Friday, July 17, 2009

UK Housing Crisis Could Affect Pound

When one hears the phrase "housing crisis" uttered, the US immediately comes to mind. Not without reason, of course, since the US housing market is the largest in the world, and the scope of any US housing crisis is sure to dwarf a comparable crisis in any other country, in absolute terms. At the same time, let’s not forget that prices in the UK, for example, began to decline earlier than in the US. In addition, as one columnist points out, the impact of the UK housing crisis may be relatively greater on the UK economy. While some of the statistics he quotes are dubious, housing and consumer debt (on a per capita basis) may in fact be larger in the UK than in the US. As a result, the ongoing correction in housing prices would be expected to punish the UK more than the US. The story could be the same for the Pound, vis-a-vis the US Dollar. Money & Markets reports:
[One analyst] is…a long-term bear on the British pound and believes any rallies in the currency represent an opportunity to enter short at a better price. Selling the pound against the dollar with a 10-12 month time frame may present one of the best opportunities in the currency markets today.

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