Amid a slowing global economy and an uncertain outlook for the future, investors have piled into the dollar as a safe haven investment.
Year-to-date, the dollar is up relative to almost every world currency including up 10% against the Euro and up 4% against the Yen.
The strength against the Euro continues a trend from 2008 as the global recession has hit Europe hard and uncertainty about economies in Eastern Europe threaten to weaken the Euro further.
The Yen strengthened against the dollar in 2008 when it looked as if Japan would bypass the problems in the U.S. economy. The unwinding of carry-trade positions also contributed to the Yen’s strength. Since then, the Yen has weakend against the dollar as the U.S. treasury has matched Japan’s low interest rates and Japan’s manufacturing-intensive economy is feeling the affects of a drop-off in consumer demand.
An ETF designed to provide exposure to the dollar relative to world currencies is the PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (UUP).
The fund invests in a series of long USDX futures contracts which are designed to replicate the performance of being long the US Dollar against the following currencies: Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.