Accumulation of equities by global institutional investors slightly increased in July, according to State Street, whose Investor Confidence Index based on actual portfolio holdings of their institutional clients rose to 101.8, up 1.0 point from June's downwardly revised reading of 100.8. Despite the uptick in global risk appetite, confidence among North American investors declined, with the North American sub-index falling 0.9 points to 103.4. Optimism improved slightly among European investors who remained the most risk averse, however, with the sub-index up 0.7 points to 91.5, indicating that they were still net sellers of equities. The sub-index for Asia rose 0.5 points to 103.3, putting Asian investors as net buyers with the strongest (though not by much and not that strong) appetite for equities. The regional breakdown suggests that while Europe remains firmly entrenched in risk-off territory amid political uncertainty and lagging growth in the region, trade war fears among North American investors especially may have tamed risk appetites since April's higher levels of accumulation to a few points above the neutral mark.