August 6, 2018 / 8:45 AM / in 16 days

Euro zone investor morale rises as trade fears ease: Sentix

BERLIN (Reuters) - Investor morale in the euro zone improved for the second month running in August, a survey showed on Monday, as concerns about an all-out trade war between the European Union and the United States subsided.

FILE PHOTO: A 20 and 50 Euro bank note are seen in front of a cash drawer with Swiss francs in Bern January 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel

Sentix’s index for the euro zone rose to 14.7 from 12.1 in July. The Reuters consensus forecast was for a rise to 13.5.

A sub-index measuring future expectations improved but remained in negative territory, suggesting investors consider the euro zone economy to be in a cooling phase, Sentix said.

“But investors clearly see lower dangers from an escalation of the trade dispute initiated by U.S. President (Donald) Trump,” Sentix said in a research note.

Trump agreed last month to refrain from imposing tariffs on cars imported from the European Union while the two sides negotiate to cut other trade barriers.

The decision after talks between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker eased fears of a transatlantic trade war.

Germany, whose automotive industry has most to lose from U.S. tariffs on car imports from the EU, is the biggest winner from the easing trade tensions between the two trading blocs, Sentix said.

The index for Germany bounced back in August to reach its highest level since May.

Trump hit the EU, Canada and Mexico with tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum at the start of June, ending exemptions that had been in place since March. The EU and Canada responded with their own levies on U.S. goods.

China has also hit U.S. goods with tariffs in response to Trump’s decision to impose levies on Chinese imports, spooking German manufacturers who rely on the world’s two largest economies for growth.

Sentix surveyed 923 investors between August 2 and 4.

Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Michael Nienaber

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