These are the 10 most shorted ASX shares

Why are short sellers betting on these ASX shares falling?

The words short selling in red against a black background

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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) continues to be the most shorted ASX share with 18.5% of its shares held short again. Short sellers are betting approximately $2 billion on lithium prices and Pilbara Minerals shares continuing to fall.
  • Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) has a short interest of 17.4%, which is flat week on week. Short sellers don't appear to believe China curbing its graphite exports will have much impact on Syrah's performance.
  • Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) has a short interest of 10.8%, which is up sharply week on week. This appears to have been driven by falling battery material prices.
  • Genesis Minerals Ltd (ASX: GMD) has seen its short interest remain flat at 10.5%. Short sellers appear to believe this gold miner could be facing serious integration risks after recent acquisitions.
  • IDP Education Ltd (ASX: IEL) has 9.8% of its shares held short, which is up slightly week on week. Short sellers have loaded up on this language testing company since it lost its monopoly in Canada.
  • Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) has seen its short interest fall to 9.6%. Short sellers will have been celebrating last week after this artificial intelligence data services company needed to raise funds again at a huge discount. Its shares crashed afterwards.
  • Sayona Mining Ltd (ASX: SYA) has 9.6% of its shares held short, which is up week on week. Short sellers appear to believe this lithium miner could also struggle due to falling battery materials prices.
  • Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) has 9.35% of its shares held short, which is down week on week. Revenue margin headwinds are likely to be why short sellers are targeting this travel agent.
  • Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) has a short interest of 8.5%, which is down from last week. Short sellers don't appear to believe this regional bank's performance will improve in the near term given the intense competition in mortgage loans.
  • Mesoblast Ltd (ASX: MSB) has 8% of its shares held short, which is down week on week. This biotech has been struggling to gain approval for its stem cell therapies.

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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