Investor confidence sees slight uptick in February

Global investor confidence was slightly higher last month than in January, according to a new survey.

The poll is used to compile an index that measures investor confidence or risk appetite by analysing institutional investors' buying and selling patterns.

It improved 1.5 points to 70.9 last month from January's revised reading of 69.4, financial firm State Street said yesterday.

The greater the percentage allocation to equities, the higher the risk appetite or confidence.

A reading of 100 is neutral and indicates investors are neither increasing nor decreasing long-term allocations to risky assets.

Unlike standard survey-based measures, the index is based on investors' trades, not opinions.

Dr Kenneth Froot, who developed the index at State Street, saidinstitutional investors remained cautious and were wary of riskier assets.

"With lingering growth and trade policy uncertainty, it appears that the more dovish Fed and the hopes for progress on the US-China trade front are not enough to tip the scales."

State Street managing director and investor behaviour research head Rajeev Bhargava said global institutional investor confidence has only shown small signs of recovery from January's decline.

"Although cross-asset volatility has tempered, the crude memories of the fourth quarter's market decline, along with increasing growth concerns in Europe and China, place headwinds on investor confidence."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2019, with the headline 'Investor confidence sees slight uptick in February'. Print Edition | Subscribe