1. What Is the Forex Market?
Forex, or foreign exchange, can be explained as a network of buyers and sellers, who transfer currency between each other at an agreed price. It is the means by which individuals, companies and central banks convert one currency into another – if you have ever travelled abroad, then it is likely you have made a forex transaction.
The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important because they allow us to purchase goods and services locally and across borders. International currencies need to be exchanged to conduct foreign trade and business.
If you are living in the United States and want to buy cheese from France, then either you or the company from which you buy the cheese has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros.
Commercial and investment banks conduct most of the trading in forex markets on behalf of their clients, but there are also speculative opportunities for trading one currency against another for professional and individual investors.
There are two distinct features to currencies as an asset class :
- You can earn the interest rate differential between two currencies.
- You can profit from changes in the exchange rate.