What determines Exchange Rates?
Exchange Rate is the value of one country’s (nation) currency against another nation’s currency. In simple terms, it is a relative value between two currencies. Usually exchange rates are free floating depending on demand and supply in market. But there are exchange rates which have restrictions and are not based on floating rate. The other factor apart from demand and supply that determines exchange rate are interest rates, speculation and market sentiment , inflation rates, etc.
Type of Exchange Rate:
Currency Peg – Sometimes a particular country’s currency peg to that of other countries currency. For example – Hong Kong’s dollar pegs to US dollar in range of 7.65 to 7.80, than value of Hong Kong’s dollar will remain between the ranges of 7.65 to 7.80.
Free floating – This rate actually fluctuates due to the change in foreign exchange market. So, if there is any fall or rise in the foreign exchange market, it will affect free floating exchange rate.
Restricted currencies – This is not applicable to all the currencies, as only some countries have restrictions which limit their exchange to be within the country’s border and have value which is set by government.
Spot and forward – Spot price is basically current market value which is also known as cash value. Similarly, exchange rate have Forward rate, which are based on the expected currency rise and fall. Forward rate changes as expected change in market value.
Onshore and Offshore – Sometimes, exchange rate differs in their own country which is because of onshore and offshore rates. This situation occurs between country’s border versus outside its borders and fluctuates accordingly. For example, Chinese government has own structure and controls the currency. By setting a midpoint value for the currency, which allows the Yuan to trade in a band of 2% from the midpoint.
Quotation – Quotation is basically an exchange rate which is quoted using an acronym for the national currency which they represent.
What determines currency exchange rate ?
Other currency determined price of one currency. Therefore various factors mainly Fixed Exchange rates, Floating Exchange Rates and Managed Exchanged rates influences Currency rate. Floating exchanges rates and Fixed Exchanges rates are most commonly used to determine rate as Floating rate actually fluctuates due to the change in foreign exchange market. So, if there is any fall or rise in the foreign exchange market, it will affect free floating exchange rate. Demand and supply are the main factor to determine it in open market operation.
If fixed rates are used by economy than this is not applicable to all the currency, as only some countries have restrictions, which limit their exchange to be within the countries border and have value which is set by government. Countries choose to peg where, a particular countries currency peg to that of other countries currency. For example, Hong Kong’s dollar pegs to US dollar in range of 7.65 to 7.80. Than the value of Hong Kong’s dollar will remain between the ranges of 7.65 to 7.80 usually done to maintain stable rates.
Major factors which determines exchange rates are:
Government – When there is too much volatility in Forex market, then government or regulatory body of that country may intervene and buy opposite currency to control downfall. For Example, if Rupee is depreciating against Dollar with a high difference, than RBI may come forward and buy Dollars.
Imports and Exports – Imports and exports play major role in exchange rates. Therefore, government always try to maintain balance between them. For example, if imports are increasing, it create more burden on that particular country’s economy resulting in rate fluctuation.
Interest Rates – Interest rates on government bonds attracts investors, but rate should be high enough to cover foreign market risk so that investor’s money is safe and credit ratings are stable. This will result in flipping rates in particular countries exchange rate.
Speculations and Market Sentiment – When the markets are moving, there is a lot of speculation about the expected changes into the currency rates which results in investments, redemptions of foreign investors. Through speculations, investors try to earn more profit.
Inflation Rates – Any change in inflation rates results change in exchange rates. Usually, country’s which have low inflation rate have seen appreciation in their exchange rate and vice versa.
Other factors that contribute in fluctuation of exchange rates are country’s political stability, debt holdings and overall performance of economy.