Currency movements were significant this week, as investors took on greater risk in the global equity markets, with U.S. investors benefiting the most from currency crosses in countries ranging from Israel to India.
But it wasn’t all positive, as the dollar strengthened against the Brazilian real in the wake of somewhat weak growth data from South America’s biggest country.
Fluctuating currency crosses, as shown in our weekly Currency Impact Report, don’t become real gains or losses until U.S. investors exit those positions. Nevertheless, they have become a much bigger—and underappreciated—part of returns in modern globalized investment markets.
Below are last week’s noteworthy talking points on the currency front:
- The Indian rupee was among the biggest gainers last week as it boosted the returns of U.S. investors in Indian equities by 2.59 percentage points relative to local counterparts. U.S. investors in India saw returns of 6.78 percent, while local investors lagged behind with returns of 4.19 percent. The rupee gained last week as Moody’s maintained its stable outlook on the nation’s credit rating and monthly inflows into Indian equities topped out at $1.3 billion.
- The Israeli shekel rallied for another week as investors’ appetites for riskier assets grew. U.S. investors in Israeli equities saw returns of 1.39 percent over the course of the week, while local investors lagged with returns of 0.33 percent. Economic indicators are pointing to another positive year for Israel as the economy may surpass a 3 percent forecast in growth.
- The Brazilian real sent U.S. investors in Brazilian equities into the red as they saw returns of -0.40 percent, while local investors saw returns of 0.89 percent. The real fell to a three-week low on speculation that weaker-than-expected economic growth would prompt the central bank to weaken the real in order to boost exports.
- Movements in the euro were rather mild this week, as the euro’s appreciation against the dollar bumped up the returns of U.S. investors in European equities by an average of 0.32 percent this week.