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Investment

German investor sentiment surges amid fresh hope

Market players in Germany have been found in a good mood as their expectations for Europe's top economy have risen markedly. A closely watched sentiment index indicates that investment activities will pick up soon.

The sentiment among German financial investors surged unexpectedly in January to the highest level in nearly three years, a fresh survey by the ZEW economic think tank showed on Tuesday.

The institute questioned over 270 market players about their current assessment of the economic situation in Germany and their expectations for the coming months.

The ZEW's closely watched investor confidence index soared to 31.5 points in January, up from 6.9 points in the previous month when the index returned to positive territory after a long spell of gloom.

No more recession

"The renewed rise in economic expectations shows that financial market experts believe the outlook for Germany has improved," ZEW President Wolfgang Franz said in a statement.

He cited reduced market uncertainties with regard to the future of the eurozone, saying he expected companies to get on with investment projects they'd long put on hold. "Nevertheless, the economic starting point from many of Germany's key trading partners remains weak," Franz said, adding that the domestic economy would grow only moderately in 2013.

That view corresponded with a recent assessment by the Bundesbank. Germany's central bank had said it expected the economy to grow 0.4 percent in the current year, following a dip of 0.5 percent in the final quarter of 2012.

hg/msh  (AFP, dpa, Reuters)