Here Are The 10 Most-Traded Stocks On The ASX This Year

Photo: Getty / Chris Hondros

Every day, the ASX reports statistics on the most traded of its 2100-plus listed shares based on volume, value and number of trades made that day.

High trading volumes mean that a company’s share price is more likely to move with economic news or company announcements. Highly traded share prices can be more volatile, but there’s also more liquidity to allow traders to move in and out of positions.

The ASX is the larger of two stock exchanges in Australia. Morgan Stanley this week estimated rival Chi-X to have amassed a market share of about 15% by value, after two years in operation. ASX trades also tend to be about 40% larger, with average trades valued at about $6,000.

Via the ASX and Commonwealth Bank’s MyWealth, here are the 10 most traded stocks on the ASX by value so far in 2013.

Share prices referenced were captured on November 5th and 6th, and the list of most-traded shares is compiled using ASX data on numbers of trades as of October 30.

10. Woodside Petroleum Ltd

Perth-based oil and gas firm Woodside was the tenth most traded stock on the ASX this year, with some $82.6 million worth of shares changing hands in 12,420 trades on an average trading day.

After a volatile year for the resources sector, Woodside stocks this week hit a 2013 high of $39.49, up 14% from January 2 and just shy of the ASX 200's 15% rise so far this calendar year.

Woodside has almost 824 million shares on issue and a market capitalisation of $32.42 billion.

9. Woolworths

Supermarket giant Woolworths has had a strong year, with its share price recovering past pre-GFC levels to a record high of $36.84 in May.

Shares are now trading at about $34.60, which is still up more than 17% from when the market reopened on January 2.

On an average trading day this calendar year, some $86 million worth of WOW shares changed hands in 11,885 trades.

Woolworths has a total of 1.25 billion shares on issue and a market capitalisation of over $43 billion.

8. Wesfarmers

Australia's largest retail group Westfarmers was one of the most traded stocks on the ASX this year, with almost $98 million worth of shares changing hands in 12,898 trades on an average trading day.

Shares (WES) are up 16% to just over $43 in the calendar year to date, after hitting a 2013 high of $44.25 in May.

Wesfarmers operates a range of brands including Coles, Bunnings, Officeworks, Kmart and Target. It has a total of 1.16 billion shares on issue, and a market capitalisation of almost $50 billion.

7. Telstra

Telecommunications giant Telstra is in the midst of shifting away from declining, legacy businesses like phone directories and fixed phone lines to rely more heavily on data and cloud computing.

TLS had a strong 2013, and is now up almost 17% to about $5.20 - just beating the ASX 200's 15% rise. Some $158 million worth of shares changed hands in only 6,914 trades on an average trading day this year.

Telstra has a total of 12.4 billion shares on issue, and a market capitalisation of about $64.5 billion.

6. Rio Tinto

Miner Rio Tinto is down slightly for the year. The company had a tough start, announcing writedowns and replacing its CEO in January. It has since been on an aggressive cost-cutting drive as it faces fluctuating commodity prices and Chinese demand.

Rio's share price hit a high of $72.3 in February; it is now trading under $66, after recovering from a low of $49.8 in June.

The company has 1.85 billion shares on offer and a market capitalisation of about $121 billion. Almost $161 million worth of Rio shares changed hands in 16,109 trades on an average trading day this calendar year.

5. The Australia & New Zealand Banking Group

The ANZ Group last week hit a 2013 high of $34.06, up almost 35% since the market reopened on January 2.

Almost $185 million worth of ANZ shares changed hands in 16,979 trades on an average trading day this year.

ANZ has a total of 2.72 billion shares on issue, giving it a market capitalisation of about $91.8 billion.

4. National Australia Bank

Relative to the ASX 200, the National Australia Bank stocks have had a spectacular year to date, rising more than 42% since January 2.

NAB shares are now trading near the 2013 high of $37.07. The bank has 2.35 billion shares on issue, giving it a market capitalisation of $84.1 billion.

Some $187.6 million worth of shares changed hands in 16,036 trades on an average trading day this year.

3. Westpac Banking Corporation

Like its big four competitors, Westpac's share price has risen steadily for most of the 2013 calendar year - except for a mid-year dip, when the ASX 200 slumped on low business confidence and global fears of a US QE taper.

WBC shares are now trading near the 2013 high of $34.98, which would put it 34% higher than when trading opened on January 2.

Westpac has some 3.1 billion shares on issue and a market capitalisation of nearly $107 billion. Almost $204 million worth of Westpac shares changed hands in 16,943 trades on an average trading day this year.

2. Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Shares in the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have risen almost 23% since the market opened on January 2 to about $77 this month.

Some $255.6 million worth of CBA shares changed hands on an average trading day this year, in an average of 18,915 trades a day.

The bank has some 1.61 billion shares on issue, giving it a market capitalisation of about $124 billion.

1. BHP Billiton

With 5.32 billion shares on issue at almost $38 a share, and a months of pessimistic Chinese economic forecasts, it's no surprise that resources giant BHP Billiton is the most traded stock on the ASX this year.

BHP hit a low of about $30 in April and while investor sentiment has improved, the share price hasn't quite recovered to its February high of $39.

Almost $285.6 million worth of BHP shares changed hands on an average trading day this year, in an average of 18,112 trades a day.

If you are interested in getting started in direct investing, explore CommBank’s new online investment platform, MyWealth. MyWealth is designed to simplify share investing, and make it accessible to everyone.

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