Fernando Rodríguez | Retail investors took advantage of the sharp falls in the Spanish stock market in March 2019 to appreciably increase their positions in the sectors most affected by the crisis. This is revealed by an Analysis of the behaviour of retail investors in the financial markets during the COVID-19 crisis, prepared by CNMV technicians. “The number of transactions carried out in the first weeks of the crisis saw a very sharp increase: in March 2020, the number of purchase transactions executed increased more than fourfold and those of sale by more than two-fold compared to the figures for the same month of 2019,” concludes this Analysis, within a trend also observed in other European countries such as France or Belgium.
In Spain, the increase in trading of Ibex 35 shares by retail investors stood out, above all, in the months of March, June and November 2020. In March of that year, coinciding with a monthly drop in the Ibex 35 of 22.2%, the maximum level of purchase volume for the period was reached, approximately €4 billion (around €1 billion per month in 2019). The maximum monthly volume of sales was recorded in November (€2.825 billion, compared to a maximum of €1.6 billion in 2019), at which point the index rebounded by 25.2% compared to the previous month.
The predominant sectors in which retail investors traded underwent slight variations as the crisis progressed, according to this Analysis: “most of the trading continued to take place in those that were already most relevant before the crisis, although they lost some relative importance (for example, in the case of the financial or communications sectors), in favour of other sectors such as industrials and healthcare”. It is noteworthy, this Analysis adds, that “the greatest increases in the presence of retail investors occurred in those sectors that were most affected by the crisis situation, such as the tourism, communications and financial sectors”.