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Eurozone Sentix index falls unexpectedly in March

[BERLIN] Sentiment in the eurozone deteriorated in March for the third month running, hitting the lowest level in more than a year, a survey showed on Monday, as investors worried about weaker growth prospects for the world economy.

The Frankfurt-based Sentix research group's index, tracking morale among investors and analysts in the eurozone, inched down to 5.5 from 6.0 in February.

The reading was the lowest since January 2015 and came in below expectations. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a rise to 8.0.

"The eurozone is suffering from the loss of momentum in the global economy," Sentix said in a statement.

A plunge in oil prices and concern over a China-led slowdown in the world economy have rattled markets since the start of 2016.

Sub-indices showed investors' assessment of the current conditions in the eurozone fell to 8.3, the lowest level in 11 months, but their expectations improved slightly.

"After a drop in expectations readings in the last few months, the deterioration is now spilling over into the real economy," Sentix said.

An index tracking Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, rose to 16.9 in March from 14.5 in February, with the expectations sub-component turning positive again.

Sentix said there were positive signs coming from the United States, Germany's biggest trading partner, as the sentiment index for the US economy bounced back to 9.5 in March after falling to 3.7 in February.

The survey of 1,102 investors was conducted March 3-5.


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