Who need Forex ?

Consumers and Travellers

Consumers typically come into contact with currency exchange when they travel or purchase items from foreign vendors.

Travelers must go to a bank or currency exchange bureau to convert one currency (typically, their "home currency") into another (i.e., the currency of the country they intend to travel to) so they can pay for goods and services in the foreign country. Travellers need to be aware of exchange rates to ensure they receive a fair deal.

Consumers may purchase goods in a foreign country or via the Internet with their credit card, in which case they will find that the amount they paid in the foreign currency will have been converted to their home currency on their credit card statement.

Although each consumer currency exchange is a relatively small transaction, the aggregate of all such transactions is significant.


Businesses typically need to convert currencies when they conduct business outside their home country. For example, if they export goods to another country and receive payment in the currency of that foreign country, then the payment must typically be converted back to the home currency. Similarly, if they have to import goods or services, then businesses will often have to pay in a foreign currency, requiring them to first convert their home currency into the foreign currency.

Large companies convert huge amounts of currency; for example, a company such as General Electric (GE) converts tens of billions of dollars each year. The timing of when they convert can have a large affect on their balance sheet and "bottom line, and many businesses use hedging strategies to ensure they do not incur losses over time due to currency market volatility.

Investors and Speculators

Investors and speculators require currency exchange whenever they trade in any foreign investment, be it equities, bonds, bank deposits, or real estate. For example, when a Swedish investor buys shares in Sun Microsystems on the NASDAQ, she will have to pay for the shares in U.S. Dollars and likely have to convert Swedish Krona to U.S. Dollars. Similarly, a Japanese real estate investor who sells a New York property may want to convert the proceeds of the sale in U.S. Dollars to Japanese Yen.

Investors and speculators also trade currencies directly in order to benefit from movements in the currency exchange markets. For example, if an American investor believes that the Japanese economy is strengthening and as a result expects the Japanese Yen to appreciate in value (i.e., go up relative to other currencies), then she may want to buy Japanese Yen and take what is referred to as a long position. Similarly, if an American investor believes that the Euro will go down over time, then she may want to sell Euro to take a short position. Interestingly, investors and speculators can profit equally from currencies becoming stronger (by taking a long position) or from currencies becoming weaker (by taking a short position).

Speculators are often day traders, trying to take advantage of market movements in very short time periods; buying a currency and then selling it again within hours or even minutes. They are attracted to currency trading for numerous reasons, including (i) the size and daily volatility of the market, which provides some individuals with an unparalleled level of excitement, (ii) the almost perfect liquidity of the currency exchange market, (iii) the fact that the currency exchange market is "open" 24 hours a day, and (vi) the fact that currencies can be traded with no brokerage charges.

Commercial and Investment Banks

Commercial and investment banks trade currencies as a service for their commercial banking, deposit and lending customers. These institutions also generally participate in the currency market for hedging and proprietary trading purposes.
Governments and Central Banks

Governments and central banks trade currencies to improve trading conditions or to intervene in an attempt to adjust economic or financial imbalances. Although they do not trade for speculative reasons—they are non-profit organizations—they often tend to be profitable, since they generally trade on a long-term basis.

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