Nouvelles UBS

Political Uncertainty and Continued Economic Woes Dampen Investor Optimism in June, According to UBS Index

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Optimism among individual investors across Europe dropped in June as the 'war on terrorism' and conflict in the Middle East raised concerns about the outlook for European stocks, according to the Index of Investor Optimism® - EU 5, a joint effort of UBS and the Gallup Organization.

The overall Index fell to 8 points in June, down 20 points from 28 last month. Investor optimism has dropped to its lowest level since the baseline survey was conducted in October 2001. The drop in the overall Index can be attributed to a deteriorating financial market outlook and concerns about prospects for the economy. Indeed, 45 percent of those surveyed now feel pessimistic about the stock market performance in the coming twelve months, compared with 35 percent in May. Moreover, fewer investors, 48 percent this month compared with 54 percent in May, now express optimism about the ability to maintain or increase their income over the coming year.

The tense geopolitical situation continues to impact investor confidence. Individual investors see the 'war on terrorism' as the most serious threat to European stocks, with 73 percent citing it as a very or moderately serious threat. Additionally, an increasing share of investors, 67 percent in June compared with 63 percent last month, believe the Israeli/Palestine conflict is a serious threat.

London, 24 June 2002