Eurozone currency-related exchange traded funds have regained their footing after tumbling for most of the year, with the euro moving toward a two-month high against the U.S. dollar Thursday.
The CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) was up 0.7% Thursday, with the the euro currency trading as high as $1.125, after strengthening 3.6% over the past week.
Meanwhile, for the more aggressive currency traders, the ProShares Ultra Euro (NYSEArca: ULE) and Market Vectors Double Long Euro ETN (NYSEArca: URR), which both take the double or 200% performance of the USD price of the euro, rose 1.8% and gained 0.8%, respectively, on Thursday. Over the past week, ULE jumped 7.2% and URR surged 7.6%.
The EUR was up to a two-month high against the greenback Thursday after traders diminished expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in response to the relatively stagnant first quarter Gross Domestic Product number, reports Dhara Ranasinghe for CNBC.
“The euro’s strength today is not about what’s boosting it but about what’s hurting the dollar,” Geoffrey Yu, a senior currency strategist at UBS, said on CNBC. “Federal Reserve rate hike expectations have taken a knock and the debate has switched from how many times will the Fed hike rates this year to if the Fed will hike rates this year.”
Many dollar traders have been betting on a Fed rate hike, which should diminish the supply of the USD in the markets and strengthen the currency. However, expectations have been dashed after the government revealed an anemic 0.2% annual economic growth rate in the first quarter. The Fed also diminished its outlook on the U.S. labor market and economy. [Dollar ETFs Experience Worst Run in Almost Two Years]
Consequently, the dollar index, which measures the USD against a basket of major currencies, dipped to 94.4, a two-month low.
On the other side of the pond, analysts also attribute the rising strength in the euro to improvements in the Eurozone and higher yields in Germany, Europe’s largest bond market.
Nevertheless, currency traders don’t believe the turnaround will last long.
“This is largely because of the slowdown we see in the U.S. and shifting expectations of the timing of rates increase there,” Goldman Sachs Chief Global Equities Strategist, Peter Oppenheimer, told CNBC. “But ultimately I think it’s likely that rates are going to rise in the U.S. well before they do in Europe and those interest-rate differentials will move the currency still quite a long way.”
More aggressive currency traders can also capitalize on the turn in the European euro through inverse ETF options. For instance, the ProShares Short Euro (NYSEArca: EUFX) is designed to provide 100% of the inverse, or opposite, return of the U.S. dollar price of the euro, on a daily basis and the ProShares UltraShort Euro (NYSEArca: EUO) provides 200% of the inverse return of the U.S. dollar price of the euro on a daily basis. Additionally, the Market Vectors Double Short Euro ETN (NYSEArca: DRR) tracks the Double Short Euro Index, which also provides a -200% exposure to the euro.
CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust
For more information on the EUR currency, visit our euro category.
Max Chen contributed to this article.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.