Foreign Exchange and its Various Types Explained

The foreign exchange (forex) market is an international marketplace where different currencies are traded and exchanged. As an over-the-counter market, the exchange rates are often decided by the market.

This market deals with the exchanging, buying, and selling of multiple currencies, according to the market rate.

Today, the foreign exchange market is the largest trading market in the world. However, these markets also have different types.

Discover the types of foreign exchange that investors and traders deal in.

5 Types of Foreign Exchange Markets

The foreign exchange market is divided into five. They are listed and explained below.

  • Forward Markets

This market involves two parties who come together to trade at a date in the future. Here, the quantity and price are agreed upon. The parties may comprise two people, companies, or governmental agencies.

In a forward contract, there is no need for a security deposit because there is no exchange if cash deals are being signed.

This type of foreign exchange is useful for speculation as well as hedging. The hedging application of this type of contract, on a classic level, looks like a forward deal with a corn farmer. His harvest will be sold at a particular fixed price – this helps in preventing all forms of price risk.

  • Option Markets

This kind of contract often offers the buyer the right to the options, however, the obligation to buy or sell at a future fixed date/time and price is withheld.

For a call option, there is a right to buy. A put option on the other side gives you the right to sell.

  • Spot Markets

The spot market is the fastest when it comes to transactions. It includes the trade of currencies in the foreign exchange market. The market gives quick payment to the market players (the buyers and the sellers) according to the current conversion rate.

Today, the spot market represents close to thirty-three percent of all currency exchange. Here, trades often require a couple of days for transactions to be cleared.

Essentially, the transactions relate to trading cash-in of traveler’s cheque, currency notes, as well as transfers via banking systems.

  • Future Markets

The market offers multiple solutions to various issues relating to the future market. The market functions similarly to the forward market – they both work with the same basic philosophy.

Most often, contracts are standardized and trading takes place on the stock exchange market. There is no counterparty risk implied because trades have a clearing organization – which becomes the counterparty to the two sides of every exchange and guarantees every trade.

Swap Markets

The swap market deals in trades that involve synchronous lending and borrowing of two kinds of currencies forms between two financial investors.

In this market, an investor borrows a particular currency and thusly, pays as a second currency to the other investor. The exchange is done to take care of their obligations without dealing with any form of foreign exchange risk.


There are several opportunities to be explored by investors from each type of foreign exchange. The spot market is more appealing to multiple levels of investors across the globe. Finally, the best exchange rate can be viewed on a certified comparison currency website.

Related Articles

Back to top button