INVESTMENT MANAGERS’ EXPECTATIONS INDICATOR
Summary of managers’ expectations
Investors’ enthusiasm for equities is declining across all geographies. This is in contrast to the last survey where the US and euro-zone were relatively unchanged and investors were more enthusiastic on Japan. This time the biggest decline comes in the US where the number of investors expecting equities to rise fell seven percentage points. Investors in the US are now only marginally bullish. Meanwhile in the euro-zone sentiment has turned marginally bearish with a minority expecting equities to rise. Bearish sentiment increased in the UK which followed a fall of 6% last month with a further fall of 2% this time round. Asia and Japan both registered falls. Headlines continue to be dominated by reports of inflationary pressures, particularly in food, energy and other commodities.
Following a period of bond sell-off and increased appetite for risk, investor optimism for bond prices is back on the rise with more managers favouring bond prices to rise compared with last month across all main regions as production is contracting, unemployment is rising, housing prices continue falling and consumer confidence remain at near historical lows. However, the overall sentiment on bond prices remains bearish even if the gap between bulls and bears has narrowed. Central banks main concern continues to be the balance trade off between economic growth and inflation with the latter showing no signs of slowdown driven by new highs in oil prices.
Managers are still optimistic that the US dollar will appreciate against the euro and the British pound. In particular, the US dollar versus British pound trade is gaining momentum as the housing market in the UK continues to weaken. The view on the US dollar against the yen is mixed. On the one hand the Yen looks attractive against the dollar on a valuation basis, but on the other hand, economic activity in Japan has not really showed any signs of strength, making it difficult for the Bank of Japan to take any rate normalisation action.