Here Are the Top Winners and Losers in Currencies This Quarter

  • Yen rises as haven stymies Abe, while real downturn extends
  • 3 charts show market punishes commodity units on China slowing

The most-traded global currencies are also the top performers this quarter in the $5.3-trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

The yen is the big winner the past three months, just out-distancing the euro and the dollar, while commodity-linked currencies trailed among 16 major tenders tracked by Bloomberg.

Japan’s currency was buoyed by refuge demand on concern slowing growth in China will weigh on the global economy. The stronger exchange rate is hampering Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to address the nation’s lackluster growth and falling consumer prices.

The Brazilian real posted its worst quarter against the dollar since 2002, as it is the biggest loser during the time period. The nation’s central bank tried to intervene during the quarter while the country’s assets were beaten up on concern that President Dilma Rousseff lacks the political and popular support to push through spending cuts and tax increases to shore up the country’s finances.

The South African rand fell versus the dollar as a global commodity rout widened the country’s trade deficit.

Kiwi Climbs

For September, Sweden krona is the winner, followed by the yen and the New Zealand dollar.

The krona’s gains came after policy makers unleashed unprecedented measures this year to end a wave of disinflation, and even deflation, that plagued Sweden. The kiwi snapped a four-month losing streak as Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the world’s largest dairy exporter, raised its forecast milk payout to New Zealand farmers more than economists expected.

Swiss Surge

This year, the Swiss franc is the only currency to strengthen versus the dollar. In January, the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly scrapped its three-year policy of capping the Swiss franc against the euro. The currency surged after the announcement, which was the SNB’s attempt to defend its economy before the European Central Bank’s government bond purchases could crumple the franc cap.

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