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Currency basket explained: A portfolio diversification strategy

It was in 600 BCE that the first official currency, the Lydian stater, was introduced and this was also when metal coinage emerged. 

Fast forward to 1260 CE when the Yuan dynasty in China introduced paper-based money. Since then, currencies have evolved. Today, most countries have their own official currencies. If you look at the currency exchange, you will discover that different currencies have different conversion rates.

But have you ever wondered how these rates are determined and whether you can invest in them? If you answer yes, read this blog about a currency basket and learn how it works! 

What is a currency basket?

In simple terms, a currency basket is a collection or set of multiple currencies with different weights. This multi currency basket is used to determine the value of a different currency using a practice commonly known as a currency peg.

In currency pegging, the country’s government or a national bank determines the exchange rate of the domestic currency with respect to a foreign currency or a basket of currencies. This is often done to maintain the stability of the exchange rate and promote trade between countries.

For instance, the Indian rupee to the British pound from 1927 to 1946, and even today, countries like Panama have their currencies pegged to the US Dollar. 

Forex traders also take up basket orders and deal in forex currency baskets so that they can trade in multiple currency pairs, all simultaneously in one go! 

Below are a few currency basket examples!

  1. Asian Currency Unit – A basket of all the Asian currencies
  2. US Dollar Index – A basket of the six major currencies in the world
  3. European Currency – A basket of all the European currencies

Importance of a currency basket

From ensuring that the risks associated with exchange rate fluctuations are mitigated to helping determine the currency exchange rate, a currency basket can do it all! Read the below section to discover how these currency baskets impact the currency markets! 

  1. Determining currency exchange rates

Countries can either choose a currency basket or currency pegging to determine the currency exchange rates. In currency pegging, the domestic currency is pegged to one foreign currency, while a basket of currencies is used to determine the rate using the currency basket approach.

For instance, the Indian rupee may have appreciated against currencies such as the Russian ruble, but it has depreciated against the US Dollar. Depending upon the weights of these currencies, it can be clearly ascertained whether the currency has depreciated or appreciated over the years. 

Another thing that might come to your mind when discussing the exchange rates is: “What is the IMF currency basket or the reserve currency basket?” Well, in 1969, the International Monetary Fund created a Special Drawing Rights (SDR) as an international reserve asset.

The value of this SDR is equal to the basket of different world currencies, which is reviewed every five years.

  1. Reducing risks of exchange rate fluctuation

As an investor, you are often seeking different sources of investments with the ultimate goal of a diversified portfolio. A currency basket offers you a credible investment opportunity.

Still unsure? Okay, let’s consider a scenario where you invested in a certain foreign currency, which generated lucrative returns. You can reap these gains if the exchange rate is favourable; however, you will not have any substantial gains if it is not favourable.

However, when you invest in a currency basket, you are spreading the exchange rate fluctuation risk over a series of currencies that can cover each other’s losses and thus offer you a balanced portfolio! 

How to use a currency basket?

Countries use currency baskets to assess their own currency’s value and ensure their currencies are not extremely volatile. These baskets are also extremely valuable to people in the business sector.

For example, these cocktails of currencies in various contracts prevent losing money when the currency rates are fluctuating. 

On a smaller scale, investors use these baskets to lower their risks during investments. You can also customise these currency baskets to meet your investment strategies and goals. 

You can also use a currency basket index to keep track of the currency value changes against other currencies. For example, the dollar index helps determine the value of the US dollar compared to other major world currencies.


To summarise, a currency basket is an excellent way to determine the value of the currency and offers investors a lucrative investment opportunity. Since it is composed of various currencies with different weights, the risk is spread. In this way, these baskets provide stability against currency fluctuations and yield stable returns on your investment! To learn more about such financial concepts, read StockGro blogs. 


What is a currency basket?

A currency basket is an assortment of currencies of different countries with their respective weights, which helps determine the currency exchange rates and helps forex traders trade in the forex markets.

How does a currency basket help determine the exchange rate of currencies?

Countries base a currency basket as a reference and compare the value of the domestic rate to the basket of currencies to determine its value.

Can I invest in a currency basket?

You can invest in a currency pair or form a forex currency basket. This will help you in trading in multiple currency pairs all at the same time! 

How does investing in a currency basket reduce my risk exposure?

Since a currency basket is composed of various currencies, the gains from one currency can cover up for the losses of others and ensure a stable portfolio.

What is a currency basket index?

A currency basket index is an index that helps you keep track of a certain currency against other currencies in the world. Depending upon the index you choose, the comparison parameters change. For example, the US Dollar index compares the dollar against currencies such as Euro and Swiss Francs.

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