Currency Option

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DEFINITION of 'Currency Option'

A contract that grants the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell currency at a specified exchange rate during a specified period of time. For this right, a premium is paid to the broker, which will vary depending on the number of contracts purchased. Currency options are one of the best ways for corporations or individuals to hedge against adverse movements in exchange rates.

BREAKING DOWN 'Currency Option'

Investors can hedge against foreign currency risk by purchasing a currency option put or call. For example, assume that an investor believes that the USD/EUR rate is going to increase from 0.80 to 0.90 (meaning that it will become more expensive for a European investor to buy U.S dollars). In this case, the investor would want to buy a call option on USD/EUR so that he or she could stand to gain from an increase in the exchange rate (or the USD rise).

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the 12b-1 fee meant to cover?

    A 12b-1 fee in a mutual fund is meant to cover the fees of companies and individuals through which investors of a fund buy ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can an investor profit from a fall in the utilities sector?

    The utilities sector exhibits a high degree of stability compared to the broader market. This makes it best-suited for buy-and-hold ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between derivatives and options?

    Options are one category of derivatives. Other types of derivatives include futures contracts, swaps and forward contracts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How are rights distributed in a rights offering?

    In a rights offering, rights are distributed to shareholders based on the number of shares they already own. What Is a Rights ... Read Full Answer >>

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