Investors bullish about US, Japan markets: Bloomberg poll
Almost half of survey's respondents down on Europe; most favoured asset class is stocks
International investors are the most bullish they have been on the US and Japanese markets in more than 3½ years as both countries' economies are seen as improving, according to a poll.
More than half of those contacted said the US will be among the markets offering the best returns over the next year, a 15-point jump from the last poll in January and the highest rating for any country since the survey began asking that question in October 2009.
Japan, which had been seen as a place to avoid in many of the previous polls, ranked second in the May 14 Bloomberg survey of investors, analysts and traders, with one in three picking it as a market to favour.
"I'm upbeat on the US," said Charles Doraine, a poll respondent and the president of Doraine Wealth Management Group in Corpus Christie in the American state of Texas. "Housing is coming back" and the country "can be energy independent in the not too distant future".
China experienced a reversal of fortunes in the survey as it went from investment darling to dud. More than one in four investors said its market would be among those with the worst opportunities: only the European Union did poorer. It was singled out as a market to avoid by 45 per cent of those polled.
Investors also soured on commodities and gold, with a majority now seeing deflation as a greater threat than inflation in the coming year.
More than two in five intend to reduce their exposure to gold over the next six months, the highest percentage divesting since the question was first asked in November 2010 and close to three times more than those who plan to increase it.
Stocks were again the asset of choice for those polled. Some 54 per cent said equities would offer the highest returns over the next year, the best reading in the poll's nearly four-year history.
Real estate came in second, the favourite of just under one in five surveyed. Some 42 per cent said they planned to increase their exposure to the property market in the next six months, up from 36 per cent in January.