Numerous hedge funds have launched short bets against Maersk, the world’s leading liner, according to reports.
Maersk has enjoyed virtually no speculation for several years as it led the way in global liner shipping.
However, after the beginnings of a trade war between the US and China began to spook global markets, Maersk has found itself in an unusually precarious position.
According to data compiled by IHS Markit, short interest in Maersk has jumped to about 6% of share capital this year.
Liner shipping is still effectively on the rebound from the 2008 recession which led to huge overcapacity plaguing the market.
Many of the world’s biggest liners have been vocal in their criticism of US President Donald Trump’s policy of protectionism, as they argue it will significantly hamper the development of free trade.
Such a development means there is less demand, which in turn means ships cannot be filled.
Read more: Maersk in Executive Reshuffle