January saw a surge in investor confidence, according to the latest surveys from JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management and Ample.
JP Morgan Fleming's monthly investor confidence index shows a rise of eight points to 92 in January from 84 in December and is now not far off the index's high of 103 which was seen in April 2001.
JPMF says 44 per cent of investors believe the stockmarket will be higher in six months compared with 40 per cent in December while only 17 per cent think it will be lower, a fall from 19 per cent in December.
Ample's investor sentiment barometer also reveals upbeat results, with 66 per cent of respondents rating growth prospects for the UK as good or very good, up from 64 per cent in December.
The firm's research shows that equities are the most popular investment fund asset, with 62 per cent of Ample users opting for equities. Managed funds are second with 30 per cent while corporate bonds or gilts account for 2 per cent, and protected funds are also at 2 per cent, with socially responsible investments at 1 per cent.
JPMF head of market research Peter Brewster says: “The continued flow of impressive global economic news, combined with a fairly buoyant stockmarket, is helping to maintain relatively high levels of investor confidence. The FTSE 100 has only recently touched its highest levels since mid-2002 and, with economic growth and corporate earnings continuing to accelerate, the prospects for the stockmarket this year still appear to be favourable.”