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Top 10 Established Currency ETFs

#1: PowerShares DB USD Index Bullish & Bearish ETFs (UUP) (UDN)

UUP/UDN (PowerShares/DB USD Index Bullish & Bearish ETFs) follow the same Deutsche Bank Dollar Index with one ETF allowing investors to invest in a long position (UUP) while the other (UDN) allows investors to invest in a short position on the same index. The Dollar Index is comprised of the Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc. The funds were launched in February 2007. The expense ratio is .50%. AUM (Assets under Management) equal $1.5 billion million (UUP) and $114 million (UDN).

Average daily trading volume is 6.2M shares (UUP) and 114K shares (UDN). As of mid-December 2011 the YTD return was -1.60% (UUP) and -.26% (UDN). Variations are due to contract rollover trading variations and open market speculation which can become inefficient.

#2: Rydex CurrencyShares Euro Trust ETF (FXE)

 

FXE follows the euro which is the currency of 17 European Union countries. The Euro system consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central banks of the 17 countries belonging to the euro area is in charge and implementing monetary policy for the euro zone. It accounts for approximately 57% of the Dollar Index making it a major world currency. The fund was launched in December 2005. The expense ratio is .40%. AUM equal $579 million and average daily trading volume is over 2M shares. As of mid-December 2011 the YTD return was -1.07%.

Leveraged long and short issues are available from ProShares.

#3: Rydex CurrencyShares Japanese Yen ETF (FXY)

FXY follows the continuation contract of Japanese Yen futures contracts. Interest can also be earned on T-Bills deposited as collateral to hold these futures contracts. The yen represents the second highest percentage of the Dollar Index at 13.7%. The fund was launched in December 2007. The expense ratio is .40%. AUM equal $697 million and average daily trading is 390K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the YTD return was 3.86%.

Leveraged long and short issues are available from ProShares.

#4: Rydex CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling ETF (FXB)

 

FXB follows the continuation contract of the British Pound which accounts for nearly 13% of global foreign exchange transactions. When favorable the fund can also earn interest on T-Bills used as collateral for futures contracts. The fund was launched in June 2006. The expense ratio is .40%. AUM equal $100 million and average daily trading volume is 53K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the YTD return was -.75%.

#5: Rydex CurrencyShares Swiss Franc ETF (FXF)

FXF follows the continuation contracts of the Swiss Franc as traded on various futures exchanges. The fund was launched in June 2006. The expense ratio is .40%. AUM equal $454 million and average daily trading volume is less than 213K shares. As of mid-December 2011 the YTD return was -.79%.

Abruptly in the late fall the Swiss decided to peg their currency to the euro. This was done to arrest the rapid rise in the franc and to assist borrowers in Eastern Europe to paying back franc denominated loans.

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