Pessimism on the outlook for corporate profitability and global growth increased in May, with a net 10% of fund managers saying the world economy will strengthen in the next 12 months, down from a net 27% in April, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch May Survey of Fund Managers.
A net 9% believe corporate profits will improve over the next year.
In Europe, a net 8% said the region's economy will weaken over the next year; in contrast in March 32% said they thought it would strengthen over 12 months.
A net 28% expect China's economy to weaken in the coming year, up from 15% a month earlier.
A net 59% of respondents said Japan's economy will strengthen over the next year. In April, respondents were evenly divided on the question of whether the Japanese economy would strengthen or weaken.
A net 38% believe Japanese companies' earnings per share will improve over the next year.
Emerging markets remains a popular asset class among investors, with a net 29% of survey respondents overweight in emerging markets equities. By comparison in March, respondents were neutral.
For currency, a net 64% of respondents said the Japanese yen is overvalued, 60% view the euro as overvalued and 48% said the U.S. dollar is overvalued.
The survey was conducted May 6-12 and included 284 fund managers with a combined $814 billion in assets under management.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch spokeswoman Rinat Rond could not be reached for additional comment.