Futures For You by Carley Garner
THE DOLLAR INDEX
The US Dollar Index seems to be overlooked. Are there opportunities there?
Yes! The US Dollar Index (DX) futures contract, traded on the Intercontinental Exchange (Ice), could be one of the most underrated futures products on the board. Let’s face it, traders are human and humans have an undeniable tendency to migrate toward the comfortable. Unfortunately, the dollar index is the oddball of the currency futures complex, simply because it doesn’t trade on the Cme Group with the others, and it carries different contract specifications. Nonetheless, it offers traders some attractive characteristics that can’t be found elsewhere, such as built-in diversity.
Unlike CME Group–traded currency futures, which are all paired against the US dollar in “American terms” (foreign currencies priced in dollars), the DX future is the value of the US dollar against a basket of foreign currencies. As a result, this futures contract enables speculators to trade the value of the dollar, as opposed to against a specific currency. In addition, it can be used as an effective tool to hedge risk of changes in greenback valuation for those with international stock, bond, or commodity exposure.