Forex

RECENT NEWS
The Hindu Business Line  May 25  Comment 
Ria Money Transfer is teaming up with Weizmann Forex, Paul Merchants and Transcorp International to provide customers in India a ‘gold standard’ money transfer service. The money transfer agent is a ...
Financial Times  May 25  Comment 
A stronger euro, a weaker dollar, a nervous pound - currencies sparred with each other but none looked capable of delivering a knockout blow. Tim Graf of State Street tells Roger Blitz why the market is in a circumspect, defensive mood
Mondo Visione  May 25  Comment 
Commenting on the publication today of the Global Code of Conduct for the FX market – which provides a common set of guidelines to promote the integrity and effective functioning of the wholesale foreign exchange market – James Kemp, Managing...
Mondo Visione  May 25  Comment 
Channel News Asia  May 25  Comment 
On U.S. election day last November, banking executive David Puth stood in line behind Woody Allen to vote in his Manhattan neighborhood and then got on a plane to be shouted at for the rest of the day by a group of rich fund managers.
Reuters  May 24  Comment 
U.S. bank Citi held on to top spot in the foreign exchange industry’s main annual ranking of traders by volume on Wednesday despite losing around 2 percent in market share, results showed.
Mondo Visione  May 24  Comment 
Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo today announced that BNP Paribas S.A. (BNPP) and its New York branch will pay a $350 million fine as part of a consent order entered into with the New York State Department of Financial Services...
Euromoney  May 24  Comment 
The FX industry has moved on from the fixing scandal and now wants to write its next chapter, underpinned by a new code of conduct. But liquidity remains fragile, volume is down and further challenges lie ahead.
Financial Times  May 24  Comment 
‘We got a little cartel really brewing,’ a trader wrote, according to DFS transcript
The Hindu Business Line  May 24  Comment 
Circular on ‘exchange gains’ recognition may dent profits




 
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Overview

Forex (FX) is short for foreign exchange and refers to the trading of one currency for another. Unlike stocks or futures, currency trading is an over-the-counter market with no central exchange.

Currencies typically trade in pairs such as the EUR/USD or USD/JPY. Currencies common to Forex tend to be the most liquid currencies such as the U.S. Dollar (USD), Japanese Yen (JPY), Euro (EUR), British Pound (GBP), Swiss Franc (CHF), Canadian Dollar (CAD), and Australian Dollar (AUD).

FOREX[1] is the world's most traded market with an average daily turnover of USD $3.2 trillion[2].

Trades occur 24 hours a day, starting Monday morning in the Asia-Pacific region and ending Friday evening in North America.

Common FX Practices

Corporate FX Programs

Many corporations who receive a significant portion of their revenue from overseas (overseas refers to any sites outside of the chartering country - "headquarters") may wish to participate in FX Hedging. This is primarily because currency volatility can majorly effect a company's stated income. A long-winded example is below.

Say Google receives more than 50% of its revenue from outside the United States. This creates a situation in which the relative strength of the U.S. Dollar (USD) can impact its financials. If the Euro (EUR) strengthens against the dollar, it has a net positive impact on Google's income statement. If EUR/USD decreases, meaning more USD can be bought with 1 EUR, then when the company calculates the value of its EUR-denominated revenue, it will see a higher than average USD amount. Forex

Retail FX

In the last several years, the Retail FX market has opened up substantially with the spread of the internet and online trading. This segment is said to occupy about 4% of all forex transactions and is growing rapidly. One of the main reasons for this phenomenon is the simplified trading platforms like TradeStation that were recently developed by innovative internet brokers, aiming to educate the lay person and help get into this lucrative market.

Example with Fake Numbers and no Transaction Costs

Let's say, for ease of demonstration, that 1 EUR = 2 USD, or that 1 Euro can purchase 2 U.S. Dollars (this is not the case, but it's easy math). Furthermore, we can claim that Google makes 1 million Euros in December 2008 in France. If Google recognizes that revenue in USD, we'd say that Google made 2 million dollars that month (from France). Suppose, however, that the Dollar strengthens against the Euro, and instead we get 1 EUR = 1.5 USD (USD appreciates, which means that 1 Euro now buys less than before). This would instead result in 1.5 million dollars for December, instead of the previous 2 million.

On your own, try seeing what would happen if the USD weakens against the Euro (1 EUR = 3 USD). This volatility is something that most companies desperately seek to avoid. One can probably see already, the more money at risk, the greater the trading activity. Vis-à-vis, the more currencies that impact revenue, the greater the trading activity. As a result, these companies engage in all sorts of Hedging practices, including using currency swaps and Derivatives (Options, Futures, and forwards), to limit their exposure to currency movement, especially for the primary currencies as listed above.

Example Currency Pairs

U.S. Dollars to Euros





Euros to U.S. Dollars



U.S. Dollars to Canadian Dollars



Canadian Dollars to U.S. Dollars



U.S. Dollars to Japanese Yen



References

  1. FOREX
  2. Forex 101
  3.   WHAT IS FOREX
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