Forward Foreign Exchange Dealings – Understanding Forex Trading

Forward Foreign Exchange Dealings

The Foreign Exchange market, also referred to as the “Forex” or “FX” market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of well over US $1 trillion – 30 times larger than the combined volume of all U.S. equity markets. The word FOREX is derived from the words FOReign EXchange. Forward Foreign Exchange Dealings

Spot and Forward Foreign Exchange

Forex trading may be for spot or forward delivery. Spot transactions are generally undertaken for an actual exchange of currencies – delivery or settlement – for a value date two business days later.

Forward transactions involve a delivery date further in the future, sometimes as far as a year or more ahead. By buying or selling in the forward market, it is possible to protect the value of any anticipated flows of foreign currency, in terms of one’s own domestic currency, from exchange rate volatility.

Difference Between Foreign Currency and Foreign Exchange

Anyone who has traveled outside their country of residence would have had some exposure to both foreign currency and foreign exchange.

For example, if you live in the United States and travelled, lets say, to London, England you may have exchanged your home currency i.e. US $ for British Pounds. The British Pounds are referred to as a foreign currency and the act of exchanging your US $ for British Pounds is called foreign exchange.

The Foreign Exchange Market

Unlike some financial markets, the foreign exchange market has no single location as it is not dealt across a trading floor. Instead, trading is done via telephone and computer links between dealers in different trading centres and different countries. Forward Foreign Exchange Dealings

The FX market is considered an Over The Counter (OTC) or ‘interbank’ market, as transactions are conducted between two counterparts over the telephone or via an electronic network. Trading is not centralized on an exchange, as it is with the stock and futures markets.

Reasons for Buying and Selling Currencies

Through the mechanism of the foreign exchange market companies, fund managers and banks are enabled to buy and sell foreign currencies in whatever amounts they want. The demand for foreign currency is stimulated by a number of factors such as capital flows arising from trade in goods and services, cross-border investment and loans and speculation on the future level of exchange rates. Exchange deals are typically for amounts between $3 million and $10 million, though transactions for much larger amounts are often done.

There are two basic reasons to buy and sell currencies. About 5% of daily turnover is from companies and governments that buy or sell products and services in a foreign country or must convert profits made in foreign currencies into their domestic currency. The other 95% is trading for profit, or speculation. Forward Foreign Exchange Dealings

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