It’s been a rough couple of months for the US dollar.
The dollar index is down about 7.5% since its peak in mid-January, trading near 92.50 and at its lowest level in almost 16 months.
There have a bunch of theories about what’s causing the greenback’s drop — including a rumoured, secret G-20 meeting to “take down” the dollar.
However, Credit Suisse’s foreign exchange strategy team led by Shahab Jalinoos attributes much of the dollar’s weakness to something much simpler: the rebound in oil prices, and the subsequent rebound in petro-currencies.
“Oil exporter currencies are the main drivers of broad USD weakness,” the team wrote in a research note to clients.
“Oil exporter currencies CAD and MXN have contributed greatly to USD weakness, much more than ‘policy divergence’ currencies such as EUR and JPY,” they added.
The chart below shows the contribution to broad USD performance trade weighted index since mid-January, courtesy of Credit Suisse’s FX team.
Petro-currencies, or the currencies of countries that are major exporters, generally surge whenever oil surges.
And, notably, oil has been on a roll over the past few months.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil trades near $45 per barrel, up about 23.5% since March 16.
However, it’s worth noting that a weaker dollar can be good for domestic companies. Already, US companies are starting to see some relief as the dollar continues to fall.