Thomson Financial News - As the year draws to a close ... it seems that it might be sterling which ultimately suffers the biggest reversal of fortunes. With a rapidly slowing housing sector, an ominously large trade deficit, tight credit conditions for consumers and heavy pre-Christmas discounts emerging in the key retail sector, the UK unit is rapidly losing its shine. After four years of remarkable stability all the signs are that sterling is returning to the kind of trading patterns not seen in ten years or more.