Euro zone investor morale hits almost 10-year high

FILE PHOTO: Employees of German car manufacturer Mercedes Benz make final adjustments at the end of the Mercedes A class (A-Klasse) production line at the factory in Rastatt, Germany, January 22, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo
File Photo: A trader speaks on the phone during a trading session on the trading floor of Frankfurt's stock exchange, Germany, December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski

BERLIN (Reuters) - Investor sentiment in the euro zone improved more than expected in March, hitting its highest level in almost 10 years on Monday, as concerns that global political risks could end an economic upswing dissipated.

The Frankfurt-based Sentix research group's euro zone index rose to 20.7 points, reaching its highest level since August 2007. It was above the consensus reading of 18.5 in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"All the expectation components for the global economic regions rose and cast the decline of last month in a new light," Sentix said in a statement. "Therefore the potential threat of a sudden halt to the economic recovery is off the table."

The index had last month edged down to 17.4 from 18.2 in January on concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump's policy course would weigh on the global economy.

A sub-index measuring investor assessment of the current situation in the euro zone also rose to its highest level since May 2011.

An index tracking Germany, the euro zone's largest economy, rose to 34.1 from 31.3 in February. The indices for the United States and Japan also rose.

"Trump's motto 'Make America great again' is having an effect," Sentix wrote.

U.S. stocks have risen to record highs since Trump's election after he vowed to remove some of the regulations introduced after the financial crisis and to boost spending on the military and infrastructure.

"In addition to the main regions, the positive economic momentum for emerging markets is retained," Sentix said. It noted that

Sentix polled 1,081 investors March 2-4.

(Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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