Does Fear has Stronger Impact than Confidence on Stock Returns? The Case of Asia-Pacific Developed Markets

Ngoc Bao Vuong, Yoshihisa Suzuki


Employing data from Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan over the period between January 2004 to December 2017, this study investigates the relationship between investor sentiment and stock returns.  We analyze two reversed sentiment indicators, namely Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) and Volatility Index (VIX), in two conversing situations: low and high sentiment. The empirical evidence suggests that sentiment has a significant link with concurrent returns, but its influence seems to wipe out quickly as the little to no return predictability is detected. More importantly, we find that “investor fear gauge” (VIX) generates a more significant contemporaneous effect on market returns than investor confidence. The impact on future returns, on the contrary, is inconclusive since low CCI and VIX dominate the opposite ones most of the time.


investor sentiment; stock returns; consumer confidence index; volatility index.

JEL Codes

G10; G15; G40.

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