The United States Currency Index (USDX, DXY, or DX) is commonly used to measure investor sentiments about the US dollar. Some investors/traders don’t understand how it’s used to carry out Forex trades as well as other fiats included in the basket. Essentially, USDX compares the value of a US dollar to a bundle of foreign bills, especially America’s key trading allies. If the US Dollar (USD) strengthens against other bills in the bundle, DXY will rise, and when the USD weakens, DX will fall.
Meantime, USDX compares the United States dollars to 6 currencies including Swedish Króna, Euro, British pound, Swiss Franc, Canadian dollar, and Japanese yen. Since its debut, this currency combination has only been modified once. Several European fiats, including Germany’s unit, Deutsche Mark, were removed from this benchmark by the Euro in 1999. If DX needs to reflect the US’s key business allies in the coming years, then certain units in that indicator may be switched. Since China and Mexico are major trade partners, the Chinese Yuan, as well as the Mexican fiat, might displace the Swedish Króna together with the Swiss franc. Otherwise, DXY might as well be broadened to slot in Yuan and Pesos.
Essentially, DXY is calibrated to show a currency’s worth relative to the USD; each country’s currency is multiplied by its weighting in this index. The Euro takes the largest share of the USDX, accounting for 58 percent of the total because it represents legacy European currencies that have been replaced. Other bills’ weightings comprise JPY (13%), GBP (12%), CAD (9%), SEK (4%), and CHF (3%). This index was created in 1973 after the Bretton Woods Agreement lapsed. Once the Bretton Woods Agreement backed the removal of the gold standard, DXY provided means for markets to determine USD’s worth.
In 1973, when USDX was launched, it had a base rate of 100. Since its debut, values have been referred to this 100-number baseline. However, since it was launched, this index has traded in a broad spectrum. It hit its peak of 163 on March 5, 1985, and a low of 71 on April 22, 2008. As of May 31, 2021, it stood at 90, which was below its original rate of 100, making it discounted compared to other bills. Macroeconomic factors like GDP, each country’s economic shape alongside each state bank’s monetary policies, influence DX’s rate.
Safe haven transfer of funds equally has a major impact on this benchmark. When investors discern a greenback as a store of value during a recession, that indicator would rise. Risk on opinion may arise when traders sell USD and shift into riskier assets, causing this index to fall. Users can trade with USDX just like a stock index. Rather than concurrently purchasing and selling multiple equities, you’d just deal in a single index that will rise or fall in sync with general USD market sentiments.
Usually, an index rate of 110 implies that the US dollar has increased 10% against a bouquet of currencies over a given period. Essentially, if the USDX rises, it signifies the USD is strengthening or gaining value against other bills. Similarly, if the benchmark is currently 85, down 15% from its starting value, it has dropped by 15%.
This benchmark is popular among FX traders who may not have enough time to keep track of each USD pair’s swings during the day. The margins, as well as charges on the USD and the indicator, can be lucrative based on the volume of trade. When DXY is bullish, it’s logical to surmise that the overall outlook in the US dollar is good. Based on whether the index is rising or falling, you may want to modify your long or short bets. When the indicator is bullish, you can reconsider your short market positions in USD/JPY and USD/CHF portfolio.
What’s more, traders can use the index to track USD’s value against a bouquet of currencies in one transaction. It helps them to protect their interests against dollar-related risks. You can include options or futures strategies on the DXY; the New York Board of Trade at present trades these financial instruments. Indirectly, the benchmark is offered through Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), options, as well as money market funds. In the future, USDX will integrate more currencies as America continues to rope in more trading allies.