The price of one country’s currency in terms of another

Sana12.09.2017
Hajmi456 b.


The price of one country’s currency in terms of another

  • The price of one country’s currency in terms of another

  • Most currency is quoted in terms of US dollars

  • Some currencies are quoted the other way around

  • Make sure that you know what the quote means!


Consider the following quote from Figure 21.1:

  • Consider the following quote from Figure 21.1:

    • Canadian Dollar (Canada $) 1.0279
    • The first number (1.0279) is how many Canadian dollars it takes to buy U$1
    • You can calculate a second number (0.9729), which is how many U.S. dollars it takes to buy C$1
    • Notice that the two numbers are reciprocals of each other (1/ 1.0279 = 0.9729)


Suppose you have U$10,000 . Based on the rates in Figure 21.1, how many Swiss francs can you buy?

  • Suppose you have U$10,000 . Based on the rates in Figure 21.1, how many Swiss francs can you buy?

    • Exchange rate = 0.9551 francs per U.S. dollar
    • Buy 10,000(0.9551) = 9,551 francs
  • Suppose you are visiting New Delhi and you want to buy a souvenir that costs 1,000 Indian Rupees. How much does it cost in U.S. dollars?

    • Exchange rate = 55.27 rupees per dollar
    • Cost = 1000 / 55.27 = U$18.09


We observe the following quotes

  • We observe the following quotes

    • 1.15 CAD per U$1
    • 115 Yen per U$1
    • 105 Yen per C$1
  • What is the cross rate?

    • (Y115 / U$1) / (C$1.15 / U$1) = Y100 per C$1
  • Since the implied cross rate is Y100 per C$1, and the observed cross rate is Y105 per C$1, there is an arbitrage opportunity



We have C$100 to invest; buy low, sell high

  • We have C$100 to invest; buy low, sell high

    • Buy C$100(Y105/C$1) = Y10,500, use Y to buy USD
    • Buy Y10,500 / (Y115/U$1) = U$91.3043, use USD to buy Canadian dollars
    • Buy U$91.3043 (C$1.15/U$1) = C$105
    • Make C$5 risk-free


Spot trade – exchange currency immediately

  • Spot trade – exchange currency immediately

    • Spot rate – the exchange rate for an immediate trade
  • Forward trade – agree today to exchange currency at some future date and some specified price (also called a forward contract)

    • Forward rate – the exchange rate specified in the forward contract


If the forward rate is higher than the spot rate, the foreign currency is selling at a premium (when quoted as $ equivalents i.e. U$/C$)

  • If the forward rate is higher than the spot rate, the foreign currency is selling at a premium (when quoted as $ equivalents i.e. U$/C$)

    • From Figure 21.1, the Canadian dollar is trading at 1.0279 spot against the US dollar and 1.0316 6-months forward
    • Since U$1 will buy more Canadian dollars in the future, the U.S. dollar is trading at a forward premium


If the forward rate is lower than the spot rate, the foreign currency is selling at a discount

  • If the forward rate is lower than the spot rate, the foreign currency is selling at a discount

    • From Figure 21.1, the U.S. dollar is trading at 0.9729 spot against the Canadian dollar and 0.9694 six-months forward
    • Since C$1 will buy less U.S. dollars in the future, the Canadian dollar is trading at a forward discount

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