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If you're looking for ways to short Europe, the following list might offer an interesting starting point.

Below is a list of nineteen European stocks that have recently seen significant increases in shares shorted, month-over-month.

Do you think these stocks are about to experience short covering, and reverse course? Or is this the beginning of a greater downtrend for these companies? Full details below.

Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.



List sorted by increase in shares shorted.

1. LyondellBasell Industries NV Or (NYSE:LYB): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $23.05B. Netherlands. Shares shorted increased from 1.08M shares last month to 4.83M shares shorted this month (a 347.22% increase). LYB is exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 8.43% above its SMA20, 12.63% above its SMA50, and 57.95% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days as well, gaining 9.9% over the last week.

2. British American Tobacco plc (NYSEMKT:BTI):
Cigarettes Industry. Market cap of $81.79B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 159.06K shares last month to 496.01K shares shorted this month (a 211.84% increase). BTI has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.58), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. The stock has gained 24.35% over the last year.

3. Ternium S.A. (NYSE:TX): Steel & Iron Industry. Market cap of $7.29B. Luxembourg. Shares shorted increased from 490.54K shares last month to 1.04M shares shorted this month (a 112.01% increase). Note that this is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.24). The stock has gained 1.06% over the last year.

4. Aviva plc (NYSE:AV): Life Insurance Industry. Market cap of $7.14B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 38.38K shares last month to 75.46K shares shorted this month (a 96.61% increase). The stock has gained 39.22% over the last year.

5. Ensco plc (NYSE:ESV): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $7.80B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 4.84M shares last month to 9.29M shares shorted this month (a 91.94% increase). The stock has gained 23.15% over the last year.

6. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $12.80B. France. Shares shorted increased from 23.26M shares last month to 42.75M shares shorted this month (a 83.79% increase). ALU is exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 10.61% above its SMA20, 38.83% above its SMA50, and 68.39% above its SMA200.

7. GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK): Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $99.10B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 3.41M shares last month to 5.90M shares shorted this month (a 73.02% increase). GSK has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.6), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. The stock has gained 6.77% over the last year.

8. HSBC Holdings plc (HBC): Foreign Money Center Banks Industry. Market cap of $191.68B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 3.42M shares last month to 5.90M shares shorted this month (a 72.51% increase). The stock has gained 5.51% over the last year.

9. France Telecom (FTE): Telecom Services Industry. Market cap of $57.77B. France. Shares shorted increased from 738.81K shares last month to 1.07M shares shorted this month (a 44.83% increase). The stock has lost 0.55% over the last year.

10. BHP Billiton plc (NYSE:BBL): Industrial Metals & Minerals Industry. Market cap of $219.47B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 828.48K shares last month to 1.19M shares shorted this month (a 43.64% increase). The stock has gained 20.37% over the last year.

11. NXP Semiconductors NV (NASDAQ:NXPI)
: Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $7.18B. Netherlands. Shares shorted increased from 820.39K shares last month to 1.15M shares shorted this month (a 40.18% increase).

12. WPP plc (NASDAQ:WPPGY): Advertising Agencies Industry. Market cap of $16.46B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 86.32K shares last month to 116.16K shares shorted this month (a 34.57% increase). The stock has gained 39.33% over the last year.

13. ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING): Life Insurance Industry. Market cap of $47.0B. Netherlands. Shares shorted increased from 1.47M shares last month to 1.97M shares shorted this month (a 34.01% increase). Note that this is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.74). The stock has gained 23.32% over the last year.

14. Willis Group Holdings Public Limited Company (NYSE:WSH):
Insurance Brokers Industry. Market cap of $6.54B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 2.48M shares last month to 3.28M shares shorted this month (a 32.26% increase). The stock has gained 26.17% over the last year.

15. National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE:NBG): Money Center Banks Industry. Market cap of $5.18B. Greece. Shares shorted increased from 1.69M shares last month to 2.18M shares shorted this month (a 28.99% increase). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 11.1% below its SMA20, 5.51% below its SMA50, and 21.87% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month as well, losing 14.22%.

16. Reed Elsevier plc (NYSE:RUK):
Publishing Industry. Market cap of $10.76B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 103.58K shares last month to 133.43K shares shorted this month (a 28.82% increase). The stock has gained 18.65% over the last year.

17. Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX): Data Storage Devices Industry. Market cap of $6.32B. Ireland. Shares shorted increased from 8.80M shares last month to 11.26M shares shorted this month (a 27.95% increase). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 13.51% over the last week.

18. Rio Tinto Plc (NYSE:RIO): Steel & Iron Industry. Market cap of $132.11B. United Kingdom. Shares shorted increased from 5.02M shares last month to 6.31M shares shorted this month (a 25.70% increase). RIO may be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.67, and P/FCF ratio at 11.07.

19. Covidien plc (NYSE:COV): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $26.36B. Ireland. Shares shorted increased from 2.87M shares last month to 3.45M shares shorted this month (a 20.21% increase). The stock has gained 5.58% over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 19 European Stocks Being Targeted by Short Sellers