The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) and the WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: USDU) have been leaders among currency exchange traded funds for well over a year, but the strength displayed by these funds has recently been dealt a blow as traders reassess the Federal Reserve’s timeline for raising interest rates.
Despite the dollar’s status as perhaps the ultimate safe-haven destination, UUP and USDU have traded lower over the past month, posting losses of 2.8% and 0.9%, respectively, as global financial markets have been rocked by a string of currency devaluations. China, Kazakhstan and Vietnam are among the countries that have recently devalued their currencies.
A lack of inflation is also seen as a potential deterrent to the Fed imminently hiking rates. The diminished inflation expectations has bolstered demand for long-term maturities. The spread between two- and 30-year securities dipped for a fourth day after contracting to as little as 208 basis points Monday, the least since April 28, Bloomberg reports.
Long-term Treasuries have strengthened and yields dipped on the continued decline in oil prices helped push down inflationary pressures. Meanwhile, short-term Treasury yields have been anchored as speculators bet on a slow interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve. [Low Inflation Lifts These ETFs]
The lower inflation makes Treasury bonds more attractive to fixed-income investors as the real yield, or adjusted nominal return to compensate for inflation, has become more attractive.