Currency Arbitrage

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DEFINITION of 'Currency Arbitrage'

A forex strategy in which a currency trader takes advantage of different spreads offered by brokers for a particular currency pair by making trades. Different spreads for a currency pair imply disparities between the bid and ask prices. Currency arbitrage involves buying and selling currency pairs from different brokers to take advantage of this disparity.


For example, two different banks (Bank A and Bank B) offer quotes for the US/EUR currency pair. Bank A sets the rate at 3/2 dollars per euro, and Bank B sets its rate at 4/3 dollars per euro. In currency arbitrage, the trader would take one euro, convert that into dollars with Bank A and then back into euros with Bank B. The end result is that the trader who started with one euro now has 9/8 euro. The trader has made a 1/8 euro profit if trading fees are not taken into account.

BREAKING DOWN 'Currency Arbitrage'

Currency arbitrage involves the exploitation of the differences in quotes rather than movements in the exchange rates of the currencies in the currency pair. Forex traders typically practice two-currency arbitrage, in which the differences between the spreads of two currencies are exploited. Traders can also practice three-currency arbitrage, also known as triangular arbitrage, which is a more complex strategy. Due to the use of computers and high-speed trading systems, large traders often catch differences in currency pair quotes and close the gap quickly.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. Is there a difference between financial spread betting and arbitrage?

    Financial spread betting is a type of speculation that involves a highly leveraged derivative product, whereas arbitrage ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the goals of covered interest arbitrage?

    The goals of covered interest arbitrage include enabling investors to trade volatile currency pairs without risk as well ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does arbitrage affect the price of exchange traded funds (ETFs)?

    Arbitrage may be used to bring the market value of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) back into line with the net asset value ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I Implement a Forex Strategy when spotting a Sanku (Three Gaps) Pattern?

    A forex trading strategy can easily be implemented to profit from a market reversal signal that comes from the sanku, or ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What's a good forex strategy to use when spotting a Wedge-shaped Pattern?

    Use wedge-shaped patterns to identify bullish or bearish price action when trading currencies in the foreign exchange (forex) ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I use Time Segmented Volume (TSV) for creating a forex trading strategy?

    You could use time segmented volume (TSV) to build a forex trading strategy, which allows you to compare volume data to determine ... Read Full Answer >>

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