New Delhi: The stock market barometer Sensex could rise to the 20,000 points-mark by June, up from the present 17,000-level, despite subdued business confidence, a survey by JP Morgan Asset Management has said.
"Indian investors and advisors appear unaffected by the recent volatility in stock markets. Forty-eight percent of retail investors and 76 percent of advisors expect the benchmark index to trade between 17,000 and 20,000 in June, 2012," JP Morgan Asset Management said in a report titled, 'Investor Confidence Index'.
JP Morgan AMC said investment by retail investors in mutual funds has revived significantly since the last quarter.
The index showed no signs of revival in the current quarter and remained almost flat between July and December, 2011.
"Although the overall investment sentiment currently appears subdued, the optimism about global and Indian economic growth is improving marginally. Most interestingly, corporate, advisors and HNIs are now more optimistic than they were in July, 2011, even as the mass of retail investors have become more pessimistic," the survey added.
The survey conducted among 1,635 retail investors, 50 corporate treasuries and 282 advisors said retail investment activity in mutual funds has picked up by 9 percentage points vis-a-vis the previous quarter to reach 70 percent, while in stocks, it fell by 6 percentage points.
Risk-averse investors have shown less preference for stocks (down from 70 percent in March, 2011, to 56 percent in December), but increased preference for mutual funds (from 44 percent to 68 percent), according to the survey.
In addition, rising gold prices appear to have affected investment activity in gold. As a result, the percentage of investors investing in this asset class has fallen by 19 percentage points since December, 2010.
"The weak investment sentiment is probably a reflection of volatility surrounding the country's macroeconomic environment.
"The Sensex downslide, rupee depreciation, a ballooning fiscal deficit, high inflation rates, combined with rising global uncertainty, triggered by deepening of the euro zone crisis, have hurt the investment sentiment," JP Morgan Asset Management MD and CEO Nandkumar Surti said.
The index published jointly by JP Morgan and ValueNotes, was conducted in December across Mumbai, the Delhi/NCR, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.

The survey focused on business and investment outlook for the following six months.