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A Surprising Post-Brexit Currency ETF Idea

editor@etftrends.com (ETF Trends)

A predictable result of last week’s stunning decision is that, at least in the near-term, investors are likely to bolster their affinity for safe-haven assets.

At the currency level, that can include exchange traded products such as the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (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.

The red hot CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) is also another likely beneficiary of investors’ desire to embrace safe currencies, particularly as market participants bet on weakness ahead for the British pound and euro.

Emerging markets currencies and the WisdomTree Emerging Currency Strategy Fund (CEW) probably will not be the first currency ideas to come to mind for the risk averse, but some market observers see post-Brexit opportunity with select developing world currencies.

CEW tracks the U.S. dollar against the Mexican Peso, Brazilian Real, Chilean Peso, Colombian Peso, South African Rand, Polish Zloty, Russian Ruble, Turkish New Lira, Chinese Yuan, South Korean Won, Indonesian Rupiah, Indian Rupee, Malaysian Ringgit, Philippine Peso and Thai Baht.

Related: Are Dollar ETFs Ready to Rally?

“These are rates markets, with obvious currency repercussions. Hedge funds entered the week of the referendum vote very flat in terms of positioning, with maybe a few longs in the emerging market high yield sector (South African rand (ZAR), Turkish lira (TRY), Brazilian real (BRL) and Indian rupee (IDR)). Real money stayed very quiet in terms of new flows in the weeks preceding the vote. That engineered a reasonably flat environment in both emerging market rates and currency,” according to a Citigroup note posted by Dimitra DeFotis of Barron’s.

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Currency ETFs try to reflect the performance of a single currency or a basket of currencies. ETF providers structure their currency funds to try to reflect the movements of a currency in a foreign exchange market by holding foreign currencies directly, foreign currency denominated short-term debt instrument, derivatives or swaps.

Additionally, commodity producing country currencies are enjoying a boost from rebounding crude oil and metals prices. For example, Russia is a large producer and exporter of oil. Brazil also has larger oil and metal reserves. South Africa is also a major gold and precious metals miner.

Related: Currency Hedged ETFs Offer a Smoother Long-Term Ride

“The UK political timeframe looks too long to vouch for an outright long U.S. dollar in an environment where funding currencies will be forced by monetary policy. Equity fundamentals are weak, for sure. But that will influence emerging market FX in a very choppy way, in bouts of risk-off. It doesn’t look like 2014-15 in terms of U.S. dollar cycle. In doubt, real money will likely buy emerging market bonds,” adds Citi in the note posted by Barron’s.

For more news and strategy on the Currency ETF market, visit our Currency category .

WisdomTree Emerging Currency Strategy Fund


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.