The State Street Global Investor Confidence Index (ICI) increased to 72.9 in April, up 1.7 points from March’s revised reading of 71.2.
Confidence among North American investors improved, with the North American ICI rising from 68.3 to 71.1. The European ICI declined by 1.5 points to 86.7 and the Asia ICI decreased by 6.7 points to 92.9.
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.
“While equity markets demonstrated strong performance in Q1, institutional investors continue to show limited change in their risk appetite and have remained largely reluctant to jump back into risky assets,” says Rajeev Bhargava, managing director and head of Investor Behavior Research, State Street Associates.
“In April, US markets have continued to rise as concerns about the economic and earnings outlook started to diminish. It appears, however, that neither the rebound in equity prices nor the Federal Reserve’s dovish shift are sufficient drivers to bring investors’ confidence into the risk-seeking territory,” says Froot.