FOREX — the foreign exchange market or currency market or Forex is the market where one currency is traded for another. It is one of the largest markets in the world.
Some of the participants in this market are simply seeking to exchange a foreign currency for their own, like multinational corporations which must pay wages and other expenses in different nations than they sell products in. However, a large part of the market is made up of currency traders, who speculate on movements in exchange rates, much like others would speculate on movements of stock prices. Currency traders try to take advantage of even small fluctuations in exchange rates.
In the foreign exchange market there is little or no ‘inside information’. Exchange rate fluctuations are usually caused by actual monetary flows as well as anticipations on global macroeconomic conditions. Significant news is released publicly so, at least in theory, everyone in the world receives the same news at the same time.
The primary reason the Forex market exists is to facilitate international trade and investment by giving businesses the ability to convert one currency into another. As an example, a U.S. business can import goods from Japan and pay in Japanese Yen, even though the business is based in America and operates in U.S. dollars. The Forex market also provides a medium for speculation which works to add deeper liquidity to the market, making exchange rates less volatile. The “carry-trade” is facilitated via the Forex market, this is a trade in which investors can buy high-yielding currencies against low-yielding currencies and profit from the higher yielding interest rate.