These are the 10 most shorted ASX shares

Why are short sellers betting big on these ASX shares dropping in value?

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At the start of each week, I like to look at ASIC's short position report to find out which shares are being targeted by short sellers.

This is because I believe it is well worth keeping a close eye on short interest levels as high levels can sometimes be a sign that something isn't quite right with a company.

With that in mind, here are the 10 most shorted shares on the ASX this week according to ASIC:

  • Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS) remains the most shorted ASX share after its short interest increased yet again to 16.9%. Short sellers appear convinced that lithium prices are on a downward spiral.
  • Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) has a short interest of 15%, which is up week on week again. Short sellers aren't closing positions despite news that China is curbing its graphite exports.
  • Genesis Minerals Ltd (ASX: GMD) has seen its short interest ease to 11%. This gold miner is on a bit of an acquisition spree at the moment. Short sellers may see integration risks or believe it is overpaying.
  • Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) has a short interest of 10.5%, which is down week on week. Falling lithium prices continue to weigh on investor sentiment.
  • Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) has seen its short interest rise to 10.1%. This artificial intelligence data services company has been battling against intense competition and new technologies.
  • IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) has 9.6% of its shares held short, which is up week on week. Short sellers seem to believe this language testing company could fall short of expectations due to the loss of its monopoly in Canada.
  • Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) has 9.55% of its shares held short, which is up week on week. Revenue margin headwinds and softening consumer spending could be why short sellers are going after this travel giant.
  • Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) has 9.5% of its shares held short, which is up week on week. Falling lithium prices and capital raising concerns may be behind this.
  • Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) has a short interest of 9.2%, which is up sharply since last week. Inflationary pressures on costs and weak volume momentum appear to be behind this.
  • Mesoblast Ltd (ASX: MSB) has 8.1% of its shares held short, which is up slightly since last week. This biotechnology company has been struggling to gain FDA approval for its products for years.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Appen and Idp Education. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group and Idp Education. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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