As the U.S. dollar strengthens against a basket of foreign currencies, large-cap companies and asset category-related exchange traded funds could be exposed to currency risks.
According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, S&P 500 companies generated 52.2% of their revenue in the U.S. last year, down from 53.7% in 2013 and 53.4% in 2012, reports Steve Goldstein for MarketWatch.
Consequently, almost half of S&P 500 companies’ revenue stream comes from overseas markets. Using S&P and FactSet data, MarketWatch estimated that about 0.4% is generated from Mexico, 0.2% from Australia, 4.1% from South America, 6.9% from Canada, 7.7% from Africa, 13.9% from Europe and 14.3% from Asia.
Consequently, the breakdown should give investors a general sense of how their S&P 500 ETF investments are exposed to currency risks.
However, if the U.S. dollar continues to appreciate, which many believe will happen as the Federal Reserve sets to hike rates while other foreign central banks implement loose monetary policies, S&P 500 companies may see overseas revenues shrink. A weaker foreign currency means that profits are lower when converted back into U.S. dollar terms.
Alternatively, investors can take a look at smaller U.S. companies that focus on the domestic market, so currency risks may be limited.