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Investor confidence in UK drops beneath 2008 low

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Investor confidence in UK drops beneath 2008 low

Retail investors are feeling more fearful than at any point in the last 23 years with confidence in UK equity dropping to below where it stood in the credit crunch, according to Hargreaves Lansdown.

The broker said its internal index of investor sentiment, which it has compiled monthly since 1995, plummeted four points to a record low of 58 in September, versus a bottom of 61 in late 2008.

Over the last year - including the tail end of the 2017 equity exuberance - the index averaged 71, while over the last decade it averaged 92.

The September figure compared to an index reading of 66 on confidence in European equity, 111 in Japanese equity, and 103 in Asia Pacific equity.

Senior Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf said: ‘Brexit continues to dent sentiment towards both the UK economy and the stock market, even though the latter is globally diversified in terms of its revenue streams.

‘The effect on industry fund flows has been striking, with retail investors pulling around £10 billion out of UK funds since the EU referendum was announced, in favour of more international investments.’

The UK was the only region to experience a decline in investor confidence over the last three months. The 10 point fall in confidence since July compared to an average 6.6 gain across six major geographical weightings during the period.

Over the years to date a total $2.9 billion (£2.2 billion) has been committed to US equity funds, according to data provider EPFR.

Europe has recorded redemptions of $42 billion, while Japan and Global equity allocations recorded inflows of $42.8 billion and $70.2 billion respectively.  

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