Tag Archives: currency-hedged ETFs

ETFs To Hedge Against Strong Dollar-Currency Swinging

MarketsMuse.com profile of ETFs intended to provide global-macro-focused investors with a hedge against a continuing strong dollar and currency swings is courtesy of below extract from Mar 20 WSJ column by reporter Carolyn Cui.

Exchange-traded funds that protect against currency swings are attracting U.S. investors concerned that the strong dollar will erode their gains.

Currency-hedged ETFs have more than doubled their assets this year to $50.3 billion, largely thanks to strong inflows of $21.6 billion, according to data tracker ETF.com. Firms that offer the funds—including WisdomTree Investments and Deutsche Bank—use derivatives to offset the effects of currency swings, which they say could cause unintended volatility for investors and even hurt their returns in periods of dollar strength. Continue reading

Hedged Vs. Unhedged International Currency ETFs

MarketMuse blog update courtesy of CNBC. With investing overseas being so dangerous right now, because of enormous moves in currency, buying stocks overseas—including ETFs, why are people so keen on doing it. CNBC reporter, Bob Pisani’s ask the question:

Why doesn’t everyone buy hedged international ETFs when they want international exposure, rather than unhedged ETFs?

There are several reasons:

1) Until recently, it was almost impossible for the average investor to do so. There simply were no ETFs that enabled an investor to hedge out currency. A professional could hedge, of course, but at considerable cost.

Now that more hedged ETF products are becoming available, investors are taking note. In fact, the biggest European ETF is now a hedged product, the WisdomTree International Hedged, which recently surpassed its biggest unhedged rival, the Vanguard European ETF.

2) There was not a huge demand for such a product because currency moves like we have seen in euro this year (down 5 percent against the dollar) are very rare. Oh sure, maybe if you were investing in Argentina, but not the euro, not the yen. Most years did not involve anywhere near such dramatic moves.

This year, for example, the yen has barely moved against the dollar, so the difference between a hedged Japan ETF and an unhedged Japan ETF is very small:

That was not the case last year, when there was an enormous move in the yen versus the dollar, and investors made the DXJ the hottest ETF in years.

For the entire article from CNBC’s Bob Pisani’s story “Why currency-hedged ETFs are hot”, click here.

Currency-Hedged ETFs In Demand by Global Macro-Focused Traders

MarketsMuse update courtesy of reporting by Reuters’ Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Ashley Lau

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. investors spooked by wild swings in the foreign exchange market are piling into exchange-traded funds that strip out the local currency on their international equity portfolios, making them one of the most sought-after financial products in 2015.

With the dollar having rallied more than 19 percent since the beginning of 2014, investors are seeing gains in overseas stock markets eaten up by losses against the greenback.

“People are voting with their feet,” said Luciano Siracusano, chief investment strategist for WisdomTree Investments in New York. “They’re putting billions of dollars into these funds, and what they’re saying is, ‘We don’t want to be 100 percent unhedged.’”

Some say there aren’t enough of these products for investors looking for international exposure. These ETFs have about $31.5 billion in assets, up nearly five-fold from 2011. But assets in international equity ETFs exceed $275 billion, according to WisdomTree.

“There are 40 countries with stock markets deep enough to have a currency-hedged product,” said David Kotok, chairman and chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors in Sarasota, Florida, which oversees $2 billion, and whose firm’s equity investments are solely through ETFs. Continue reading

Guggenheim Investments Eyes Currency Hedged ETFs

MarketMuse update is courtesy of Reuters

Guggenheim Investments, the seventh-largest ETF issuer in the United States, is considering trying on currency hedged ETFs for size.

Guggenheim Investments is considering launching one or more currency hedged exchange-traded funds, one of the hottest and most sought-after financial products the last few months.

“I will confirm that we’re interested in this space,” Bill Belden, Guggenheim’s managing director of product development in Chicago told Reuters on Friday. “We’re very familiar with the currency space and we’re always interested in providing new products whether they’re hedged or not.”

A currency-hedged ETF removes the foreign currency return of a given fund by buying a forward contract in the currency, and rolling it typically on a monthly basis.

Currency-hedged ETF assets grew 48 percent in 2014 to roughly $20.8 billion, and have grown 1,519 percent over the past two years, according to Deutsche Bank AG, a major player in the space.

In contrast, unhedged European equity ETFs have seen six straight months of outflows since June 2014, with an aggregate $8.9 billion in outflows, Deutsche Bank data shows. On the other hand, hedged European equity ETFs have seen consistent inflows over the same period, taking in $4.5 billion.

A strong dollar is prompting U.S. investors to buy hedged ETFs. Typically, currency-hedged ETFs protects the underlying international equity exposure against a falling foreign currency such as the euro or yen.

BlackRock Inc, WisdomTree Investments Inc and Deutsche Bank are the three major players in the currency-hedged ETF space. WisdomTree, which was the first to this ETF sector, is the largest of the three, with about 80 percent of the roughly $20 billion allocated to currency-hedged ETFs.

WisdomTree in January alone attracted $1.6 billion in inflows, according to Luciano Siracusano, WisdomTree’s chief investment strategist.

But Guggenheim’s Belden said there’s room for more players in the industry. Guggenheim has about $28.8 billion in ETF assets and roughly $220 billion overall.

“The hedged ETF you have seen basically captures an exposure to an international market that hedges against a local currency’s falling value,” said Belden.

“But we know that local currencies don’t fall perpetually. It has been a pretty consistent trend in the past but we don’t know what’s going to happen to those strategies, if any particular currency goes the other way.”

Guggenheim has a suite of nine currency ETFs, totaling about $1.1 billion. Of the nine ETFs, two have shown positive returns. CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust is up 1.5 percent so far this month, and the CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust is up 8 percent.

Euro Exposure? Eurozone Bond ETFs In Advance of ECB’s QE

MarketsMuse.com update courtesy of extract from Jan 6 ETF.com article by Dennis Hudacheck, with a look at Eurobond ETFs $HEDJ,$DBEU, $HEZU, $EZU, $DBEZ, $VGK, $FEZ, $DFE

All eyes are on the European Central Bank’s Jan. 22, 2015 meeting, as it’s no secret that ECB President Mario Draghi has been hinting at a large-scale quantitative easing program for some time.

There’s no guarantee the ECB will actually implement any such program in January, but the consensus seems to be that there will be some type of big announcement on that front sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

At the same time, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to begin raising rates in mid-2015. This opposing force between the world’s two largest central banks has strategists calling for a currency-hedged strategy to capitalize on a rising-equity/falling-euro scenario in Europe.

An Equity ETF Designed For A Weakening Euro For currency-hedged options, the $5.6 billion WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ | B-47) is by far the leading ETF in the space.

Despite its “Europe” name, HEDJ focuses exclusively on eurozone securities. That means that for better or worse, it excludes the U.K., Switzerland and Sweden, which account for roughly 50 percent of Europe’s equity market capitalization, combined.

More importantly, it carries a significant exporter bias, attempting to capitalize on a weakening-euro scenario. The dividend-weighted ETF does this by screening out any company that gets more than 50 percent of its revenues from within Europe.

This makes HEDJ geared toward investors with a strong bearish view on the euro. Naturally, the fund favors consumer sectors over financials compared with vanilla, cap-weighted European indexes (MSCI Europe IMI Index).

This now-blockbuster fund tracks its index well and trades more than $80 million a day at 3 basis point spreads, keeping overall trading costs very low.

‘Neutral’ Currency-Hedged Products Contrary to popular thinking, investors interested in currency-hedged Europe ETFs don’t necessarily have to be bearish on the euro. They might have a neutral view, and simply prefer a purer equity exposure by taking any currency fluctuations out of the equation.The Deutsche X-trackers MSCI Europe Hedged Equity ETF (DBEU | B-66) is also a leading ETF in the space, and takes a broader approach, including all of developed Europe, beyond the eurozone.

It tracks a cap-weighted index and neutralizes exposure to the euro, the British pound, the Swiss franc and a few other European currencies against the dollar. DBEU has more than $710 million in assets and trades with robust liquidity that’s sufficient for small and large investors alike.

For a neutral currency take on the eurozone, rising in popularity is the iShares Currency Hedged MSCI EMU ETF (HEZU), which literally holds the $7.5 billion iShares MSCI EMU ETF (EZU | A-63) with a forward contract overlay to neutralize euro exposure.

For the entire analysis from ETF.com, please click here