The State Street Investor Confidence Index, which measures the buying and selling patterns of institutional investors, fell 9.2 points in February to 91.6, down from 100.8 in January. In North America, the index fell 6.8 points to 92.5, down from 99.3.

In Asia, the index fell 4.3 points from 96.5 to 92.2, but in Europe, the index declined 13.0 points from 92.8 to 79.8.

“The numbers this month are fairly emphatic in signaling a decline in institutional investor confidence,” said Harvard University Professor Kenneth Froot, who developed the index along with State street Associates. “Political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, policy tightening in emerging markets and qualms about the pace of the recent run-up in developed markets equities are likely at the root of this.”

Froot added: “In the case of European investors, there is the added uncertainty around the upcoming March negotiations on sovereign debt and the European Financial Stability Facility to consider.”

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