Hedge funds like European shipping stocks as market recovers

James Dennin, Kapitall: As European markets recover, hedge funds are buying lots of shares of shipping stocks.

European stocks have been in free-fall for the last two weeks over tension in Ukraine. That's probably because Russia supplies most of the oil that runs Europe's powerhouse – Germany. 

Read more from Kapitall: Will Ray Bans frames be enough to make Google Glass cool?

However, commodities – a boon to Russia – are improving, and even the Ruble is making up some of the ground it lost earlier this month. 

That and a round of better-than-expected data from the US seem to be helping European stocks as well. The shock markets have undergone in the past few weeks have created discounted stocks and a feeling of solidarity. 

Analysts expect that developed economies worldwide will now grow more or less in tandem. Their prognosis cuts both ways, though – as local set-backs would have more impact on the global economy as a whole. 

Investing Ideas

We decided to run a screen on European stocks. We wanted companies that have done well in the past month while the rest of the market fared poorly. So we looked for companies rallying above their 20-day, 50-day, and 200-day simple moving averages

These are companies which have sustained consistent momentum in the past several months. We then narrowed that screen to only look at companies experiencing a spike in institutional buying

This means that fund managers are buying lots of shares of a particular stock. One thing that we noticed was that 3 of the companies that made it through our screen – 60% of the final list – worked in shipping.

There are a couple explanations for this. For one, as Europe's market slumped, stocks that were already undervalued fell more, creating an even steeper discount. Investors might also be optimistic about new technology helping to keep shipping costs down. 

​Click on the interactive chart to view data over time. 

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