Investor sentiment worsens to levels not seen since financial crisis: report

TORONTO -- One of Canada's biggest insurance and financial services companies says nervousness among Canadian investors has risen to levels not seen since the financial crisis.

See Full Article

Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) says that Canadian investors have lost confidence in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and balanced mutual funds over the past six months.

It also suggests that housing is seen as a less attractive investment, while confidence in fixed income investments has stayed about the same.

The report is based on Manulife's semi-annual index of investor sentiment index, which dropped to 16 in December from 19 last May.

The index is based on investor views on a range of asset classes as well as their confidence in these areas.

Regionally, investors in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces were the most optimistic with a score of 20, while Quebec ranked lowest at nine. Alberta was second lowest at 14.

The skittishness among investors comes as stock markets have taken a beating and Canadians head toward the RRSP contribution deadline on Feb. 29.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has been under pressure in recent months and sits about five per cent lower compared with where it began the year and nearly 20 per cent lower than its highs of last year.

At the same time, the Canadian dollar has managed to hit lows not seen in more than a decade in recent weeks.

"Canadian investors are facing a long list of uncertainties, including tremendous volatility in both oil prices and the value of the Canadian dollar," said Frances Donald, senior economist for Manulife Asset Management.

The poll also suggested that many Canadians are concerned about the future direction of interest rates.

"The Bank of Canada has been suggesting that interest rates are on hold or may even fall further over the coming year," Donald said.

"Yet, interestingly, 40 per cent of Canadian investors still expect interest rates to rise, highlighting the ongoing uncertainty around the interest rate outlook."

The semiannual Manulife index was based on an online survey done in December 2015 by Environics Research.

The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Alberta energy regulator releases rules on heavy oil odours

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Alberta's energy regulator has set new rules to deal with long-standing complaints about powerful, gassy smells from heavy oil operations in the Peace River region. The rules, released late Thursday, grew out of a 2014 inquiry held by the regulator after years of complaints from people in tiny communities neighbouring the operations. Source
  • India rejects extension on pulse imports in blow to Canada's largest market

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- India has rejected a long-standing exemption on pest treatment for peas and lentils in a blow to Canada's top export market for the crops. Federal Agriculture Minister spokesman Guy Gallant confirmed the Indian government has not granted another six-month exemption that would have crops fumigated on arrival, rather than before export, as has been allowed for more than a decade. Source
  • Toronto clothing brand accused of 'exploiting the homeless'

    Economic CTV News
    A Toronto clothing line facing allegations of “glorifying poverty” and “exploiting the homeless” for selling items that are branded with the words "homeless" and "change please" says it’s actually trying to help people in need. Source
  • Canada Revenue Agency expects to track down $400M in tax crackdown

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- Canadian tax authorities expect to track down $400 million this year they say are owed as part of a campaign to crack down on tax evasion by big international companies and wealthy individuals, particularly those using offshore tax havens, a top official says. Source
  • Numbers show Alberta economy improving, but no change to $10.8B deficit

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta's economy is on the road to recovery and more money is coming in, but there's no change to the government's projected $10.8-billion deficit this year. Finance Minister Joe Ceci says Alberta is going to make $1.5 billion more than expected in the current budget year which ends March 31. Source
  • Average weekly earnings increasing, but not for retail, food and accommodation workers

    Economic CBC News
    The average weekly paycheque for non-farm workers was $961 in December, Statistics Canada says, a figure that has grown by 1.2 per cent last year but belies wide differences between types of workers. Workers in information and cultural industries saw their pay packets increase the most, on average, up by more than 10 per cent last year to $1,350.48 a week. Source
  • Canadians projected to live longer, but can they afford it?

    Economic CBC News
    A new study that projects Canadians born in 2030 will live even longer than the previous generation has prompted concerns over saving enough to enjoy those bonus years. U.K. researchers' study of 35 industrialized countries was published in The Lancet on Tuesday. Source
  • Estimated 8,000 millionaires immigrated to Canada last year, report says

    Economic CBC News
    Canada attracted an estimated 8,000 millionaires last year, trailing only Australia and the United States on the list of top destinations, according to a recent report from New World Wealth. Australia drew 11,000 millionaires, while the U.S. Source
  • Lawyer referral fees to be capped in Ontario; advertising rules changing

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The body that regulates lawyers in Ontario has opted for a cap on referral fees rather than an outright ban, and made various changes to advertising rules. In a vote Thursday, benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada decided on a yet-to-be-determined cap after considering a report from a working group that delved into the issue of advertising and referral fees -- those a lawyer pays to another lawyer for sending along a client. Source
  • Canada's biggest pulse market in doubt after India rejects extending exemption

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Canada's top export market for its multi-billion-dollar pea and lentil crops industry is in doubt after India rejected extending a long-standing exemption on pest treatments. Federal Agriculture Minister spokesman Guy Gallant confirmed the Indian government has not granted another six-month exemption that would have crops fumigated on arrival, rather than before export, as has been allowed for more than a decade. Source