The foreign exchange market – also known as forex or the FX market – is the world’s most traded market, with turnover of $5.1 trillion per day.
To put this into perspective, the U.S. stock market trades around $226 billion a day; quite a large sum, but only a fraction of what forex trades Forex is traded 24 hours a day, 5 days a week across by banks, institutions and individual traders worldwide. Unlike other financial markets, there is no centralized marketplace for forex, currencies trade over the counter in whatever market is open at that time.
Trading forex involves the buying of one currency and simultaneous selling of another. In forex, traders attempt to profit by buying and selling currencies by actively speculating on the direction currencies are likely to take in the future.
Trading Forex has many purposes and you’ll be surprised of the many levels traded that impact you and you’re not even be aware of it.
For every purchase you make, the contents, ingredients, by-products, parts or materials may not necessarily be from a domestic source. It could have been bought internationally and as such the exchange of foreign currency would have had to be taken place.
From a financial perspective, some people may trade the Forex market for profit. By taking a cross currency pair, they may exchange currency to a foreign designation hoping for domestic currency values to depreciate, thus when you convert it back you will receive more than you initially started.
For international importer or exporter of goods and services, there are great opportunities by having access to the international market. However, with fluctuating international currency rates, payment can sometimes be difficult. Initially companies make a sale for an agreed price, then on the day of payment the agreed value is significantly less than agreed to, due to a currency fluctuation is known as “foreign exchange risk”.
You will find all types of businesses, from large financial institutions to small retail freight forwarders will practice foreign exchange hedging. Simply put, these companies will put in place measure to ensure that their agreed payment value will represent the same value at the day of payment regardless of currency value fluctuations.