The United Nations recognises around 180 currencies as legal tender, but which one holds the most value? Read on to discover the 16 strongest currencies that are used on a daily basis and exchanged in forex trading in 2021.
To compare the value of the currencies, we have used the United States dollar (USD) as the fixed base currency. The strongest currency here is defined as the one that is the most expensive in comparison to the US dollar. That is, the currency that gives you the smallest currency return for 1 US dollar*.
To learn more about each of the following currencies, check out our article on the 16 strongest currencies in the world. You can also find out how to trade on our CMC USD Index, CMC GBP Index and CMC EUR Index.
16. New Zealand dollar
Thanks to political stability, high interest rates and GDP growth, the NZD has been steadily rising, as has the NZD/USD forex pair. It's one of four currencies where the US dollar is not the base currency. You’ll currently receive around 1.52 NZD to one USD.
15. Australian dollar
The fifth most-traded currency on the forex market, the AUD is not only the national currency of Australia, but also its territories and pacific island states. It's one of four currencies where the US dollar is not the base currency. The AUD/USD is a popular forex pair, and one USD currently buys around 1.45 AUD.
14. Libyan dinar
Interestingly the LYD is subdivided into 1,000 dirham, not the 100 that is standard across many currencies. A single US dollar buys 1.41 dinar.
13. Singapore dollar
The SGD accounts for around 1.8% of daily forex trades, and is used in both Singapore and Brunei. One USD buys around 1.36 SGD.
12. Brunei dollar
The BND has been the currency of the Sultanate of Brunei since 1967. Despite being exchangeable with the SGD at face value, the BND is slightly more expensive, at 1.35 to one USD.
11. Canadian dollar
Canada’s legal and political stability make the CAD a popular currency for central banks to hold as forex reserves. A single USD buys 1.31 CAD.
10. US dollar
The USD makes up 88.3% of daily forex trades, and sits in tenth place here as it's our benchmark. Read more about trading our US dollar index, which is a basket of forex pairs with USD as the base currency.
9. Swiss franc
The CHF is the national currency of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, and the USD/CHF forex pair is the seventh most-traded currency in the world. One USD buys 0.98 CHF.
With 19 countries calling it their official currency, the euro is the most widely used ‘official’ currency in the world. One USD buys around 0.90 EUR, and the EUR/USD forex pair is the most traded in the world. It's one of four currencies where the US dollar is not the base currency.
7. Cayman Islands dollar
The KYD is used in the Caribbean country, which has a reputation as a financial tax haven. A single USD buys 0.83 KYD.
6. Gibraltar pound
The GIP is exchangeable with pound sterling, and in Gibraltar both are accepted as legal tender. Slightly less valuable than its British counterpart, one USD will buy 0.81 GIP.
5. Pound sterling
The oldest currency still in circulation, the GBP is the fourth most-traded currency globally. The GBP/USD forex pair, known as ‘cable’, is the third most traded in the world, and one USD will buy 0.75 GBP. It's one of four currencies where the US dollar is not the base currency.
4. Jordan dinar
The JOD became Jordan’s official currency in 1950 after it replaced the Palestinian pound. One US dollar is transferrable for around 0.71 Jordanian dinar.
3. Omani rial
Like the Libyan dinar, the OMR is split into 1,000 smaller divisions, called baisa. One USD buys 0.38 Omani rial, which is double the strength of GBP.
2. Bahrain dinar
The BHD is used only in Bahrain, and is pegged against the USD. Like the Omani rial, one USD buys 0.38 BHD.
1. Kuwaiti dinar
At the top of the pile is the Kuwaiti dinar. The KWD was introduced in 1960 and was originally equivalent to one GBP. One USD now buys just 0.30 KWD, making it the world’s strongest currency. It also used to be pegged to the US dollar, but is now pegged to a basket of currencies.
*Information correct as of February 2021.
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