Foreign Exchange

DEFINITION of 'Foreign Exchange'

The exchange of one currency for another, or the conversion of one currency into another currency. Foreign exchange also refers to the global market where currencies are traded virtually around-the-clock. The term foreign exchange is usually abbreviated as "forex" and occasionally as "FX."

BREAKING DOWN 'Foreign Exchange'

Foreign exchange transactions encompass everything from the conversion of currencies by a traveler at an airport kiosk to billion-dollar payments made by corporate giants and governments for goods and services purchased overseas. Increasing globalization has led to a massive increase in the number of foreign exchange transactions in recent decades. The global foreign exchange market is by far the largest financial market, with average daily volumes in the trillions of dollars.

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