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Investors losing confidence in China
Global poll » The once-attractive economy gets the worst rank since 2010.


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The low rates have helped the housing market. The S&P/Case- Shiller index of home prices in 20 cities climbed in June from a year earlier, the first gain since September 2010, according to a report from the group last month.

Forty-six percent of investors surveyed expect U.S. house prices to increase further in the next six months. Only 14 percent see them falling.

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Investor enthusiasm for stocks ebbed in the latest survey. Thirty-seven percent say they plan to increase their holdings of equities in the next six months, down from 40 percent in May and the lowest since that question was first asked in 2010.

The increased caution is most evident when it comes to Asian markets. One third forecast that the MSCI Asia Pacific Index will be higher six months from now -- the least bullish reading in almost two years. The stock gauge rose 0.1 percent yesterday to 115.94 after falling on Wednesday to its lowest level since July 27.

An increasing number of investors are attracted to gold, according to the poll. A majority expect gold prices to be higher in six months’ time, while about one in three intends to increase their holdings of the yellow metal.

Oil is also gaining favor among investors, according to the poll. One in five plan to increase their exposure to oil in their portfolios over the next six months, up from 14 percent in May.

More than two in five see prices rising over that time frame, roughly double the amount who project them falling. Crude oil for October delivery advanced 17 cents to settle at $95.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.

Twenty percent rate the risk of a Middle East war as high, up from 15 percent in May.

As has been the case since October 2009, bonds were picked as the asset class projected to have the worst returns over the next year.




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