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State Street Ken Froot

Global investor confidence declines in December by 1.5 points to 94.8

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The State Street Global Investor Confidence Index decreased to 94.8 in December, down 1.5 points from November’s revised reading of 96.3. 

The fall in sentiment was driven by a 6.2 point drop in the North American ICI to 94.9 and a 2.8 point fall in the Asian ICI to 94.8. However, the European ICI rose 16 points to 96.9.

The Investor Confidence Index was developed by Kenneth Froot (pictured) 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.

“After peaking in July this year, investor confidence has now fallen for five consecutive months; the last three of which have seen investors reduce their holdings of risky assets (an index reading below 100),” says Michael Metcalfe, senior managing director and head of Global Macro Strategy, State Street Global Markets  “While the broader economic outlook appears increasingly rosy, as captured by measures of consumer and business confidence, the more cautious nature of investors hints at a concern that financial markets may have already discounted much of the good news.”

“In Europe, healthy growth and continued ECB asset purchases may have helped to boost investor confidence,” says Froot. “Although the index remains below 100, it seems that European-based investors are becoming less concerned that political risks could derail the strong economic performance across the region.”

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