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COVID-19 brings trading boom

New data shows sharemarket engagement has ticked up since the COVID-19 pandemic set in, as more Australians work from home.

Latest nabTrade data reveals applications to the share trading platform increased 360% over the last quarter, with trading volumes rising by 95% and logins up about 50% across March, April and May.

nabTrade director SMSF and investor behaviour Gemma Dale said the platform has never seen such interest from Australia's mum and dad investors.

"It appears the market's rebound from the lows in the GFC, is fresh in their memories and there's a determination to make sure they don't miss out on any rally," Dale said.

The nabTrade executive said the firm noticed a rush to start investing throughout March, with a record six-fold jump in new applications in the week the market reached its low point.

"As this rapid growth has slowed steadily, so too have we seen a change in the focus of retail investors edging away from the comfort of blue chips," she said.

nabTrade said the data was proving investors are happy to act contrarian, taking sizeable positions in companies like Qantas and Afterpay despite the multi-year lows their stock had sunk to.

"There's often a perception that retail investors are naive and run at the first sight of trouble," Dale said.

"But our data shows quite the opposite: there was strong buying in the most manic days of the fall and investors willing to take profits in the strongest days of the rally.

"We see retail investors through the nabtrade platform that are contrarian by nature and they have taken advantage of buying opportunities through this crisis. There's still large amounts of cash coming into the nabTrade platform, with much of it still to be put to work as investors await any new opportunities."

nabTrade said the data revealed greater activity during the trading day and the hour prior than previously. As more Australians worked form home, 93.3% of desktop visits to the platform occurred between 9am and 4pm.

"Some Australians have felt busier than ever, with parents taking to the task of juggling working from home while helping their children with online schooling," Dale said.

"However, there's also been many Australians embracing the flexibility of working from home and having fewer events and activities to plan for and attend, creating more time to trade during the day - not to mention fewer co-workers looking over their shoulder."

Read more: nabTradeTradingSharemarketGemma DaleAfterpayGFCQantas
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