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Investor confidence at a low ebb

Investor confidence fell in January after a lacklustre performance by the UK stockmarket, according to the Chase Fleming Asset Management monthly confidence index.

Chase Fleming conducts a monthly survey among a random sample of 500 investors to find out if they believe the stockmarket will be higher in six months&#39 time, stay at the same level or will be lower.

These findings are plotted against the FTSE 100 monthly average.

Chase says its latest survey reveals the fall in the FTSE 100 monthly average to 6,200 in January from 6,500 last summer has had a marked effect on investor confidence.

But the research also finds a greater proportion of investors are optimistic for the coming six months, with 38 per cent of respondents expecting the FTSE 100 to be higher in six months&#39 time, 22 per cent expecting it to be lower and 40 per cent expecting it to sustain roughly the same levels.

Investors in Scotland and the South-east are the most optimistic while those in Wales and the Midlands are the least.

Head of market research Peter Brewster says: “When we started the survey back in March last year, investors were still reasonably confident the stockmarket would recover fairly quickly from the large falls in the index we witnessed when technology stocks came off the boil. With some share valuations starting to look good and interest rates coming down, we could well see investor confidence on the increase.”

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