UBS's investor survey found that the percentage of investors optimistic in the short term about their region's economy fell most in the US and least in Europe outside Switzerland.
The survey, which polled 4,108 wealthy investors and business owners in 14 markets in April, found that wealthy investors and business owners remain optimistic about the longer term despite a sharp fall in short-term confidence due to the Coronavirus.
About 1 in 3 think the worst of the crisis will be over by the end of June but another third believe the crisis will last at least until next year.
The quarterly global Investor Sentiment survey is carried out by Swiss bank and wealth manager UBS.
According to the survey, 70% of respondents were optimistic about the long-term economic outlook for their region, mostly unchanged from the survey three months previously. However short term optimism fell from 67% to 46%.
The share of investors expressing short-term optimism fell most sharply in the US, from 68% to 30%, and least sharply in Europe outside Switzerland, from 58% to 50%.
In Asia, it fell from 71% to 55%; in Latin America, from 60% to 49%; and, in Switzerland, from 47% to 28%.
Globally, 47% of investors expect to keep their stock market investments the same in the next six months, while 37% plan to invest more. Additionally, 23% believe now is a good time to buy stocks, and another 61% see an opportunity to buy if stocks fall another 5-20%, UBS found.
Business owners were generally positive on the longer-term outlook and express a continued desire to invest in their own firms.
Some 61% were optimistic about their businesses, down from 73% in the prior survey. Some 27% plan to hire more versus 17% who plan to downsize.
Both investors and business owners cited Coronavirus as their top concern, at 57% and 60% of respondents, respectively.
Paula Polito, divisional vice chairman, UBS Global Wealth Management, said: “96% of investors worldwide say Covid-19 has affected their lifestyle in some way, with more than half mentioning practicing social distancing, avoiding crowds, and refraining from travel.
“However, they have diverging views on when the worst of the crisis will be over, with a third citing by the end of June, a third citing the fall and a third citing the end of the year or beyond.”
• UBS surveyed 2,928 investors and 1,180 business owners with at least US$1m (£800,000) in investable assets (for investors) or at least US$1m in annual revenue and at least one employee other than themselves (for business owners), from April 1-20, 2020. The global sample was split across 14 markets: Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK and the US.