Definition of 'Exchange Rate'
The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. An exchange rate thus has two components, the domestic currency and a foreign currency, and can be quoted either directly or indirectly. In a direct quotation, the price of a unit of foreign currency is expressed in terms of the domestic currency. In an indirect quotation, the price of a unit of domestic currency is expressed in terms of the foreign currency. An exchange rate that does not have the domestic currency as one of the two currency components is known as a cross currency, or cross rate.
Also known as a currency quotation, the foreign exchange rate or forex rate.
Investopedia explains 'Exchange Rate'
An exchange rate has a base currency and a counter currency. In a direct quotation, the foreign currency is the base currency and the domestic currency is the counter currency. In an indirect quotation, the domestic currency is the base currency and the foreign currency is the counter currency.
Most exchange rates use the US dollar as the base currency and other currencies as the counter currency. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as the euro and Commonwealth currencies like the British pound, Australian dollar and New Zealand dollar.
Exchange rates for most major currencies are generally expressed to four places after the decimal, except for currency quotations involving the Japanese yen, which are quoted to two places after the decimal.
Let’s consider some examples of exchange rates to enhance understanding of these concepts.
Exchange rates can also be categorized as the spot rate – which is the current rate – or a forward rate, which is the spot rate adjusted for interest rate differentials.