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Business

German investor confidence rebounds after ECB bond action

The mood among German finance market investors has brightened, according to a barometer published by the ZEW institute. The current investment climate is still bleak, but the darker clouds are vanishing.

In September, investor sentiment in Germany bounced back from four months of consecutive lows, according to the forward-looking business barometer published Tuesday by the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW).

ZEW announced that its indicator, which gauges the mood of about 300 professional investors in Germany, rose 7.3 points in September to reach -18.2 percent.

The barometer's reading shows that investors still expect a "cooling economy," according to ZEW, but market experts expect that the downturn will be rather moderate.

"Prospects for economic development have improved due to the recent announcement by the European Central Bank to relaunch its purchases of eurozone bonds," ZEW President Wolfgang Franz said in a statement.

Franz also noted, however, that experts still consider the eurozone debt crisis unresolved and the threats to growth "virulent." That was why investors see the current situation worse than the previous month's, he added, which hads resulted in a 5.6-point drop in this subindicator.

Experts polled by the Reuters news agency had predicted a lower rise in the ZEW indicator, and showed surprise at September's reading.

Commerzbank analyst Ulrike Rondorf told Reuters that investors are glad about the European Central Bank's bond-buying program.

"Apparently, the ECB's announcement has diminished the risk of a collapse of the eurozone, which is the main threat to growth in Germany at the moment," she told Reuters.

And the HBSC Trinkhaus economist Rainer Sartorius told the same news agency that the ECB's decision had laid the foundation for a period of "longer-term calm" in the markets.

uhe/mkg (Reuters, AFP, dpa)