What Is the Forex Market?
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
- The foreign exchange (also known as forex or FX) market is a global marketplace for exchanging national currencies.
- Because of the worldwide reach of trade, commerce, and finance, forex markets tend to be the largest and most liquid asset markets in the world.
- Currencies trade against each other as exchange rate pairs. For example, EUR/USD is a currency pair for trading the euro against the U.S. dollar.
- Forex markets exist as spot (cash) markets as well as derivatives markets, offering forwards, futures, options, and currency swaps.
- Market participants use forex to hedge against international currency and interest rate risk, to speculate on geopolitical events, and to diversify portfolios, among other reasons.