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Business

German investor confidence rises again

Germany's institutional investors are looking to the future with more confidence. The latest sentiment barometer by the ZEW research institute rose for yet another month in March despite tensions elsewhere.

German investor confidence rose for the fifth consecutive month in March, the Mannheim-based Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) reported Tuesday.

The think tank's widely watched monthly index edged up 1.8 points to 54.8 points on investors' positive assessments of both the current state of the German economy and its prospects for the months ahead.

"Sinking oil prices and a weaker euro will have done their bit to put investors in a positive mood," Helaba Bank economist Ulrich Wortberg told Reuters.

ECB policy a decisive factor

The ZEW's index, which reflects the views of 219 analysts and institutional investors in Germany, was also driven by the start of the European Central Bank's bond-buying program, promising more liquidity for eurozone markets.

It appeared that the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the little progress made in solving Greece's financial problems had ceased being a major headache for the financial players polled by the ZEW.

"The Greece issue isn't spreading much fear among investors any longer," VP Bank analyst Thomas Gitzel maintained.

Strong domestic consumption made possible by a robust labor market with high employment and rising wages was a perfect foundation for even stronger investor confidence in the months ahead, economists commented.

hg/ng (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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