Most Affordable Currency ETFs
The exchange-traded fund (ETF) industry has grown into a trillion dollar business since the first ETF was launched 20 years ago. Today's traders and investors have access to a growing number of ETFs, offering exposure to a wide variety of popular and niche markets. One of these is the currency ETF market, providing exposure to both individual as well as baskets of currencies. Here we will take a look at some of the more popular currency ETFs on the market today.

PowerShares DB USD Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP)
The PowerShares DB USD Index Bullish ETF tracks the Deutsche Bank Long US Dollar Futures Index (USDX), designed to replicate the performance of long USD contracts against a basket of the six major world currencies - the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc. UUP, which was launched on Feb. 20, 2007, has an expense ratio of 0.80%, total net assets of $646,286,460, and an average three-month volume of more than 1.1 million.

CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSE: FXE)
The CurrencyShares Euro Trust tracks the price of the euro; its holdings consist entirely of the euro. The euro is the currency of 17 European Union (EU) nations and is the second-most traded currency in the world, accounting for just over 39% of global currency transactions. Launched on Dec. 8, 2005, FXE has an expense ratio of 0.40%, total net assets of $225,597,106 and an average three-month volume of more than 500,000.

CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSE: FXY)
The CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust tracks the price of the Japanese yen; its holdings consist entirely of this currency. The Japanese yen is the world's third most traded currency, accounting for 19% of worldwide foreign exchange transactions. With an inception date of Feb. 12, 2007, FXY has an expense ratio of 0.40%, total net assets of $174,306,899 and an average three-month volume of over 400,000.

CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (FXA)
The CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust was designed to track the price of the Australian dollar; its holdings consist entirely of the Australian dollar. The Australian dollar ranks as the world's fifth most traded currency, accounting for 7.6% of foreign exchange transactions worldwide. The fund, which was launched on June 21, 2006, has an expense ratio of 0.40%, total net assets of $624,071,328 and an average three-month volume of 157,143.
Other Currency ETFs
The table below lists the 24 non-leveraged currency ETFs that are currently available to investors and traders. They are listed in order of expense ratio, from lowest to highest.




Ticker


Description


Currency


Expense Ratio


FXA


CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust


AUD


0.40%


ERO


Barclays PLC iPath EUR/USD Exchange Rate ETN


EUR


0.40%


FXS


CurrencyShares Swedish Krona Trust


SEK


0.40%


FXB


CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust


GBP


0.40%


FXCH


CurrencyShares Chinese Renminbi Trust


RMB


0.40%


GBB


iPath Goldman Sachs iPath GBP/USD Exchange Rate ETN


GBP


0.40%


FXE


CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust


EUR


0.40%


FXC


CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust


CAD


0.40%


FXF


CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust


CHF


0.40%


JYN


BARCLAYS BANK PLC iPath JPY/USD Exchange Rate ETN


JPY


0.40%


FXY


CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust


JPY


0.40%


BZF


WisdomTree Dreyfus ETF BZ Real FndFund


BRL


0.45%


ICN


WisdomTree Dreyfus Indian Rupee Fund ETF


INR


0.45%


CYB


WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan FdFund


RMB


0.45%


CEW


WisdomTree Dreyfus Emerging Currency Fund


Emerging Markets


0.55%


CCX


Wisdomtree Commodity Currency Fund


Diversified


0.55%


CNY


Market Vectors-Chinese Renminbi/USD ETN


RMB


0.55%


INR


Market Vectors-Indian Rupee/USD ETN


INR


0.55%


ICI


iPath Optimized Currency Carry ETN


Diversified


0.65%


UUP


PowerShares DB USD Index Bullish


USD


0.80%


DBV


PowerShares DB G10 Currency Harvest


Diversified


0.81%


JEM


iPath GEMS Index ETN


Diversified


0.89%


AYT


iPath GEMS Asia 8 ETN


Diversified


0.89%


PGD


iPath Asian & Gulf Currency Revaluation ETN


Diversified


0.89%


Today's currency exchange-traded funds, listed in order of expense ratio from lowest to highest.

The Bottom Line
The foreign exchange markets boast more than $4 trillion in average daily trading volume, which makes it the largest financial market in the world. Currency ETFs provide investors with exposure to a particular currency or a basket of currencies, which allows access to multiple foreign currencies. Today there are 24 currency ETFs on the market, and it is important to note that some are very thinly traded. The four funds highlighted here are the ones that are the most actively traded. As with any investment, it is important to perform appropriate research prior to making any investment decisions.




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