Currencies like the US dollar (USD) and the euro are strong because so many countries and investors continue to purchase them. Buyers pay attention to currencies that are likely to remain stable and have positive forecasts. Here’s a list of the 5 most improved currencies of 2019 (valued against the world’s most traded currency – the USD).
*All exchange rates were sourced from Google Finance at the time of publication.
Check out the World’s Strongest Currencies (2020)
Russian Rouble (1 USD = 64.15 RUB)
The Russian rouble had a rough year in 2018, with its value dropping against the USD due to sanctions against Moscow. But in 2019, the rouble is one of the world’s best performing currencies. At the beginning of the year 1 USD was valued at 70 roubles, but it has since improved to approximately 64 roubles.
There are two main reasons for the rouble’s growth in 2019. The first is that Russian government debt is currently yielding 8.5% returns, while many central banks are cutting interest rates. The other is rebounding oil prices, which have always had a strong influence on Russia’s economy.
Egyptian Pound (1 USD = 16.12 EGP)
In recent years, the Egyptian pound has been floating between 17 to 18 EGP per USD. In 2019 the Egyptian pound has consistently maintained a rate below 17 EGP and is currently closer to 16 EGP.
When the Egyptian government abandoned efforts to peg its currency to the USD in 2016, EGP went from 8.8 per to almost 20 per USD. But, this drop in value actually helped exports and reduced Egypt’s trade deficit. Domestic performance has also seen improvement in areas like tourism and natural gas production. All of this, plus an increase in inward remittances has further strengthened the Egyptian pound.
Japanese Yen (1 USD = 108.63 JPY)
Back In 2012, the Japanese yen fluctuated between 75 and 85 yen per USD. In late 2018, it hit its weakest point of 114 per USD. Japan’s economy also shrank as natural disasters impacted spending and disrupted exports. But, throughout the final months of 2019, the yen has strengthened and has been hovering around the 107 mark.
Despite decades of negative rates, deflation and a stagnating economy, it is the stature of the yen as a safe haven among risk-averse investors that ensures its stability.
Indian Rupee (1 USD = 71.79 INR)
In late 2016, the Indian government rolled out a demonetisation policy in a failed attempt to address the enormous ecosystem of untaxed cash transactions and their impact on the economy. The policy likely wiped at least 1% from the country’s GDP.
In 2018 the rupee was valued at 74 per USD – an all time low. But, at the beginning of 2019, the rupee was valued at 69.6 per USD.
The rupee has been fluctuating between 68 and 71 throughout 2019, which is a marked improvement on its 2018 valuation, as foreign investors continue to show positivity towards India.
Phillipine Peso (1 USD = 51.08 PHP)
The Phillipine Peso dropped below 50 PHP per USD at the end of 2016, but has remained above that mark ever since. And, since October 2018, it has been consistently improving against the USD.
The Philippines’ economy has close ties with both the US and China. Renewed trade negotiations between China and the US has given the peso a real boost, as traders are now more willing to trade USD and other currencies in favour of owning the peso.
Which world currencies are struggling this year? Check out the World’s Weakest Currencies (2019)
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