Tue, Sep 18, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Investors’ enthusiasm for local economy falls: poll

RISK APPETITE:Investors’ enthusiasm for the local stock market picked up slightly, with 68.7 percent of respondents expecting the TAIEX to hit 7,500 to 8,000

Staff writer, with CNA

Investors’ enthusiasm for the domestic economy declined for the second straight month this month, according to a recent survey conducted by Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控), the nation’s largest financial services provider.

The enthusiasm index derived from the survey for this month, conducted from Sept. 1 to Sept. 7, dropped to minus-38.4, from minus-33.1 last month and minus-21 in July, though enthusiasm for the domestic stock market rebounded slightly.

Respondents to the Cathay poll rated each question on a scale of 100, with 100 representing the most positive response and minus 100 signaling the most negative response.

The survey was based on 9,365 valid responses collected from the financial company’s clients.

QUANTITATIVE EASING

Though the survey was conducted before the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve announced new quantitative-easing measures to ease their economic woes, individual investors’ enthusiasm index for the local stock market recovered slightly to minus-20.1 this month, from minus 21 last month.

More than two-thirds, or 68.7 percent, of respondents expected the TAIEX to reach a high of between 7,500 and 8,000 in the second half of the year.

The TAIEX closed up 24.17 points, or 0.31 percent, at 7,762.22 yesterday, its highest finish since April 13. The benchmark index has risen 365.16 points, or 4.94 percent, so far this month, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

Investors’ preference for risk-weighted assets also improved, moving up from an average of minus-22.5 to minus-20.8, according to the survey.

However, higher vegetable prices triggered by bad weather and higher gasoline prices pushed the Cathay Financial survey’s inflation perception index up to 90.7, from 85.9 a month earlier.

INFLATION WORRIES

Respondents expected prices for daily necessities to rise by between 3.8 percent and 4.3 percent over the next six months, up from the 3.6 percent to 4 percent range envisioned in last month’s survey.

Last month, the country’s annual inflation expanded at its fastest pace in four years, with the consumer price index rising 3.42 percent from a year ago, as vegetable and fruit prices climbed after the nation was struck by two typhoons, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics reported on Sept. 5.

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