Euro area investor confidence increased in February, according to data published by Sentix research group on Monday.

Sentix Investor Confidence rose to 16.6 this month, up 1.7 point from 14.9 the previous month, showed the monthly survey that indicates investors’ market opinion about the current economic situation and expectations.

While the level in February marked the highest since November 2021, the market expectation for the index was to come at 15.2 in February.

While a reading above zero indicates optimism, the reading below zero shows pessimism about investor confidence in the market.

“Investors in the US equity market remain fearful, volatility structurally high,” Sentix said in a statement. “Medium-term underlying confidence is weak, even reaching new 52-week lows.”

“So far, hardly any bargain hunters are willing to go on a buying spree at this level. The rise in interest rates is weighing too heavily on the mind. However, we are measuring increased contrarian signals in bonds in particular,” it added.

Although the European Central Bank awaits more macroeconomic data through March to decide on raising interest rates, the Bank of England on Thursday increased rates for a second time against rising inflation — its first back-to-back rate hike since 2004.

Amid highest inflation in almost 40 years, the US Federal Reserve is planning to make its first rate hike at the conclusion of its two-day meeting on March 16.

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