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Investor mood improves as stock market rebounds

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21/03/2019
The mood of stock market investors is improving, according to the latest Hargreaves Lansdown Investor Confidence index.

The index measures the confidence of retail investors in the UK stock market looking out over the next 6 months, 1 year and 3 years.

The index reached a ten month high this month, hitting 80 points this month, up from a record low of 52 in December. However, it is still below its long-term average of 91.

Investor confidence has risen in all markets across the globe except for Europe. Even the UK saw a small uptick in sentiment. However, although it is stronger than it was, it continues to lag the other major equity markets by some distance. Only European markets draw less confidence among investors.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “As we approach the height of ISA season, the mood of investors has improved dramatically. This is quite a surprising turn of events, seeing as Brexit remains unresolved and time is running out on efforts to reach some sort of agreement. Indeed, Brexit remains a key concern voiced by private investors in our survey, though it seems it’s no longer tainting sentiment towards the market to the extent it did at the back end of last year.

“While improving, sentiment towards UK equities is still weak by historical standards, and considerably below most major markets. Confidence in Europe remains weakest though, with the ECB recently downgrading economic growth forecasts and making dovish noises about monetary policy.”

Khalaf said trade tensions and Brexit continue to undermine global growth expectations, but when compared to historic averages, valuations suggest it’s a reasonable time to invest. However, investors who are unsure can park money as cash and drip feed it into funds and shares gradually.

HL Global Market Confidence Indices

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