Financial and Monetary Systems

Winners and losers against the US dollar

A trader changes dollars with naira at a currency exchange store in Lagos, Nigeria, February 12, 2015.  REUTERS/Joe Penney/File Photo - RTSS1X9

The Nigerian naira has nosedived following a fall in oil prices Image: REUTERS/Joe Penney

Rosamond Hutt
Senior Writer, Formative Content
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Financial and Monetary Systems

Brazil’s currency is on a winning streak.

Buoyed by investor interest and hopes that the new government will lift the economy out of recession, the Brazilian real has seen gains of almost 24% against the American dollar in the past year.

Brazilian Real and U.S. dollar notes are pictured at a currency exchange office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in this September 10, 2015 photo illustration. One thing is clear for Brazil's economy after its credit rating was downgraded to junk: political leaders now have little choice but to push ahead with painful austerity measures if they hope to regain market confidence. Standard & Poor's on Wednesday stripped Brazil of its hard-won investment grade rating, moving sooner than the government and investors had expected.  Although investors expected a downgrade at some point, they still sold off Brazilian assets early on Thursday. Stocks suffered modest losses while the currency, the real, fell nearly 3 percent to a 13-year low of 3.9 per dollar. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - RTSJ5I
Image: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

Other emerging-market currencies have turned in strong performances against the dollar. This Statista chart from 18 October, based on the 30 currencies monitored by the Thomson Reuters Datastream, shows the Russian ruble up 16% and the South African rand up 8.1%.

Image: Statista

At the other end of the scale is the Nigerian naira, in crisis after being hit by low oil prices.

The plunge of the British pound, meanwhile, following the Brexit vote, has made it one of the year’s worst-performing currencies.

As of 18 October, the pound’s year-to-date fall against the dollar was 17.3%.

Amid fears of a "hard Brexit", investors have been shedding sterling. The currency is at a 31-year low against the dollar, and some analysts believe there may be further drops to come.

Image: The Independent
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