First note that urlread has been deprecated for a while. Its replacement is webread which is more powerful.
webread would have been able to import the data from the url directly as a table if not for the file that it has a misleading xls extension. The file is not an excel file, it's a plain text file and unfortunately webread attempts to decode it as an excel file and so fails. I could not find a way to override that.
So a workaround is to use websave to save the file locally, then import it with readtimetable:
url = 'https://app2.msci.com/eqb/currency/performance/90463.48.all.xls';
tempfile = [tempname(), '.txt'];
msci_em_currency = readtimetable(tempfile);