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State Street ICI up 7.0 points in May 2015

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The State Street Global Investor Confidence Index (ICI) increased to 120.8 in May, up 7.0 points from April’s revised reading of 113.8. 

Confidence among North American investors increased with the North American ICI rising 8.0 points to 129.4, up from April’s revised reading of 121.4. Meanwhile, the Asia ICI rose by 7.4 points to 98.6. However, the European ICI fell 5.5 points to 103.8.

The Investor Confidence Index was developed by Kenneth Froot and Paul O’Connell at State Street Associates, State Street Global Exchange’s research and advisory services business. It measures investor confidence or risk appetite quantitatively by analysing the actual buying and selling patterns of institutional investors. The index assigns a precise meaning to changes in investor risk appetite: the greater the percentage allocation to equities, the higher risk appetite or confidence. A reading of 100 is neutral; it is the level at which investors are neither increasing nor decreasing their long-term allocations to risky assets. The index differs from survey-based measures in that it is based on the actual trades, as opposed to opinions, of institutional investors.

“A lower dollar, stabilising energy prices, and reduced expectations of an imminent rate hike provided tail winds to North America sentiment,” says Froot. “Investors must now wait and see whether a rebound in second quarter growth will lead to more hawkish statements from the Federal Reserve.”

“In Europe, a rising euro, increased sovereign yields, and the continued Greek funding drama helped contribute to the decline in European confidence by 5.5 points,” adds Jessica Donohue, executive vice president and chief innovative officer, State Street Global Exchange. “However, the front-loading of sovereign bond purchases by the ECB before the summer months may help reverse recent trends. Meanwhile, in Asia, policy manoeuvres in China helped boost investor confidence by 7.4 points.”

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