The euro has landed as far as investment managers’ expectations are concerned and euro-zone equity looks like being the brightest spot on the investment map (see pages 16/17). Though we have not given any comparisons to show the change from our December expectations, since this was on the ‘Europe’ basis we have used since our Expectations Indicator was first published almost two years ago, the European region in our December issue was in favour 64% of managers.
Whether the upsurge in interest in the euro-zone is due to the arrival of the euro is anyone’s conjecture, but it is only fair to point out that in November IPE, those expecting a rise in European markets totalled 71% of respondents. Still, the news is good that the investment community is positive rather than negative in circumstances where they might be expected to be nervous given the unsettled market conditions elsewhere.
Only 29% of managers are expecting rises in the US, much the same number (29%) as are predicting rises in Japan. A significant number (42%) are still positive about the Asian equity markets and the UK (46%). But perhaps the most encouraging feature is that despite the turbulence, the very strong core view is expecting a stable outlook for equity prices for all markets, other than the euro-zone, of course.
The outlook for the new euro-bond zone has the ex-perts guessing with managers practically equally split between those predicting stability (46%) and rises (42%) in the short to mid-term. While on the currency side, the chances of the euro rising against the dollar seems to be on the cards in the eyes of just over half of our respondents (56%) - only 14% are being euro-sceptic and reckoning on a fall versus the dollar.
In all, 105 investment managers took part in this month’s survey, the largest number to do so thus far.