BERLIN, March 4 Euro zone sentiment tumbled in
March, breaking a six-month trend of gains due to fears of
renewed political uncertainty following Italy's inconclusive
election, Sentix said on Monday.
The research group said its monthly index tracking investor
sentiment in the 17-nation currency bloc fell to -10.6 in March
from -3.9 in February, compared to a Reuters consensus forecast
"The reason for this setback is obvious: it is the outcome
of the election in Italy which has caused uncertainty over the
country's future development to skyrocket," Sentix said in a
"This has had a negative impact on the whole euro zone."
A sub-index of expectations fell to 8.3 in March from 15.8
in February. Current conditions stood at -27.8, down from -21.8
Italy's election on Feb. 24-25 left no one with a working
majority in parliament and the main political parties have made
no progress towards forming a stable government, raising the
prospect of another round of elections.
Two parties opposed to German-backed austerity policies made
strong gains in the election and the spread between Italian
10-year benchmark bonds and German bunds - a measure of investor
confidence - widened on Monday to an almost three-month high.
However, a separate index for Germany showed investors'
sentiment in the euro zone's largest economy remained firm, at
24.5 in March, up slightly from 24.3 last month. This is its
highest level since July 2011.