ETF Options For Greenback Rally
The recent performance by the U.S. economy coupled with the poor performance of many European and Asian economies affirms that the dollar will likely remain the strongest of the group of currencies.
Last Friday, the U.S. Dollar Index hit a fresh four-year high after news out of both China and the eurozone.
There are a number of ways to benefit from the strength of the dollar via ETFs. Below are a number of ETFs that are directly affected by U.S. dollar and will likely be affected by its continued success relative to other currencies around the world.
The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSE: UUP) is designed for investors who want to track the value of the U.S. dollar against the six major world currencies: euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc.
The most heavily weighted currency in the portfolio is the euro at 58 percent, followed by the yen at 14 percent and the pound at 12 percent.
The ETF is up 9 percent year to date and up 10 percent over the last six months. A higher expense ratio of 0.8 percent is normal for an ETF such as this given the specificity.
An ETF that invests in Japanese equities and is short the Japanese yen is another option for investors that want exposure to the U.S. dollar rising against the yen.
The ETF is not a pure currency play; however, the Japanese equity markets have been moving in the opposite direction of the yen and therefore could give the ETF an added boost. The WisdomTree Japan Hedge Equity Fund (NYSE: DXJ) is made up of 317 Japanese equities as well as 27 short and long currency contracts for the yen and dollar.
The top holdings in the ETF are Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE: TM) at 5.4 percent, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU) with a 4.9 percent holding and Japan Tobacco Inc coming in at 3.8 percent. DXJ is up 8 percent year to date and 19 percent over the last six months. Investors should be aware that an ETF such as this is a doubled-edged sword.
As it capitalizes on both the rising equities and the falling currency in Japan, it will be negatively affected by falling equities and a rising yen, making it a high-risk and high-reward ETF.
A couple other ETFs that take advantage of the struggling euro and yen are the ProShares Short Euro (NYSE: EUFX), which shorts the euro that has been struggling lately, and the ProShares Ultra Short Yen (NYSE: YCS), which shorts the struggling yen.
A U.S. Dollar ETF provides a way to capitalize on the expanding economy in the U.S. along with the continued struggle of countries within the eurozone as well as Japan.
It is important however to keep an eye on the status of the dollar, since it has not seen levels such as this since 2010.
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