Eurozone investors remained deeply gloomy at the start of May, a survey has shown, although there was a minor improvement as countries such as Germany and Austria start to ease coronavirus lockdowns.
The Sentix Eurozone investor sentiment index came in at minus 41.8 in May. This was below expectations of a pick up to minus 33.5 but slightly better than last month’s reading of 42.9.
Investors’ views of the current economic situation plunged to an all-time low in May, data firm Sentix said. It came just after a survey showed that manufacturing output plunged at a record pace in April.
“The economy in the Eurozone has experienced a breath-taking crash in recent weeks,” said Sentix managing director Manfred Huebner. He said the “collapse goes far beyond the distortions caused by the financial crisis”.
Sentix’s overall sentiment gauge was boosted slightly by an improvement in expectations in May, however. The tick-up was driven by tentative moves by some European countries to reopen their economies.
Huebner said signs of recovery in Asia were also important. “Internationally, hopes rest on the Asian region,” he said. “In China, where the corona crisis began, the signs are already pointing to an economic upturn. Japan is also stabilising.”
Relative optimism about the future has sent stock markets soaring in recent weeks. Germany’s Dax index rose 10 per cent in April, for example, while France’s CAC 40 rose five per cent.
However, stocks have had a bad start to May amid signs that a new trade war could break out between the US and China.
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US President Donald Trump yesterday repeated his claim that coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab. The scientific consensus is that this is untrue, however.
Investors have been spooked by a spike in tensions, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 index falling xx per cent today.