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

  • Couillard says he is open to advancing Montreal's subway contract to Bombardier

    Economic CTV News
    Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard is suggesting he's open to giving Bombardier a contract to replace Montreal's subway cars in order to stave off potential job losses at the company. Couillard said today during an economic mission to Washington D.C. Source
  • Pension fund manager OMERS earns 11.5 per cent return after all expenses in 2017

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Pension fund manager OMERS earned an investment return of 11.5 per cent after all expenses last year, topping the 10.3 per cent result it posted in 2016. The defined-benefit pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees said all of its major asset classes performed well for the year. Source
  • Ottawa vows legislation allowing firms to settle corporate corruption

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The Canadian government is vowing to introduce legislation for corporate wrongdoing that could help SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. address criminal charges. The government says deferred prosecution agreements (DPA), which were called for in public consultations last fall, will be another tool used by judges to hold companies accountable. Source
  • TD Bank stops allowing customers to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrency

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- TD Bank says it is taking a pause on allowing customers to use its credit cards to buy cryptocurrency. The big bank says it made the decision to conduct a review and assessment of the evolving market. Source
  • Auto sales to dip in most provinces, led by Ontario's 3.1% drop, Scotiabank says

    Economic CBC News
    Scotiabank says that slower job creation and weaker gains in household wealth will likely contribute to softer Canadian sales of cars and light trucks this year. That would put an end to a five-year string of growth that included a record high 2.04 million vehicles sold in 2017. Source
  • Auto sales to dip in most provinces: Scotiabank

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Scotiabank says that slower job creation and weaker gains in household wealth will likely contribute to softer Canadian sales of cars and light trucks this year. That would put an end to a five-year string of growth that included a record high 2.04 million vehicles sold in 2017. Source
  • Inflation cools to 1.7 per cent, but underlying rate continues to heat up

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The annual pace of inflation cooled to 1.7 per cent last month -- but rising prices underneath the turbulence of this headline number suggest the Bank of Canada is unlikely to veer from its interest-rate hiking path. Source
  • Defunct Ontario mining company fined $1.3 million in 2014 worker deaths

    Economic CTV News
    The Ontario government says a now-bankrupt mining company has been fined $1.3 million in connection with the deaths of two workers in 2014. The Ministry of Labour says First Nickel Inc., was convicted of six charges under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act and mining regulations, after two workers were killed by falling material at the Lockerby Mine in Chelmsford, Ont. Source
  • General Mills buying Blue Buffalo Pet Products for $8B US

    Economic CBC News
    Cheerios cereal maker General Mills Inc. will buy Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. for nearly $8 billion US, seeking to tap burgeoning demand for natural pet food and offset falling sales for processed items. The acquisition announced Friday is the latest by a major food company seeking to expand in faster growing areas such as pet- and organic-food amid falling demand for established brands. Source
  • RBC hikes dividend as flat first-quarter profit still beats expectations

    Economic CBC News
    RBC's increase to its common share dividend came as the lender saw strong results across its divisions for the quarter ended Jan. 31, but also recorded a writedown due to U.S. Source