March 4, 2019 / 9:32 AM / 20 days ago

Euro zone investor morale improves on hopes of Asian tailwind - Sentix

BERLIN, March 4 (Reuters) - Investor morale in the euro zone improved in March, largely due to hopes that an upturn in Asia might help the single currency bloc, a survey showed on Monday.

Sentix research group said its investor sentiment index for the euro zone rose to -2.2 from -3.7 in February. Analysts had expected a reading of -3.1.

A sub-index on the current situation also weakened for the seventh month running, slumping to its weakest level since September 2016.

Expectations improved for the second month in a row, mainly on hopes that a revival of economic activity in Asia, except Japan, would provide impetus for the euro zone.

“This gives reason to hope that there will be no recession,” Sentix managing director Manfred Huebner said in a statement. “This region (Asia) is in the best shape according to investor estimates. Should the signs of recovery intensify, they would have a positive impact on the euro zone.”

Huebner added that the risk of Britain leaving the euro zone this month without a deal could cast a pall over any upswing.

A separate index measuring investor morale in Germany rebounded slightly from its lowest level since August 2012 last month to 4.0 in March.

Even though expectations for Germany also improved, a sub-index measuring current conditions fell for the fifth time in a row to its lowest level since November 2014. This dampens hopes of a strong rebound in Europe’s largest economy.

“The former economic locomotive is by no means standing out from the pack,” Huebner said.

Sentix surveyed 1,000 investors from Feb. 28 to March 2. (Reporting by Joseph Nasr Editing by Michelle Martin)

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