Most-traded shares in September 2017

Lee Wild, head of investments at Interactive Investor, our sister company, runs

It was all about inflation, interest rates and tapering during September, so little wonder central banks dominated proceedings. US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, who'll begin slowly winding down the Fed's $4.5 trillion (£3.4 trillion) balance sheet this month, prepped markets for a rate hike in December then another three in 2018.

Not to be left out, Bank of England governor Mark Carney turned hawk as inflation hit 2.9 per cent, confirming that a first increase in UK borrowing costs for over a decade just got a whole lot closer.

The obvious benefits of higher interest rates had the British pound up as much as 5 per cent against the dollar and at a post-EU referendum high. Rate rises are typically good news for the banking sector, with lenders quicker to raise borrowing costs than they are to offer better deals to savers. It may not be great for consumers, but an improvement in bank margins should feed through to shareholders by way of bigger profits and dividends.

It's why investors' favourite Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY) rallied 6 per cent in September and remained the most popular blue-chip stock on the Interactive Investor platform last month.

Vodafone (VOD) blasted back into the top five most-traded shares. Apple's (AAPL) launch of the iPhone 8 should get the tills ringing, and the fastest growing broadband operator in Europe offers an irresistible dividend yield of over 6 per cent.

-Top 10 most popular investment trusts – September 2017 

 As one would expect, there was plenty of excitement on Aim. Online fashion retailer Boohoo.com (BOO) is a member of Aim's exclusive ten-bagger club, but the shares are hardly cheap, so tweaking margin guidance lower in its half-year results gave traders a scare. So did joint-CEO Carol Kane's decision to sell £10.7 million of Boohoo shares in the aftermath.

However, a 25 per cent plunge in the share price always looked harsh given aggressive growth forecasts. It's why trading volume more than tripled in September and buyers outnumbered sellers two-to-one.

More spectacular, however, was the explosion in activity at Frontera Resources (FRR). There are 13.4 billion shares in issue worth less than a penny each, but the £100 million company is no tiddler.

-The top 10 most popular investment funds – September 2017 

Frontera's liquidity, typified by tight spreads, volatility and an intriguing story make it a firm favourite among small-cap investors. At the beginning of September, the shares were worth just 0.1125p, but before the month was out it was 0.782p, an increase of 595 per cent.

There's real excitement around Frontera's Ud-2 well in Georgia because it sits in the Mtsare Khevi gas complex, where experts estimate a potential recoverable resource of 5.8 trillion cubic feet of gas. Following a series of progress reports, the number of trades on the Interactive Investor platform swelled twelvefold in September versus the previous month. 

Lee Wild is head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor, our sister company. 

interactive-investor-logo-small-sizeThis article was originally published on our sister website Interactive Investor.

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