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This paper uses factor analysis to present an original explanation of floating exchange rate movements. I estimate the shares of domestic and external drivers of these evolutions and find that external common factors are the main drivers of exchange rates and that there is a common pattern for both advanced and emerging countries. These results are robust in time and across countries according to multiple robustness checks. I also provide economic interpretations of the underlying factors. If traditional drivers are found (US relative economic situation, commodity prices), I also find a selective perception of risk aversion between advanced and emerging economies. This work falls within the literature on monetary conditions (more precisely Mundell’s trilemma). The study covers 26 countries, and I detail how results vary between emerging and advanced economies.