Friday, 2 June, 2023

German investor morale falls amid market turbulence

German investor morale falls amid market turbulence

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FRANKFURT: German investor confidence fell in March for the first time in six months, a key survey showed Tuesday, following market turbulence driven by fears of a widening banking crisis, reports AFP.

The ZEW institute's economic expectations index fell 15.1 points to 13 points.

It remained in positive territory, but the decline was sharper than analysts surveyed by FactSet had predicted.

In February the indicator had risen for a fifth straight month, as concerns continued to ease that Europe's top economy was heading for a deep downturn due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

But the collapse of two US lenders and then the UBS takeover of troubled Credit Suisse has caused panic on global markets and knocked confidence.

"The international financial markets are under strong pressure," said ZEW president Achim Wambach, adding the reading indicated a "high level of uncertainty".

Authorities in leading economies have pledged support for depositors and troubled banks as worries grow about whether the global economy is headed for a serious financial crisis.

European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde said Monday that capital buffers and liquidity of eurozone banks were "way in excess" of what is required while their exposure to Credit Suisse was "very limited."

DZ Bank economist Christoph Swonke said there was no sign of German banks or financial institutions in the 20-nation eurozone being affected.

"However, the current situation shows that, in addition to the still high inflation and higher interest rates, a sustained uncertainty in the banking sector would be adding sand in the economic gears," he added.

Confidence among German investors was initially hit hard by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and subsequent move to slash crucial gas exports, but it slowly recovered after Berlin rolled out relief measures.