Forex

RECENT NEWS
The Economic Times  Aug 20  Comment 
Patel will have to appoint a member on the Monetary Policy Committee, deal with the problem of mounting NPAs of banking & maintain Rajan's legacy.
The Economic Times  Aug 19  Comment 
FCAs, expressed in dollar terms, include the effect of appreciation/depreciation of non-US currencies such as euro, pound and yen held in the reserves.
Benzinga  Aug 19  Comment 
USD/JPY is trading at 100.22, up 0.09. The pair is trading rangebound as overseas forex traders wind down trading for the day. Market chatter about global headline news has kept buyers and sellers active. In other Forex...
Mondo Visione  Aug 19  Comment 
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Forex Capital Markets, LLC (FXCM), charging FXCM with undercapitalization, failure to...
Euromoney  Aug 18  Comment 
While market talk suggests a number of finance professionals are delaying planned moves to London and some hiring seems to have been put on hold, specialist FX recruiters claim it has largely been business as usual post-Brexit.
Benzinga  Aug 18  Comment 
AUD/USD is trading at 0.7674, up 0.0012. The pair the pair is trading choppy and some early session gains have eroded as overseas forex traders prepare to wind down trading for the day. Market chatter about U.S. and Australian economic data...
Financial Times  Aug 17  Comment 
Divergent Libor rates and central bank policy increase forex premium




 
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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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