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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

BetOnMarkets Afternoon Report

European markets opened on the back foot, this morning due to the sustained sell off on Wall Street last night. The FTSE has struggled to catch up after the Bank Holiday day off and judging by the volume of today’s trading activity, many traders may have taken the chance for an extended holiday.

US markets are mildly positive after better than expected new home sales data. The S&P Case-Schiller house price index fell less than expected for the second quarter, but indicates that US house prices are still down 15.9% year on year. On a more positive note, housing futures based on the Case-Schiller index bottomed at the end of June and have been rising since. Expectations are for lower levels still, but the these levels are now thought to be better than those predicted a few months ago. However, it is too early to say for sure that this heralds the start of the start of the much vaunted turnaround in US house prices. Interest-rate futures are currently implying that banks are again becoming hesitant to lend to each other on fears that credit losses will increase as the feared global recession kicks in. Increased lending rates will hardly be manna from heaven for home owners on either side of the Atlantic.