German investor morale plunged to its lowest level in more than five years in April as economic data weakened and uncertainty linked to rising trade tensions between China and the US increased. 

The ZEW research institute said its monthly survey showed a reading for economic sentiment among investors had dropped for a third month in a row to -8.2 from 5.1 in March. 

The reading was the lowest since November 2012 and compared with the Reuters consensus forecast for a reading of -1. 

A separate gauge measuring investor assessment of the economy's current conditions edged down to 87.9 from 90.7 last month. The Reuters consensus forecast was for a reading of 88.

ZEW President Achim Wambach blamed the sharp drop in investor morale on rising concerns about a trade dispute between the US and European Union, which could hit export champion Germany. 

He also cited fears that the war in Syria could spiral into a regional conflict.