Speculative Trading Profits in the Foreign Exchange Market Finance Essay


Speculation in financial terms means an initial investment on which does not have any safety or there is significant risk of loss on investment. The term speculation is defined by Graham and Dodd’s which means buying share, equity, assets or debts without analysis which involves a significant risk. Others financial said purchase, holding, short-selling of financial instrument, derivatives, collectibles, stocks, commodities (oil and gold) , bonds to gains profits when fluctuations in its price. Where as “investment” is a careful analysis of market and invests in order to obtain profits in long run as is a part of the holding company. The UBS, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup are the top foreign exchange dealers who reportedly earn per year from foreign exchange trading is over $1 billion. The profits of foreign exchange dealers are not necessarily due to speculative excess because most of trading in foreign exchange market is trading between banks. If one bank earns $1 billion then other bank lose $1 billion in foreign exchange trading. Interbank is zero sum game. The foreign exchange dealers are the market makers who trade with each other in order to adjust their range of price in response to buy and sell transactions from the corporate world and earn profits by providing liquidity in a market. Lets us carefully analysis about there earning is it through speculating trading or not by taking example of Citigroup. “Suppose that 20% of all trading is between banks and their customers. In 2004 Citibank’s total market share was 7.50%. Hence if total volume in the foreign exchange market is $1.9 trillion, the volume of transactions per day handled by Citibank is .0750 X $1.9 trillion = $142.5 billion However 80% of these transactions involve other foreign exchange dealers and we assume that overall Citibank does not earn money on these deals. However, it does earn the bid-ask spread from dealing with corporate customer and other customers, which represents 20% of their market or .20 X $142,5 billion = $ 28.50 billion. if a typical bid-ask spread is 0.30% the profit potential from pure market making is $28.5 billion/day X A½ X 0.30/100 X 250 trading days = $ 1069 billion / year” ( International Financial Management , pp 55). They are number of reasons that Citigroup’s earn from liquidity service which it provide in foreign exchange market. Firstly we look the interbank spread for the major currencies in the spot market and we know that spreads with retail customer is higher than in the interbank market. Second Citigroup have a large market share in less liquid minor currency market for which the spread is much higher. Finally Forward contracts and other derivative contracts involve in foreign exchange trading but spreads are one of the larger part. After analyzing carefully its clear that bulk of Citigroup profits come from market making function not from speculative. It also conformed in study conducted by Amer and Brunner about foreign exchange dealer among United States commercial banks, that speculative trading was average source not major source of profit in foreign exchange trading.

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Speculation is an initial investment for purchase or sell of share, bonds etc based on the information that does not have safety for the investment. Speculative trading in the foreign exchange market is the major source of profit for the dealers but average source of profits. The most of the profits for dealers in foreign exchange trading is market making activities vs. speculation.

2) Is the U.S Current Account Deficit Excessive?


Current account deficit occurs when a nation’s total exports such as goods, services and transfers is less than nation’s total imports such as goods, services and transfers. This makes a nation a debtor to the rest of world. However current account deficit is balanced by the capital account surplus. If the capital account does not able to balance the current account then current account deficit leads to balance of payment deficit. A current account deficit is not a problem for certain countries. In order to increase the productivity and export in future some developing countries may run current account deficit for short period of time. To understand the current account by understanding the private saving, private investment and government budget surplus and deficits. To know current account deficit is good or bad is by checking the source of the deficit that is investment and savings. The United States current deficit expand in forth quarter which reflect an improving economy, but fell at the lowest point in eight years because of imbalance happen in 2009. The deficit will increase in 2010, says economist but not that much what we have seen in before recession. For the year, current account deficit pushed by 40.5 percent i.e. $419.9 billion which is the smallest imbalance since 2001. Last year’s deficit was 2.9 percent of United States total economy which was the smallest percentage in 11 years. The economists closely watch the figures of current account which not only includes trade in goods and services but also investment flows between countries which are tracked by the government on a monthly basis. These figures indicate how much money a country needs to finance its balance of payment imbalance. Economist predict that weaker dollar will boost United States exports because it make United States goods more competitive in foreign market and imports goods more expensive for United States consumers. United States export rose to 8.8 percent for the fourth quarter because of improving global economy which boosted the demand for United States Autos, Industrial supplies and farm product in foreign market as well as demand for imports also increased because of rebound in United States economy. Imports rose to 9.2 in forth quarter which led big gain in petroleum, capital goods, autos and consumer goods. The amount of $36.5 billion profit gain in service trade such as transportation, financial and other service was used to offset some of the deficit in goods of $145.5 billion in the 4th quarter. The United States of America had a deficit of $31.8 billion in a sector called as unilateral transfers, this transfer includes things like foreign aid, and on the other hand United States had a $25.1 billion profit on investment flows. The Chinese save very much and Japan saving is also high from past 20 year where as American do not save very much because of this the government of United States run big government deficit where as Japan and China run a large current account surplus. The situation will reverse as soon as the investment demand picks up in these counties and these countries starts investing or buying U.S assets.


In other words an imbalance in nation’s current account due to payment made by the country for buying the imports is greater than payment received by the country for selling the exports. However current account deficit is balanced by the capital account surplus. However current account is not good or bad because when a country has a current account deficit it borrows from foreigners. If foreign funds profitably invested then these investments will increase the domestic growth and generate greater returns which help to pay off the foreign debts.

3rd Question

Answer as fallows.

Dollar dominated pure discount bond is 4.5% Per Annam ($) In France, the Euro rate is 7.5% Per Annam (A¢”šA¬) The current spot rate = $1.08/A¢”šA¬ (S) Forward exchange rate=? Formula to find the forward exchange rate F (n) = S Aƒ- [1+i (n, $)] n [1+i (n, A¢”šA¬)] n = $1.08/A¢”šA¬ Aƒ- (1.045) 5 = $ 0.9375/A¢”šA¬ (1.075) 5 So the forward exchange rate for five year is $ 0.9375/A¢”šA¬ Now, let’s use a different method to fine the result. Let assume, invest $10,000,000 in 5 year dollar dominated pure discount. So, at the end of 5 year, the investment will grow to $ 10,000,000 Aƒ- (1.045)5 = $12461819.38 At the current spot exchange rate, the Euro cost of $ 10,000,000 is = $ 10,000,000/ $1.08/A¢”šA¬

= A¢”šA¬ 9259259.26

If invest A¢”šA¬ 9259259.26 in one year dollar dominated discount bond, at the end of the year will have =A¢”šA¬ 9259259.26 Aƒ- (1.075)5

= 13292864.13

Now, F(5) = $ 12461819.38/A¢”šA¬ 13292864.13

= $ 0.9375/A¢”šA¬

Question 4


180-day Swiss franc deposit: 8.0% P.A. 180-day euro deposits: 10.0% P.A. Spot exchange rate: EUR 1.1960/CHF. 180-day forward exchange rate: EUR 1.2024/CHF. If Carla Heinz invested in euro denominate @ 10% Per Annum. she will have after six months of investment. EUR invest = (euro 10,000,000 X .01) 180 / 360 + Euro 10,000,000 EUR invest = 500,000+10,000,000 = Euro 10,500,000 Next, let’s calculate the euro return if Carla Heinz invests her Euro 10,000,000 in Swiss francs denominated assets. This analysis requires three steps: Step 1. Convert the euro principal into Swiss francs in the spot foreign exchange market. The Euro 10,000,000 will buy at the current spot exchange rate this is Carla Heinz principal. Euro 10,000,000 = CHF 8361204 Euro 1.1960 Step 2. Calculate Swiss francs denominated interest plus principal. Carla can invest her Swiss francs principal at @ 8% for one year. Hence, Carla Heinz know that in a six month she will have a return of Swiss francs principal plus interest equal to (CHF 8,361,204 X 0.08) A½ + CHF 8,361,204 = CHF 8,695,652.26 Step 3. In this case Carla Heinz would contract to sell CHF 8,695,652.26 for Euro at the six month forward rate of Euro 1.2024/CHF. In a six month she would receive. CHF 8,695,652.26 X (Euro 1.2024/CHF)

= Euro 10455652

= Euro 10,455,652 < Euro 10,500,000

Note: After analyzing the investment of Carla in Euro and Swiss francs its seems that investing in Euro denominated is better compare to Swiss francs and she even don’t have a risk of forward exchange rate. But know Carla has an option to barrow money from Swiss and invested in Euro denominated. III) On other hand if Carle Heinz can borrow money CHF 10,000,000 and invested in Euro dominated assists what she will get. For half year she will owe (CHF 10,000,000 X 0.08) A½ CHF 10,000,000

=CHF 1,040,000

IV) So if Carle Heinz invests in Swiss franc denominate assists then Step 1. Convert from CHF to Euro. CHF 10,000,000 X (Euro 1.1960/CHF)

= Euro 11,960,000

Step 2. Calculate Euro interest rate (Euro 11,960,00 X 0.1) A½ + Euro 1,196,000

= Euro 1,255,800

Step 3. Cove the foreign exchange risk by engaging forward contract to sell. Euro 1, 255,800 Euro 1.2024/CHF

= CHF 1,044,411

= CHF 1,044,411 – CHF 1,040,000 = CHF 4411.

Note: After analyzing the investment of Carla in Euro by browning Swiss francs it seems that investing in Euro denominated is good even after covering forward exchange risk. Ms Carla Heinz will receive CFH 411 in a six month for every CHF 10,000,000.

Question 5


Spot exchange rate: CHF 1.4706/$. 180-day forward exchange rate: CHF 1.4295/$. 180-day dollar interest rate: 7.0 % P.A. 180-day Swiss francs interest rate: ? The formula to find forward premium the Swiss francs inertest rate is F – S S 1_____ – 1_____ F – S = CHF 1.4295/$ CHF 1.4706/$ = 2.88 % S 1_____ CHF 1.4295/$ Note that the interest rate differential (dollar – Swiss francs) is 7.0% – 2.88% = 4.12%, which is approximately equal to the forward premium. The Swiss francs forward interest rate i.e. 4.12% which prevent arbitrage.

Question 6


Probability of Argentina will nationalize its banks is = 0.5% ( p ) The interest rate in United States =5 % ( i ) What Argentine banks offer inter rate? p = 0.05, i = 0.005. Formula to find out expected return to the depositing bank is [(1-p) x (1+i)] + (px0) = (1-p) x 91+i) (1-P) Aƒ- (1-i) = 5% = (1-0.005) Aƒ- (1-i) = 0.05 (1+i) = 0.05 = 0.0503 x 100 to convert in to percentage = 5.03% 0.995 Note: the Argentine banks have to offer 5.03% interest in order to attract deposits from foreign investors.

Question 7

Intel is a US company, and it is scheduled to receive yen in the future. A weakening of the yen versus the dollar causes a given amount of yen to convert to fewer dollars in the future. This loss of value could be severe if the yen depreciates by a significant amount. If Intel chooses not to hedge its transaction exchange risk, what is Intel’s expected dollar value of the 100,000,000 the expected spot rate incorporates a 1% weakening of the dollar. This means that the expected yen price of the dollar is 1% less than the current spot rate of 103/$ OR Et(S (t+90,/$) ) = 0.99103/$ = 101.97/$ Hence, Intel expects to receive 100,000,000/101.97/$ = $980,681 We are told that the standard deviation of the rate of depreciation of the dollar is 4%. The standard deviation of the future spot rate is therefore 4% of the current spot rate of 1.04103/$=4.12/$. Thus, plus or minus 2 standard deviations around the conditional expected future spot rate is 101.97/$ + 8.24/$ = 110.21/$ 101.97/$ – 8.24/$ = 93.73/$ the range that encompasses 95.45% of https://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EH4M901.htm

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Speculative Trading Profits In The Foreign Exchange Market Finance Essay. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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