The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important to most people around the world, whether they realize it or not, because currencies need to be exchanged in order to conduct foreign trade and business. If you are living in the U.S. and want to buy cheese from France, either you or the company that you buy the cheese from has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros. The same goes for traveling. A French tourist in Egypt can't pay in euros to see the pyramids because it's not the locally accepted currency. As such, the tourist has to exchange the euros for the local currency, in this case the Egyptian pound, at the current exchange rate.
The blender company could have reduced this risk by shorting the euro and buying the USD when they were at parity. That way, if the dollar rose in value, the profits from the trade would offset the reduced profit from the sale of blenders. If the USD fell in value, the more favorable exchange rate will increase the profit from the sale of blenders, which offsets the losses in the trade.
One pound on Monday can bring you 1.19 euros. On Tuesday 1.20 euros. This tiny change may not seem like a big deal. But think about it on a larger scale. A large international company may have to pay foreign employees. Imagine what this can do for a practical purpose, if, as in the example above, a simple exchange of one currency for another costs you more, depending on when you do it? These few kopecks add up quickly. In both cases, you, as a traveler or business owner, can keep your money until the forex course becomes more favorable.
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