The State Street Investor Confidence Index dropped 3.9 points in April to 87.7 from 91.6 a month earlier, State Street Global Markets announced today. Asia led the drop in confidence, falling 7.5 points to 87.0.  In North America and Europe, investor confidence was relatively static, falling less than 1 point to 88.8 and 100.5, respectively.

The monthly index measures investor confidence or risk appetite by analyzing actual buying and selling patterns of institutional investors, State Street Global Markets, the investment research and trading arm of State Street Corp, said in statement. A reading greater than 100 means that institutional investors are increasing their allocations to risky assets, meaning they’re buying stocks. A reading less than a 100 indicates the opposite:  investors are selling equity positions. A reading of 100 is neutral, meaning that institutional investors are neither increasing nor decreasing their allocations to risky assets. 

“This is the second consecutive month that Asian investors have exhibited a pessimistic streak that is in contrast to their North American and European peers,” Kenneth Froot, a Harvard University professor and co-developer of the index, said in a statement. “The Asian ICI is now at an all-time low, and reflects particularly concerted selling of equities by Asian domiciled institutions.”

Paul O’Connell of State Street Associates, the other co-developer of the index, added that North American and European investors took a selective approach to equity allocations as they “cut back on their positions in Latin America and instead allocated toward Europe and the U.K., though even these flows came to a halt in the last week of the data sample.”

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