Picture du Jour: Plunging dollar erodes non-US investors’ returns

This is a guest post by Prieur du Plessis.

With the US dollar falling down a precipice, spare a thought for non-US investors invested in US stocks and bonds.

The graph below shows the performance of US 10-year Treasury Notes since the beginning of March in both US dollar terms (red line) and euro terms (blue line). Whereas US investors are showing a poor return of -2.8% for the period, European investors are completely under water to the tune of -17.5%. For the year to date the figures are -4.8% (US dollar) and -10.5% (euro). (Although I am using the euro in this example, the same logic applies to most other non-US dollar currencies.)


The next graph illustrates the same principle for equities by comparing the performance of S&P 500 Index in US dollar terms (red line) with the same Index from the viewpoint of a euro investor (blue line). Whereas US investors have every reason to be very pleased with a return of +64.1%, euro investors are lagging quite far behind with +39.2%, which becomes more pronounced when compared to a return of 55.4% for the European Top 100 Index. For the year to date the figures are +22.9% (S&P 500 – US dollar), +15.6% (S&P 500 – euro) and +21.9% (European Top 100).


It is understandable that European investors are not ecstatic about the greenback’s slide and will keep having reservations about committing funds to US assets until they see signs of the dollar forming a bottom.

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