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

  • Railway executive Hunter Harrison dead at 73

    Economic CTV News
    JACKSONVILLE,, United States -- Railroad executive Hunter Harrison has died. American railroad giant CSX announced the death of its current chief executive on Saturday, saying Harrison died in Wellington, Fla. He was 73. CSX says he died from "unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness. Source
  • Railway exec Hunter Harrison dead at 73, remembered as 'transformational' figure

    Economic CTV News
    JACKSONVILLE,, United States -- Hunter Harrison, the plain-spoken, gruff American who rewrote the Canadian railroading book during his years heading both of this country's largest railways, has died. He was 73. CSX Corp., the American railroad Harrison began leading earlier this year, issued a statement on Saturday announcing his death. Source
  • Railway exec Hunter Harrison, known as 'transformational' businessman, dies at 73

    Economic CTV News
    JACKSONVILLE, United States -- Hunter Harrison, the plain-spoken, gruff American who rewrote the Canadian railroading book during his years heading both of this country's largest railways, has died. He was 73. CSX Corp., the American railroad Harrison began leading earlier this year, issued a statement on Saturday announcing his death. Source
  • Sears franchise owner plans to keep store going under new name

    Economic CTV News
    Even though the doors to his Sears franchise outlet will officially close on Monday, Karim Kassam says the store will go on, under a new name, of course. The longtime owner of the Sears Hometown store in Airdrie, Atla. Source
  • Bell says CRTC promise of free phone unlocking doesn't apply to everyone

    Economic CBC News
    Canadians were supposed to be freed from cellphone unlocking fees come Dec. 1, but some with a Bell-locked phone have found they've had to fight for their freedom. That's because the telecom giant will only unlock phones free of charge for current and former customers. Source
  • Inflammatory letter sheds light on Uber's alleged misconduct

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- A former Uber security specialist accused the company of dispatching a team of spies to steal its rivals' trade secrets and using shady tactics to thwart its competition in the ride-hailing market, according an inflammatory letter unsealed Friday by a federal judge. Source
  • Court denies WestJet's bid to toss harassment lawsuit filed by former worker

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- WestJet has lost a bid to throw out of court a proposed class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of failing to provide a harassment-free workplace for women. Former flight attendant Mandalena Lewis sued WestJet (TSX:WJA) in the Supreme Court of British Columbia over allegations of gender-based discrimination, accusing her former employer of fostering a corporate culture that tolerates harassment against female employees. Source
  • Toronto stock index shows moderate gain in broad-based advance, loonie drops

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Canada's main stock index moved forward today in a broad-based advance, while those on Wall Street closed at record highs. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index gained 25.52 points to 16,041.98, led by a double-digit jump in the worth of Linamar Corp. Source
  • Apotex founder Barry Sherman, wife found dead in Toronto home

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex has confirmed its founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, are dead, amid reports that two bodies were found in their Toronto home. "All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time," the company said in a statement late Friday afternoon, adding that the deaths were "unexpected. Source
  • Apotex founder Barry Sherman and wife found dead in Toronto home

    Economic CBC News
    Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex has confirmed its founder Barry Sherman and his wife, Honey, are dead, amid reports that two bodies were found in their Toronto home. "All of us at Apotex are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time," the company said in a statement late Friday afternoon, adding that the deaths were "unexpected. Source