Europe’s equities markets baulked at Friday’s strong US jobs report.

With it, came further signs that Wall Street investors have been cashing out of stocks that have shone during the era of ultra-low rates.

And while the prospect of a 2015 rate rise from the Federal Reserve grows with every piece of forecast-beating data out of Washington, the eurozone’s economic indicators are looking brighter as the European Central Bank’s stimulus continues.

Does all of this combine to create a darker outlook for stock indices, which have already touched record highs during 2015?

According to wide ranging research by Franklin Templeton, equity bulls need not be too worried.

The investment company’s fifth Annual Global Investor Sentiment Survey found that 74 per cent of UK investors polled expect the UK stock market to make positive returns in 2015, with 34 per cent predicting a record rise from the UK equities market.

The picture is similar for investors in the US and Canada, where 64 per cent of respondents said they expected their stock markets to finish higher on the year.

In terms of improving sentiment, the biggest jump came in Spain, where there was a 14 per cent increase year-on-year in the proportion of investors expecting stocks to rise. The mood darkened in Brazil, where the same gauge fell by 19 per cent.

The study polls 11,500 investors in 23 countries and is one of the broadest of its kind in the world.

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