday 13 November. 

And they were right to. Tilray stock fell 5% in after-hours trade despite an 86% increase in third-quarter revenue to $10 million, mainly for medical use. A loss of 20 cents per share was worse than expected, although income from recreational use will only really kick in from the fourth quarter. 

Third-quarter results from pot peer Cronos Group were mixed. A 4 cents-per-share loss was worse than expected, but almost tripling revenue to $3.76 million was a clear beat. The numbers had little impact on the sector.

Rank Company name
2 Tesla
3 Apple
4 Netflix
5 Microsoft


No change in the top four most-bought Canadian stocks in October as the addiction to cannabis plays following legalisation continues. 

Marijuana trio Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth and Aphria remain the in-demand stocks right now following legalisation of recreational use last month.

Aurora Cannabis. Source: TradingView (*)      Past performance is not a guide to future performance


Rank Company name
1 Aurora Cannabis
2 Canopy Growth
3 Aphria
4 Royal Nickel
5 Prophecy Development

Europe ex-UK

German giants, payment processing firm Wirecard and drug manufacturer Bayer, remain popular, but it was industrial gases heavyweight Air Liquide that sped up the charts from fifteenth in September to claim top spot last month. 

The French colossus reported a better-than-consensus increase in third-quarter sales, and the update made no mention of any business slowdown. Analysts refer to Air Liquide as a "relative port in a storm", and buyers regularly appear every time the shares drift back to €105.

BMW dropped out of the top 10 as the shares fell as much as 17% from the September high to a two-year low late in the month. 

The carmaker warned that the cost of implementing new European emission standards would likely cause a decline in full-year revenue and profits. Analysts had wanted higher sales and steady profits.

Rank Company name
1 Air Liquide
2 Wirecard
3 Bayer
5 Deutsche Bank


It's IPO on 12 September proved hugely popular and, after a first day wobble, Aussie start-up 1414 Degrees turned into a hugely profitable short-term trade for investors.

Shares in the energy storage firm, issued at 35 Aussie cents as part of a $16.3 million raise, sank as low as 20.5 cents on day one, but more than made up for that over the following week. On 18 September, the stock peaked at 54 cents, up 54% on the float price.

Buying has been more subdued over the past month, and the shares have drifted back, currently finding buying interest at around 26 cents. 

The complicated company explains its potential: "Our patented Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) takes electricity from any source, the grid or renewables, and stores as latent heat in molten silicon at 1414° Celsius.

"Latent heat is energy that is held in a phase change material when it becomes molten. Silicon's very high melting point, 1414° Celsius, means it can hold much more energy than other phase change materials. It delivers maximum energy efficiency."

Rank Company name
1 1414 Degrees
2 Technology Metals
3 Far Ltd
4 Woodside Petroleum
5 Biotron


Social media and gaming big-hitter Tencent remained by far the most popular Asian stock on the interactive investor platform last month. 

Tencent Holdings. Source: TradingView (*)      Past performance is not a guide to future performance

Chinese tech star Xiaomi continued to tempt buying activity, too, but it was Sunny Optical which came out of nowhere in October to claim second spot in the most-bought list.

Trading as high at HK$89.50 late in the month, Sunny, which makes camera lenses used by major Chinese smartphone makers, lost over 30% in one week. That drop to just HK$61 takes losses since June to about two-thirds as investors fret about the impact of US trade tariffs. 

Broker Macquaire, among the most pessimistic analysts, recently cut its target to HK$60, but some experts think selling of Chinese stocks is overdone, and there has been a modest recovery.

Rank Company name
1 Tencent Holdings
2 Sunny Optical Technology
3 Xiaomi
4 On Real International
5 Ping An Insurance

*Horizontal lines on charts represent levels of previous technical support and resistance. Trendlines are marked in red.

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

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