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.)

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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).

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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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