Investors Upbeat on U.S. Stocks

In this week's Bloomberg Global Poll, the U.S. and Japan ranked high, while expectations fell for returns on investments in China.

International investors are the most bullish they’ve been on the U.S. and Japanese markets in more than three and a half years, as both countries’ economies are seen as improving, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll.

More than half of those contacted said the U.S. will be among the markets offering the best returns over the next year, a 15-point jump from the last poll in January and the highest rating for any country since the survey began asking that question in October 2009. Japan, which had been seen as a place to avoid in many of the previous polls, ranked second in the May 14 survey of investors, analysts, and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers, with one in three picking it as a market to favor.

U.S. Economy

The U.S. economy will “grow at least 2.5 percent next year,” said Sangwook Lee, chief foreign currency fixed income portfolio manager at Shinhan Bank in Seoul and a poll respondent. That would be the fastest expansion of gross domestic product since 2006. GDP climbed 2.2 percent last year.

Japan Improving

Global investors are bullish on Japanese equities. More than three in five see the Nikkei 225 Stock Average rising over the next six months. Only 16 percent expect it to fall. The stock gauge has climbed about 44 percent this year, spurred by quantitative easing from the Bank of Japan.

Debt Defaults

Two-thirds of those surveyed consider a debt default by Cyprus to be likely. Thirty-five percent think the same about Slovenia, another member of the euro area.

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