The U.S. Dollar's Effect on International Stock ETFs

The U.S. dollar has weakened against foreign currencies over the past year, bolstering returns on non-U.S. indices and international-related exchange traded funds.

The FTSE All-World ex US Index had a 28% return for the 12-month period ended January 5, 2018 as based in U.S. dollars, compared to a 19.5% return as based in local currency terms for countries in the underlying index over same time period, according to FTSE Russell.

The weaker dollar means that U.S. investors would generate a higher return once gains in the stronger local currency are converted back to a weaker USD.

ETF investors can also gain exposure to the the FTSE All-World ex US Index through the Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Index Fund (NYSEArca: VEU), which covers all world countries outside the U.S., including Japan 17.9%, U.K. 12.3%, France 7.0%, Germany 6.7% and China 6.0%, among others.