The U.S. dollar and currency-related exchange traded funds are shedding their laggard status in a big way.
After lumbering through much of this year in disappointing fashion, the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) is higher by 3.4% over the past month and is close to going green on a year-to-date basis.
UUP 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. The ETF now resides just 2.3% below its 52-week high.
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Further supporting the U.S. dollar rally, the British pound has plunged to three-decade lows on fears of a so-called hard Brexit after U.K. Prime Minister told the Conservative party conference that Britain would trigger Article 50 – the official legal notification that would begin the exit negotiations with the European Union – “no later than the end of March.”[related_stories]
The greenback and UUP are also being boosted by speculation that the Federal Reserve will finally raise interest rates in December. Of course, the soaring dollar is good for those bullish on the currency, but there are wide-ranging implications for other asset classes.
“A breakout higher would likely affect commodities while disturbing equities markets as well. On the flip side, should the U.S. Dollar rally stall here, bears would be given new life. And a lower Dollar would act as a tailwind to commodities and perhaps other risk assets,” reports See It Market.
Looking at the Fed-funds futures, options traders were pricing in a 70% chance of a rate hike in December, compared to a 50% chance a month ago.