The following are some of the most common types of foreign currency hedging vehicles used in today’s markets as a foreign currency hedge. While retail forex traders typically use foreign currency options as a hedging vehicle. Banks and commercials are more likely to use options, swaps, swaptions and other more complex derivatives to meet their specific hedging needs.
Spot Contracts – A foreign currency contract to buy or sell at the current foreign currency rate, requiring settlement within two days.
As a foreign currency hedging vehicle, due to the short-term settlement date, spot contracts are not appropriate for many foreign currency hedging and trading strategies. Foreign currency spot contracts are more commonly used in combination with other types of foreign currency hedging vehicles when implementing a foreign currency hedging strategy.
For retail investors, in particular, the spot contract and its associated risk are often the underlying reason that a foreign currency hedge must be placed. The spot contract is more often a part of the reason to hedge foreign currency risk exposure rather than the foreign currency hedging solution.
Forward Contracts – A foreign currency contract to buy or sell a foreign currency at a fixed rate for delivery on a specified future date or period.
Why Hedge Foreign Currency Risk?
International commerce has rapidly increased as the internet has provided a new and more transparent marketplace for individuals and entities alike to conduct international business and trading activities. Significant changes in the international economic and political landscape have led to uncertainty regarding the direction of foreign exchange rates. This uncertainty leads to volatility and the need for an effective vehicle to hedge foreign exchange rate risk and/or interest rate changes while, at the same time, effectively ensuring a future financial position.
Each entity and/or individual that has exposure to foreign exchange rate risk will have specific foreign exchange hedging needs and this website can not possibly cover every existing foreign exchange hedging situation. Therefore, we will cover the more common reasons that a foreign exchange hedge is placed and show you how to properly hedge foreign exchange rate risk.
Foreign Exchange Rate Risk Exposure – Foreign exchange rate risk exposure is common to virtually all who conduct international business and/or trading. Buying and/or selling of goods or services denominated in foreign currencies can immediately expose you to foreign exchange rate risk. If a firm price is quoted ahead of time for a contract using a foreign exchange rate that is deemed appropriate at the time the quote is given, the foreign exchange rate quote may not necessarily be appropriate at the time of the actual agreement or performance of the contract. Placing a foreign exchange hedge can help to manage this foreign exchange rate risk.