Europe gets the nod as the best place to invest for the first time since at least 2009 in a Bloomberg survey of financial professionals, unseating the U.S.
Thirty-five percent of those surveyed in the Bloomberg Markets Global Poll said the euro zone would be among the one or two markets offering investors the best opportunities over the next 12 months.
It was the first time that Europe came out on top since the survey of traders, analysts, money managers and executives who are Bloomberg customers began asking that question in October 2009. The U.S., with a 33 percent share, fell to second, the first time it’s not been No. 1 since November 2010. China, which was respondents’ top choice back then, now is viewed as one of the worst markets to invest in.
Europe fared well in the poll in spite of the continued standoff between Greece and its creditors over payment of its debts and the risk that it may leave the euro zone.
“It’s like Connecticut withdrawing from the U.S.,” said Charles Brown, president of CB3 Financial Group in Geneva, Illinois, who took part in the poll. “Would we miss them? Yeah. Is it going to change the economy of the country? No.”
Other highlights of the April 14-15 survey: A majority of those contacted said the U.S. Treasury debt market is already a bubble or on the verge of being one, while more than three-quarters said the same of Internet and social networking stocks. Respondents were upbeat on the dollar: It was chosen as the asset of choice to go long now.
They were downbeat on oil, with only 12 percent expecting crude prices to rise above $75 per barrel this year and 41 percent not anticipating that price will be exceeded until after 2016. Russia, Brazil and China were seen as markets to avoid over the next 12 months, with investors saying the Chinese economy is in the worst shape in two and a half years.
About two in five polled described the euro region’s economy as improving, up from 14 percent in January. European investors were more optimistic than those in the U.S. and Asia, with almost half saying the area’s economy is getting better.
“Europe’s economy is improving, off an admittedly low base,” John Carlson, a poll participant and president of Epic Investment Management in Boulder, Colorado, said in an e-mail. “Also, Europe’s stock market has been strong, and that market probably has more predictive power than people recognize.”