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August 28, 2006

Will more investors be inclined to consider alternative investments this year?


Investor Optimism Falls to 9-Month Low on Housing, Poll Shows

"Investor optimism about the outlook for the U.S. financial markets fell in August to the lowest in nine months because of growing concerns about the housing market, according to a UBS AG poll.

The UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Optimism slipped to 53 in August, the lowest reading since last November, from 55 in July. The index has dropped 40 points since reaching a 19-month high in January.

Pessimism about the housing market increased this month, the survey found, with 70 percent of investors saying conditions in the residential real-estate market are getting worse, up from 63 percent in June. The percentage of investors who rated conditions in the housing market as ``only fair'' or ``poor'' jumped to 56 percent from 46 percent in July.

``The drop in confidence in the real-estate market reflects the economic data for that sector and suggests that investors are feeling the pinch in their local markets,'' wrote Anne Briglia, senior fixed income strategist at UBS Wealth Management Research.

U.S. stocks declined last week after data showed that sales of previously owned homes fell in July to the lowest in more than two years, while new home sales slid to the second-slowest pace of 2006.

High energy prices and so-called geopolitical concerns were also cited as major concerns of investors."

*This information is solely an excerpt of a third-party publication and is incomplete. Please subscribe to the referenced publication for the full article. This is not an offer to buy or sell precious metals. Investors should obtain advice based on their own individual circumstances and understand the risk before making any investment decision.

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