Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Winning ETF Strategies to Fight a Weak Dollar

Read MoreHide Full Article

Despite a super-dovish Fed, the greenback gained at the onset of the coronavirus contagion due to strong demand for safe-haven assets and a worldwide cash crunch. Now that the virus outlook has improved and many global economies have reopened (along with 50 U.S. states), risk-on sentiments are coming back and the U.S. dollar is losing. Dollar bullion ETF Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (UUP - Free Report) retreated about 3.6% past month (as of Jun 9, 2020).

Jeffrey Gundlach, the billionaire chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, believes that the U.S. dollar is unlikely to gain ahead in the near term because of the widening budget deficit. Gundlach noted the inverse correlation between the dollar and the twin deficit - the U.S. deficit plus the trade deficit - which has jumped dramatically because of the government’s stimulus efforts to fight the impact of the coronavirus-led lockdown, would result in pain in the greenback. Gundlach sees “the dollar going all the way back to 2011 levels.”

Goldman Sachs also believes the “steady reopening process, limited evidence of a pickup in Covid infection rates, and encouraging policy actions like progress on the EU Recovery Fund” is leading the investment house to bet against the greenback.

ETFs to Buy

So, investors looking to play the likely weakness in the U.S. dollar could consider the below-mentioned ETFs:

Inverse Dollar

The product Invesco DB US Dollar Index Bearish Fund (UDN - Free Report) seeks to track changes, whether positive or negative, in the level of the Deutsche Bank Short USD Currency Portfolio Index - Excess Return (DB Short USD Currency Portfolio Index ER) plus interest income from the fund's holdings of primarily U.S. Treasury securities and money market income less the fund's expenses. The fund gained 3.5% past month.

Large-Cap ETFs

Since large caps have global exposure and benefit from the weakening of the greenback, investors may expect favorable currency translation to boost their earnings. Large-cap SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY - Free Report) added 9.5% past month.

Metal ETFs

While reopening of economies boosted manufacturing activities thus benefiting base metal ETFs, a still-edgy investing backdrop would continue to favor precious metal gold prices too. Metal investing is great in a weaker dollar environment as these commodities are priced in the greenback.

Investors can thus expect a pickup in Invesco DB Base Metals Fund (DBB - Free Report) (up 4% past month) and SPDR Gold Trust (GLD - Free Report) (down just 0.4% past month). Silver could also be a winning option as it acts both as a precious and an industrial metal. Silver bullion ETF iShares Silver Trust (SLV - Free Report) added 13.7% past month.

Non-Currency-Hedged Europe ETFs

The European Commission recently unveiled a plan to borrow 750 billion euros on the market and then disburse to EU countries, which will include 500 billion euros in grants and 250 billion euros in loans. Plus, the ECB also expanded and extended the pandemic stimulus. The move helped euro to gain. Overall, Invesco CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (FXE - Free Report) added 4.5% past month (read: ECB Expands & Extends Bond Buying: ETFs to Win).

While non-currency-hedged large-cap Europe ETFs like Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK - Free Report) (up 13.5% past month) would gain on stimulus optimism, small-cap Europe ETFs should benefit more. A stronger euro would make pint-sized European stocks a lucrative bet. iShares MSCI Europe Small-Cap ETF (IEUS - Free Report) gained 14.5% past month.

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week. Get it free >>