Pessimism in Asia

Confidence among fund managers surrounding Asia''s economic buoyancy continues to slip, with only 11% of managers expecting a strong economy for the year ahead.

Research conducted by Gallup for Merrill Lynch shows that although global inflation and rate hike fears are falling, managers remain bearish on Asian equity markets. By contrast, optimism about China remains high, with 74% expecting a strong Chinese economy, and with buyers of Chinese equities outnumbering sellers by a record margin. With China's entry to the WTO imminent, 74% of fund managers feel strongly that the move will be a positive one for the region a feeling echoed by a large number of foreign investors.

A growing number of Asian fund managers see their domestic equity market as undervalued. Many feel that a cut in interest rates is what is needed, and hopes have...

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