It’s been a difficult last few years for US investors to make real money in non-US stocks. One big reason is the US dollar, the strength of which has taken a big bite out of the US dollar value of foreign investments’ dividends and principal. As recently as early 2021, the US Dollar Index (DXY)—representing the US currency’s value versus a basket of major countries—was struggling to hold a value of more than 90. But by late last year, the DXY had reached as high as 115, and has remained comfortably over 100 since. The dollar has been strong for two main reasons. First, the US economy despite persistent signs of rising recession risk has remained resilient, especially the labor market. And second, that strength has given the Federal Reserve leeway to keep boosting benchmark interest rates to control inflation, which in turn raises the US dollar’s value against other currencies.
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