US equity sentiment bounced back into clearly positive territory, recording a score of 28 points, the highest since November last year. US small caps showed a similar move in sentiment, reaching its highest level since October.
Emerging market divergence
Stock exchanges in Asia-Pacific registered gains similar to those in the US last month, but this wasn’t reflected in an improved sentiment reading. On the contrary, after two months of improving sentiment it slipped further back into negative territory recording a score of -11, seven points lower than a month earlier. 12-month return prospects for emerging market equities as a whole moved in opposite direction though, increasing from 5 to 11 points.
Japan confidence unaffected by losses
Despite four consecutive months of negative returns for Japanese equities, the longest negative run since 2010, fund manager sentiment on Japanese equities equalled the record high of 89 points reached in January. 16 out of 18 interviewed asset management groups expect Japanese equities to generate a positive return of more than 5% in the coming year, echoing a rock-solid confidence in the success of Abenomics.