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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Foreign Exchange Introduction

Being the main force driving the global economic market, currency is no doubt an essential element for a country. However, in order for all the countries with different currencies to trade with one another, a system of exchange rate between their currencies is needed; this system, is formally known as foreign exchange or currency exchange.
In the early days, the system of currency exchange is supported solely by the gold amount held in the vault of a country. However, this system is no longer appropriate now due to inflation and hence, the value of one’s currency nowadays is determined through the market forces alone. In order to determine the value of a currency’s exchange rate, two main types of system is used which is floating currency and pegged currency.
For floating exchange rate, its value is determined by the supply and demand of the global market where the supply and demand is bound by all these factors such as foreign investment, inflation and ratios of import and export. Normally, this system is adopted by most of the advance countries like for example UK, US and Canada. All of these countries have a similarity where their market is well developed and stable in economic terms. These countries choose to practice this system due to the reason where floating exchange rate is proven to be much more efficient compared to the pegged exchange rate. The reason behind this is because for floating exchange rate, the market itself will re-adjust the exchange rate real-time in order to portray the actual inflation and other economic forces. However, every system has its own flaw and so does the floating exchange rate system. For instance, if a country suffers from economic instability due to various reasons such as political issues, a floating exchange rate system will certainly discourage investment due to the high risk of suffering from inflationary disaster or sudden slump in exchange rate.

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