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Investor confidence bounces back after post-Brexit plunge

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17/08/2016
Investor confidence has made a remarkable turnaround after plunging to record lows last month in the wake of the Brexit vote.

According to a survey by Lloyds Bank, it has reached the highest level of the year so far with positive sentiment towards all asset classes, bar gold and cash, increasing despite continued market volatility.

The findings suggest gold remains the preferred asset class for most investors. However, sentiment towards the precious metal dipped in July suggesting investors no longer feel compelled to seek shelter in safe haven investments.

UK equities and property showed the biggest surge in confidence following a notable fall in confidence triggered by the EU referendum vote and the subsequent suspension in trading of several large commercial property funds due to liquidity concerns.

Attitudes towards the typically riskier asset classes have also maintained an upward trend.  The zeal for emerging market equities in particular continues to increase as investors witness a pickup in Chinese capital flows and more positive US data. Meanwhile, sentiment towards Japanese equities has become positive for the first time since June 2015.

Markus Stadlmann, chief investment officer at Lloyds Private Banking, said: “Investor sentiment has rebounded since the EU Referendum. The fact that gold and cash are viewed slightly less favourably reflects this greater confidence in risk assets. It is still early in the process, but as the economic data starts to come through, the post-referendum outlook will become clearer for investors.

“For example, if we see clear evidence of real salary growth, this should be positive for UK households and would benefit the economy, but if domestic spending falls it will have an impact on specific companies and sectors. At present, UK equities appear to be proving resilient, and generally we are beginning to see more positive news emerge globally.”

Actual performance of the asset classes over the past month has correlated with the overall sentiment by being predominately positive.

Only commodities experienced month-on-month declines, falling 11.1%, despite a slight increase in sentiment. UK and eurozone equities were the strongest performers, despite the latter displaying very negative sentiment since records began.

In spite of the sell-off in the wake of the referendum, UK government and corporate bonds have seen the biggest improvement in performance over the past 12 month period (13.3 % and 8.1% respectively) with only gold performing better at 23.3%.

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