Global institutional investors continued to decrease purchases of equities in June, according to State Street, whose investor Confidence Index based on actual portfolio holdings of their institutional clients fell to 101.7, down 2.1 points from May's upwardly revised reading of 103.8. The decline was driven by a 10.8 drop in risk appetite for European equities to 90.8, aided by a decrease of 0.8 points to 102.6 in the Asian component. The North American component managed to buck the global trend, rising 0.8 points to 105.7. State Street noted that escalating trade tensions across the globe, increasing protectionism and diverging monetary policies led to more caution by institutional investors during the month. Institutional investors stepped up their reduction of equity holdings in Europe, where political turmoil, including a populist government in Italy and the possibility of a more fragile coalition in Germany, continued to take a toll on investor confidence.