The Federal Reserve and European Central Bank are looking at diverging monetary policies where we could see higher interest rates in the U.S. and greater stimulus across the pond. Consequently, international investors and currency exchange traded fund traders should be wary of the currency implications.
While the Fed has not pulled the trigger on a rate hike, the ECB could extend its stimulus measures before the end of the year, reports Michael Hunter for the Financial Times.
“We expect the ECB to announce more QE before year-end, extending the… program beyond September 2016 by six to nine months,” Philippe Gudin, an analyst at Barclays, told the Financial Times. “Overall, we expect a ‘buy the rumor, sell the fact’ type price action in the euro rates market going into and after an easing announcement.”
The ECB will hold a press conference Thursday, October 22. Consequently, in the event the ECB does decide to add quantitative easing, the euro currency could further depreciate against the USD.
Currency traders can track a strengthening U.S. dollar with the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP), which tracks the price movement of the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, including the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. Additionally, the actively managed WisdomTree Bloomberg U.S. Dollar Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: USDU) tracks the USD against a broader basket of developed and emerging market currencies.
Alternatively, 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. [Inverse Euro ETFs to Hedge Against ECB’s Willingness to Expand QE]
Since the October 14 low, UUP has gained 1.9%. Meanwhile, the CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) dipped 1.4%.
Since its October 14 high, the euro has depreciated 1.3% against the greenback. The EUR is now trading at $1.1322.