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Investor Optimism falls back in February

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Confidence in US markets increases among EU 5 investors as support for European markets wanes.

Individual investors across Europe were less optimistic in February as continued economic weakness raised concerns about the outlook for European financial markets, according to the UBS Index of Investor Optimism® - EU 5.

The February Index shows investor optimism at a current level of 20 points, down from 40 points last month. In particular, the outlook for economic growth over the coming twelve months dampened, with 41% of private investors pessimistic in February compared with 33% in January. Likewise, 38% were pessimistic on the outlook for stock market performance in the coming year, compared to 31% last month.

According to the Index, Europe has fallen behind the US in the ranking of the most attractive financial markets. Currently, 42% now rank US markets as most attractive, compared with 33% in January. This contrasts with 31% of EU 5 investors saying they are most optimistic about the prospects for European markets this month, compared with 42% in January.

London, 25 February 2002
UBS AG