Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What is FOREX?





Foreign exchange market (Forex, FX, or currency market) is a form of exchange for the global decentralized trading of international currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends.
The foreign exchange market assists international trade and investment by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from the European Union member states especially Eurozone members and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. It also supports direct speculation in the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation based on the interest rate differential between two currencies.

History of Forex
Gold Standard System
The creation of the gold standard monetary system in 1875 marks one of the most important events in the history of the forex market. Before the gold standard was implemented, countries would commonly use gold and silver as means of international payment. The main issue with using gold and silver for payment is that their value is affected by external supply and demand. For example, the discovery of a new gold mine would drive gold prices down. 

The gold standard eventually broke down during the beginning of World War I. Due to the political tension with Germany, the major European powers felt a need to complete large military projects. The financial burden of these projects was so substantial that there was not enough gold at the time to exchange for all the excess currency that the governments were printing off.
Although the gold standard would make a small comeback during the inter-war years, most countries had dropped it again by the onset of World War II. However, gold never ceased being the ultimate form of monetary value.
 
Bretton Woods System
Before the end of World War II, the Allied nations believed that there would be a need to set up a monetary system in order to fill the void that was left behind when the gold standard system was abandoned. In July 1944, more than 700 representatives from the Allies convened at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to deliberate over what would be called the Bretton Woods system of international monetary management.

One of the main features of Bretton Woods is that the U.S. dollar replaced gold as the main standard of convertibility for the world's currencies; and furthermore, the U.S. dollar became the only currency that would be backed by gold. (This turned out to be the primary reason that Bretton Woods eventually failed.)

Even though Bretton Woods didn't last, it left an important legacy that still has a significant effect on today's international economic climate. This legacy exists in the form of the three international agencies created in the 1940s: the IMF, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now part of the World Bank) and GATT, the precursor to the World Trade Organization. 

Markets close
Due to the ultimate ineffectiveness of the Bretton Woods Accord and the European Joint Float the forex markets were forced to close sometime during 1972 and March 1973.The very largest of all purchases of dollars in the history of 1976 was when the West German government achieved an almost 3 billion dollar acquisition (a figure given as 2.75 billion in total by The Statesman: Volume 18 1974), this event indicated the impossibility of the balancing of exchange stabilities by the measures of control used at the time and the monetary system and the foreign exchange markets in "West" Germany and other countries within Europe closed for two weeks (during February and, or, March 1973. Giersch, PaquĆ©, & Schmieding state closed after purchase of "7.5 million Dmarks" Brawley states "... Exchange markets had to be closed. When they re-opened ... March 1 " that is a large purchase occurred after the close). 

After 1973
In fact 1973 marks the point to which nation-state, banking trade and controlled foreign exchange ended and complete floating, relatively free conditions of a market characteristic of the situation in contemporary times began (according to one sources although another states the first time a currency pair were given as an option for U.S.A. traders to purchase was during 1982, with additional currencies available by the next year.
On 1 January 1981 (as part of changes beginning during 1978  the Bank of China allowed certain domestic "enterprises" to participate in foreign exchange trading Sometime during the months of 1981 the South Korean government ended forex controls and allowed free trade to occur for the first time. During 1988 the countries government accepted the IMF quota for international trading.
Intervention by European banks especially the Bundesbank influenced the forex market, on February the 27th 1985 particularly. The greatest proportion of all trades world-wide during 1987 were within the United Kingdom, slightly over one quarter, with the U.S. of America the nation with the second most places involved in trading.

During 1991 the republic of Iran changed international agreements with some countries from oil-barter to foreign exchange.