Home > Business Databases > Currency conversion in Datastream

Currency conversion in Datastream

DS-TSR-currencyThe default for Datastream is to give data, price (P), market value (MV), total assets (WC02999) etc., in local currency. However, when doing regional or global comparisons it can often be useful to convert to a standard currency, such as US dollars.

You can change (convert) a Datastream datatype to a different currency by using the “$” button on the request, or selecting the target currency from the drop-down list.

P or X(P), is the datatype for adjusted price

X(P)~U$ is the adjusted price converted to US dollars

X(P)~E is the adjusted price converted to Euros

In the results X is replaced by the Datastream code on mnemonic for the relavant series.

This currency change is using one of the simplest expressions available in Datastream. For further examples see:

UK share prices are traditionally quoted in UK pence rather than UK pounds. This means that the converted figure can look too low if converted in say US dollars. For example on 30 April 2012 the adjusted closing price for GlaxoSmithKline GSK(P) is 1425, converted to US dollars GSK(P)~U$ is 23.14. You can check by explicity converting to pounds GSK(P)~£ is 14.25.

You can of course look up the exchange rate for the relevant dates and calculate the currency conversion. (Use the Datastream category Exchange Rates.)

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  1. Aleksnader
    9 February 2016 at 10:39 am

    Hi, do you know how datastream deal with data from countries that have changed currency (France and Germany)? I have tried to download market cap for Euronext Paris during the period 1993-2014 express in local currency, but are unsure whether the numbers are in euros or FRF.

    Hope for a positive response!

    • XiaHong
      12 February 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Hello Aleksnader,

      Datastream’s policy is to convert the historical data into new currency whenever a market starts trading in a new currency. For example, Euro was introduced in 1999 for French and German markets, so the data before 1999 which were traded in French Francs or German Marks would have been converted into Euros. So the data you downloaded would be in Euros.

      The same principle works for other markets which have had currency conversions (e.g. Ecuador from the Sucre to U$), and conversions owing to revaluations (e.g. Turkey revalued the Lire by a factor of 1 million in 2005).

  2. Antonia
    13 April 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Hi, do you know how Datastream converts the currency, i.e. which mechanism does it follow?
    For example, if I want to extract annual data from UK converted to Euro, does Datastream applies the average exchange rate over the year or does it take the closing/opening exchange rate?

    • Phil Reed
      14 April 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Hi Antonia, I have asked Thomson Reuters who said:

      Datastream applies the closing WMR (World Market Reuters) rate for the exchange as of that particular date while downloading the currency. This is normally updated by 4:00 PM GMT London Time.

      So, in short, it’s the historical exchange rate on the day of the data point. See also our previous post: Currency conversion in Datastream

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