November 5, 2018 / 9:32 AM / 14 days ago

Euro zone investor morale hits two-year low in November

BERLIN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Investor morale in the euro zone fell more than expected in November and hit its lowest level in just over two years, a survey showed on Monday, as concerns about U.S. trade policies and the future of Germany’s car industry weighed on sentiment.

Sentix research group said its investor sentiment index for the euro zone fell to 8.8 from 11.4 in October. Analysts had expected a smaller dip to 10.1.

The November reading was the lowest since October 2016 and marked the third consecutive monthly drop.

A sub-index on current conditions fell to 29.3 from 33.0, hitting its lowest level since April 2017. A sub-index measuring expectations fell to -9.8 from -8.3 the previous month.

“The reasons for this development are manifold. There are external factors such as the U.S. president’s trade policies as well as European issues,” said Manfred Huebner, managing director of Sentix.

“The discussion about the future of the car industry in Germany, the weakness of the banking sector and the budget issue in Italy come to mind,” Huebner added.

German consumer group vzbv filed a lawsuit against Volkswagen on Thursday over diesel emissions tests rigging, using new class-action rules that potentially make it easier to win damages from companies.

A separate index gauging investor morale in Germany fell in November to its lowest level since February 2016 following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that she would step down as leader of her Christian Democrat party in December.

Merkel’s coalition, which includes the Christian Democrats, their Bavarian allies and the centre-left Social Democrats, has been shaken by disputes over immigration and the scandal-hit chief of the domestic spy agency.

Sentix surveyed 991 investors from Nov. 1-3. (Writing by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin)

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