Coming off an almost 2% gain in the month of May, a solid move for an ETF tracking a reserve a currency, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSEArca: UUP) will be in the spotlight in this week due to a slew of economic reports and speeches from Federal Reserve officials.
Investors with exposure to traditional Treasuries took a beating late last month as yields on 10-year Treasury notes spiked, fanning the flames of rising rate speculation. Select junk bond ETFs are not providing shelter from the rising rate storm, at least not yet, and dollar-denominated along with local currency emerging markets bond ETFs have rolled over. Those scenarios are signs King Dollar is again wearing his crown. [ETFs For Rising Interest Rates]
In another sign that investors are concerned about rising rates and a potentially hasty end to quantitative easing, UUP saw robust inflows last month. The ETF, which tracks the U.S. Dollar Index, raked in $54.8 million in new assets in May, making it the fifth-best PowerShares ETF in terms of May inflows, according to issuer data.
UUP’s recent bullishness will be put the test this week as several Fed officials speak.
John Williams, head of the San Francisco Fed, on Monday discussed inflation targeting at a conference in Stockholm.
With continued “good signs” on jobs and confidence in a “substantial improvement” I could see as “early as this summer some adjustment, maybe modest adjustment downward, in our purchase program,” Williams said, Bloomberg reports. The program “is doing this great job of helping the economy gain momentum and I would want to see that continue well into the second half of this year, but if things, again if they go well, you could imagine ending the program by the end of the year,” he added, according to the Bloomberg story.
Williams has previously said the Fed could theoretically begin to curb its bond buying if the data improved, and then ratchet it back up if the economy subsequently softened, Reuters reported in late May.
Tuesday could prove to be a significant day for UUP and dollar bulls as Fed Governors Sarah Bloom Raskin, Esther George and Richard Fisher are scheduled to deliver remarks. Last month, Raskin did not directly address a possible end to QE3, but she did say “it has been appropriate for the Federal Reserve to continue to pursue a highly accommodative monetary policy,” Victoria McGrane reported for the Wall Street Journal.