Japanese Investor Sentiment Up Slightly In April

By ExpatBriefing.com Editorial 25 April, 2014

An index measuring the investment sentiment of individuals in Japan remained low in April, having increased slightly from March, according to Japanese financial holdings company Nomura Holdings, the publisher of the index.

The Nomura Individual Investor Market View Index (Nomura I-View Index) is based on survey respondents' three-month outlook for share prices. Scores are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimistic responses from optimistic responses. The score for April was 28.8, an increase from 25.6 in March. The index remained at a low level, coming in below the historical average for the third consecutive month.

Respondents were asked to select the factor most likely to impact the stock market in the next three months. International affairs was again the most-watched factor in April, but its response rate showed the largest month-on-month decline of all the factors. Nomura believes that this reflects some easing in the situation in Ukraine, where tensions had been running high in March.

The sector regarded by respondents as the most appealing investment target was capital goods/other, which comprises construction, machinery, shipbuilding, transportation equipment, miscellaneous manufacturing, and real estate. The least appealing sector for investment was consumer goods, which comprises marine products, food, retail, and services.

Asked to name one currency that represents an appealing investment target, most respondents chose the US dollar. The Brazilian real and the Australian dollar experienced sizable increases in their appeal as investment targets, but the Japanese yen declined the most of any currency included in the survey.

Japanese equities remained the most appealing financial instrument in the opinion of respondents in April. Just over a quarter of respondents said their returns on equity investments last fiscal year were positive overall, but "disappointing considering the investment environment."

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