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Vaccines, airlines and Twitter: Top 10 stocks Australians are trading


Aussie investors are selling down COVID winners and are buying defensive assets, but they remain resilient on long-term investments.

Australian investors are ditching pharmaceutical and airline shares and are looking to add defensive assets to their portfolio, with one noticeable exception, new research shows.

The latest figures released by eToro on what Aussie retail investors are buying and selling show that over the short-term shareholders are following the macro environment.

But long-term holdings remain consistent.

According to Australian market analyst Josh Gilbert, consumer staples and healthcare including Unilever and AstraZeneca remain high on the buy list.

"Investors Down Under are staying confident for the eventual upturn in markets as we can see from the consistency of the top 10 most held assets, but are adding defensive stocks to their portfolio to help to better manage risk," he said.

Moving away from pandemic winners

Some of the major winners amongst the COVID-19 pandemic were the beaten travel stocks and businesses that benefited from the "new norm".

But globally retail investors are now looking to step away.

Among the airlines, 3 feature in the top 10 fallers: United Airlines Holdings, Delta Airlines and American Airlines Group.

While in Australia, investors are losing faith in Merck & Co, Moderna, FedEx and even Bumble, selling down their holdings.

And towards Twitter and defensive assets

At the other end of the spectrum, the biggest riser amongst Aussie investors over the last quarter was Twitter.

Over April through to June, the world's richest man Elon Musk revealed he wanted to buy Twitter, before later on walking away from the deal.

"It is no surprise that Twitter had the biggest increase amongst Australian investors amid its high profile take over from Elon Musk," Gilbert said.

"This news has significantly captured investors' attention, with many feeling the world's richest man could be exactly what Twitter needs to take it to the next level."

According to the data, they also show Aussies are looking to pick up their defensive stocks to offset rising interest rates and inflation.

eToro shows investors flocked to Ubisoft Entertainment, Unilever, BP and Shell as they looked to cash in on consumer staples and rising oil prices.

Long-term holdings basically unchanged

But even with a changing economic backdrop investors remain resilient to their long-term plan.

eToro shows tech giants remain part of investors' plans.

This is even as the markets in May were off to their worst start since World War 2.

Tesla and Nio remain amongst the top 3, with investors looking to cash in on the eventual switch to electric vehicles (EVs).

Outside of EVs, Aussies remain bullish on Apple, Amazon, Meta, Gamestop and Microsoft.

"Investors have also taken the long view and held onto their 'big tech' favourites even as many have been battered in the stock markets this year.

"This may ultimately be rewarded as they are still growing strongly, with high profit margins, and have fortress balance sheets," Gilbert concludes.

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