8 Jun 2020

Investor confidence fell as Covid-19 pandemic sunk in

10:37 am on 8 June 2020

Investor confidence plummeted everywhere but Auckland, in the initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stock / market generic.

Photo: 123RF

The latest quarterly ASB Investor Confidence Survey shows investment confidence fell to a four-year low in the first three months of the year, by 7 points to a net 4 percent.

It dropped further to a net negative 21 percent in the month of March, when the severity of the lockdown began to sink in.

But investor confidence held steady in Auckland with a net 6 percent expecting improved returns on investment compared with a 12-point drop in the rest of the country to a net 2 percent.

However, when it comes the return on investment in their own homes, Aucklanders were less confident than the rest of the country, which held steady.

"The economic fallout from Covid-19 has dashed expectations of the housing upswing carrying on through the remainder of 2020," ASB senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said, adding the bank's separate housing confidence survey was now closing in on eight-year lows.

He said last year was the best year for returns on KiwiSaver investments.

"That rosy state changed during March as sharemarkets slumped and investment valuations took a hit," he said noting the market had since returned to pre-Covid levels.

On the plus side, he said most investors had stuck with their long-term investment strategy.

"We expect investors to remain cautious over the coming months, given the big market movements we've seen and the uncertainty that still clouds the outlook.

"While in March we saw a lot of panic selling, over April and May we have also seen many people wanting to invest."