Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London:
The latest fund manager survey from BofA Merrill Lynch finds sentiment positive for 2014, with investors entering next year optimistic about the global economy and outlook for Japanese and European equities.
The survey found that the proportion of investors believing the global economy will strengthen in the year ahead has risen to a net 71% from a net 67% in November. The bank finds that conviction in the global economy is far stronger than 12 months ago when a net 40% of the panel predicted it would strengthen.
The bank writes: "Similarly, the outlook for profits has ticked upwards month-on-month and is far stronger than the end of 2012. A net 41% believes global profits will improve over the coming year, compared with a net 11% taking that view a year ago. 55% of investors say that they want corporations to prioritize capital expenditure over other uses of cash flow. That represents a survey high and an increase from 53% in November and 45% 12 months ago."
The survey found that preference for equities over bonds remains at historically high levels. The spread between equity overweights and bond underweights stood at 118 percentage points in December, compared with 76 points one year ago and just 19 points in July 2012.
The bank found that investors demonstrated ......................
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