German investor sentiment rises slightly

German investor sentiment rose slightly in June, on firming hopes for a gradual recovery in Europe's biggest economy in the second half of the year, the ZEW economic institute said on Tuesday.

Its closely watched index rose 2.1 points from May to 38.5. This was better than expected by analysts questioned by Dow Jones Newswires, who had forecast an index of 38.1.

"The financial market experts are sticking to their assessment: The German economy is likely to gain momentum in the second half of 2013," said ZEW president Clemens Fuest in a statement.

"The survey results indicate, however, that the economic recovery will proceed timidly. Almost half of respondents expect no significant economic impetus in the next half-year."

For the survey, ZEW questions analysts and institutional investors about their current assessment of the economic situation in Germany, as well as their expectations for the coming months.

The German economy narrowly scraped past a recession in the year's first quarter with 0.1-percent growth, after a contraction of 0.7 percent in the last quarter of 2012.