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Navigate the complex world of currency management with our comprehensive dictionary of financial terms and definitions.

Exchange Rate

An exchange rate is the price of one country’s currency in terms of another currency, often known as the reference currency. For example, EUR-USD = 1.25 expresses the number of U.S. dollars that one euro will buy. In this example, EUR is the base currency. The same exchange rate, however, can be expressed as USD-EUR = 0.80, showing the number of euros that one dollar will buy. In this case, USD is the base currency. Exchange rates can be for spot or forward delivery. A spot rate is the price at which a currency is traded for delivery in 48 hours, while the forward rate is the price at which FX is quoted for delivery at a specified future date. Exchange rates are determined by the interplay of demand and supply forces in the foreign exchange market, an electronically linked network of banks and FX dealers whose function is to bring together buyers and sellers of foreign exchange.