Forex

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The Hindu Business Line  2 hrs ago  Comment 
Technical forex report for Nov 27, 2014 by Veracity Financial Services
Mondo Visione  Nov 26  Comment 
Starting 1 December 2014, Moscow Exchange will charge different fees for FX trades depending on the order size. Moscow Exchange Money Market Managing Director Igor Marich commented on the change: "Reduced fees for large block trades are...
Euromoney  Nov 26  Comment 
Deutsche Börse's acquisition of a minority stake in R5FX, the London-based electronic trading venue specializing in emerging markets (EM) FX, is the latest in a series of strategic moves by the exchange to break into the FX market. Up to 20 banks...
The Hindu Business Line  Nov 26  Comment 
Technical forex report for Nov 26, 2014 by Veracity Financial Services
Forex News  Nov 26  Comment 
The Australian dollar rallied today even as central bank’s officials continued to complain about the excessive strength of the currency. The Aussie was down during two previous trading sessions. Today’s trading may be choppy because...
Forex News  Nov 25  Comment 
The euro bounced today after the initial drop as some economic indicators released from the United States were not as good as dollar bulls were hoping for, reducing the shine of the US currency.(...)Read the rest of Euro Bounces as US...
The Hindu Business Line  Nov 25  Comment 
Telecom operator Sistema Shyam TeleServices (SSTL), which operates under the MTS brand name, has reported a narrowing of its net loss at Rs 437.9 crore in the three-month period ended September 30...
Clusterstock  Nov 25  Comment 
By Jamie McGeever and Aruna Viswanatha LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors will travel to London in the coming weeks to interview traders about currency market manipulation, the latest sign that authorities are closer to filing...




 
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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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