On rising speculation that the Federal Reserve is nearing its first interest rate hike of 2016, the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) is higher by nearly 2% over the past month.
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, has been vexing investors for most of this year, but the widely followed currency could finally be poised to deliver a lengthy bull run if the Fed cooperates.
Not surprisingly, other currency ETFs are being crimped by UUP’s resurgence. The dollar and UUP have been weakening this year after the Federal Reserve signaled it would take a gradual approach toward interest rate normalization, dashing bets that a tighter monetary policy would support the greenback.
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The CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSEArca: FXY), which until recently had been one of the best-performing developed market currency ETFs, is off 1.6% over the past month. The dollar’s strength could also pressure the carry trade.
“As bond yields in advanced economies grind higher, this undermines the attractiveness of foreign exchange carry trades—ones in which the expected returns of a position are driven more by interest rate differentials on shorter-dated sovereign debt than by the change in one currency’s spot value relative to another. Typically, these carry trades involve a long position in an emerging market currency while borrowing in an advanced economy’s currency to fund the position,” reports Luke Kawa for Bloomberg.