The latest monthly Investor Sentiment Index figure published by Lloyds Bank Private Banking, suggests that UK investors became significantly more upbeat about their investments through the past month - yet still remained overall gloomy.
The sentiment index published by the bank jumped 5% between February to March, which was the biggests monthly increase since August 2016. It was also the second month in a row to see overall postive movement in the index across all asset classes except for gold and cash.
Yet, despite the improvements, the overall attitude remains 9.5% lower than at the same time a year ago, Lloyds warned.
Jon Wingent, head of Portfolio Specialists, said: "With most stock indices increasing, it comes as no surprise that rising investor sentiment is a reflection of this activity. However these levels remain lower than last year, and could be driven by poorer performance of risk assets in 2018."
"Although gold has traditionally been perceived as a safer commodity for investors, its price has declined from an 11-month high in March. The sentiment may suggest that the stability previously seen for this asset category could be nearing an end. A stronger US dollar and rising equity markets have been exerting pressure on the price."
US shares biggest riser once again
Investor confidence in US shares saw the strongest growth of all asset categories, increasing by 12.6% to 3.6%. This follows a record drop of 23.4% in January, the Index suggests.
The research found a gender gap in terms of outlook, with women having a notably more negative outlook (-10%) than men (12%).
There was a slight uptick in sentiment towards eurozone shares (+4.3%) this month, marking the first hint of optimism in 2019 for this category. Looking at the bigger picture, it is still significantly lower than last year (-22.2%), despite being up in real value by 2.7%.
Londoners were significantly more upbeat about eurozone shares compared to the rest of the country, scoring 22% higher than the national average.
March figures reveal that confidence in gold took the biggest hit (-2.2%), marking the first drop in sentiment for this asset category in 2019. This was despite a 4% rise in real value1, as well as an improved year-on-year sentiment increase of 4.3%.
Cash was the only other category to experience a drop in sentiment (-0.6%) this month, continuing a trend of remaining relatively low in overall sentiment average (-21.2% this month).