Monex Group, Inc. (TYO:8698), the Japan-based group of Forex brokers, this morning published its 16th Global Retail Investor Survey. The survey, conducted in late February and early March 2015, covered the opinions of retail investors in Japan, China (Hong Kong) and the United States on global Forex and stock markets for the following three months.
Continuing a trend from the previous survey, investors increasingly voiced their optimism regarding the US dollar and the US economy as a whole. At the same time, the proportion of investors who believe quantitative easing measures by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) are unlikely for some time, has risen.
Let’s take a look at some particular findings.
The latest survey showed that approximately 40% of retail investors say that there will be no additional quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan for some time to come. Japanese retail investors were asked about the timing of possible additional quantitative easing by the Bank of Japan. The largest percentage, 41.6%, of investors forecast that there will be no additional quantitative easing for some time to come. The next largest percentage, 19.8%, of investors pointed to an additional monetary easing “from July to September 2015,” and 18.3% expected monetary easing “from April to June 2015.”
More than 58% of Japanese retail investors surveyed said they “do not feel” an economic recovery. Compared with the survey in November 2014, the percentage of investors that “do not feel” an economic recovery declined slightly (from 60.9% to 58.5%).
Another important trend that just keeps gaining weight in Monex’s retail investor survey is the optimism regarding the US currency. Asked about the currency that is most likely to experience a rise in the next three months, around 70% of U.S. respondents (80% in the previous survey) and around 70% of Hong Kong respondents (60% in the previous survey) chose the US dollar.
The percentage of Japanese investors who expect a stronger US dollar and a weaker Japanese yen in the coming three months rose against the previous survey.
The United States economy seems to be gaining some investor applause in China, as the survey of Chinese (Hong Kong) retail investors showed they had higher expectations for the United States than for Asia (excluding Japan) for the first time in six quarters.
We cannot skip the so-called diffusion index (DI) readings, concerning the world stock markets. Putting it simply, the DI shows the percentage of respondents who answered “World stock market prices will increase” minus the percentage of respondents who answered “World stock market prices will decrease.”
Monex asked retail investors in each region about their views on world stock markets for the coming three months. Japanese retail investors’ forecast DI rose for the second consecutive quarter, to 39 points, with the DI staging a marked rise against the latest reading. The forecast DI of retail investors in the United States and China (Hong Kong) declined.
The full report can be viewed here.