SINGAPORE (Dec 30): The State Street Investor Confidence Index (ICI) declined slightly in December to 79.7 points, down 1.3 points from the previous month’s revised reading of 81.0.

Released on Monday, the index revealed that the decrease was attributable mainly to a 24.5-point plunge in the European ICI to 109.4. The sharp decline was noted to be from a combination of weaker economic data and effects of continued uncertainty of a hard Brexit on the region. 

However, not all was doom and gloom. North American ICI ticked up by 3.9 points to 71.6, while Asian ICI increased 4.3 points to 89.9.

The ICI measures investor confidence or risk appetite quantitatively by analysing the actual buying and selling patterns of institutional investors. A neutral reading of 100 is the level at which investors are neither increasing nor decreasing their long-term allocations to risky assets.

“Investor sentiment in North America continues to lag behind its European and Asian counterparts,” notes  Rajeev Bhargava, head of Investor Behavior Research for State Street Associates. 

“While still below the neutral level of 100, optimism around a workable China trade deal appears to have lifted the appetite of Asian investors,” adds Rajeev.