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US Investors Less Worried About Europe's Crisis Than British

Tuesday, 14 Feb 2012 | 11:29 AM ET

Wall Street investors are much braver about the European crisis than their London counterparts, buying stocks and silver and seeing a much less chance of a euro break-up, according to a recent survey of investors from both sides of the pond.

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Fourty-three percent of UK investors believe the euro zone will break up this year, compared to just 27 percent in the U.S., according to a copy of a soon-to-be-released poll by Dianomi obtained by CNBC.

“Like everything else, investors are getting used to living with chronic European financial condition,” said Mitchell Goldberg of ClientFirst Strategy in Woodbury, New York. “We already had our euro-induced market collapse last August and October. It’s time for the Cassandras to start looking ahead.”

But our peers in the other biggest financial center in the world see it differently, perhaps because of their proximity to the situation. British investors are moving into cash and savings bonds, and buying only defensive equities, the survey showed.

Meanwhile, U.S. investors are gung ho on dividend stocks, commoditiessuch as gold , and silver and growth equities.

“A flight to safety appears to be well underway with U.K. investors moving to cash,” said Cabell de Marcellus, co-founder of Dianomi, a marketing firm which counts financial firms such as Barclays and Fidelity among its clients, in the survey release. The survey of affluent investors was conducted last month with 1,800 respondents from the U.K. and 1,200 from America.

The outlook from overseas investors likely got even more dire Tuesday afterMoody’s became the first ratings agency to put a negative outlook on the U.K.’s sovereign debt. The ratings firm also downgraded six European nations, including Portugal and Spain.

“Our market is not ignoring Europe, but rather hoping that our economy has sustainable momentum by the time the situation in Europe comes to a head,” said Jim Iurio, a managing director with TJM Institutional Services. “That's why it seems foolish to be long this market without proper hedges in place, like being short the euro or long volatility.”

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