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Learning About Forward and Futures Contracts

BY: john franke | Category: Finance | Submitted: 2013-12-09 07:02:51
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Article Summary: "One will notice that most multinational corporations are investing in the forex. These agreements state that companies can buy or sell a given amount of foreign currency at a specified exchange rate at some future date..."

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For some time multinational corporations have hedged foreign exchange risks with forward or futures contracts. These contracts are agreements to buy or sell a given amount of foreign currency at a specified exchange rate at some future date. The contract will grant one the right to pay the when the contract has fully matured. Not knowing how the market will move or change there is a big fear of incurring losses. Conversely the losses on option are lesser then the premium paid.

A contract that allows the holder to purchase or sell a designated quantity of foreign currency at a specified price or exchange rate up to a specified date is a foreign exchange option. The purchaser has the right to buy the currency by exercising the option with the call option. An option is still useful to you when the expiration or maturity date has not passed yet. The price or exchange rate at which the specified foreign currency can be bought or sold is called the strike price or exercise price.

If you hold an American option, you are able to use it even up to its expiry date. What a European option is is that it can only be exercised only at the expiration date. The rights to buy and sell currency are granted by an option seller to the option buyer. Traders should make sure that they are aware that the right to buy foreign currency or call option is also the right to sell domestic currency or put option.

There is an option price for a call option that buyers need to pay Remember that sellers must fulfill the obligations specified in the contract at the request of the buyer when they are being paid. In a call option when the expiry date comes, the value of a call option is determined by the spot exchange rate and the exercise price.

When the sterling spot prices are above the exercise price, the option is said to be in the money. Holders are able to realize money in the market by exercising it at the expiration and thereby purchasing the sterling at a cheaper price as agreed upon in the option contract instead of in the spot market at a more expensive exchange rate. Keep in mind traders refer to the option as at the money when the spot and exercise price is the same.

There will always be profit once you are Buying at the exercise price and selling at a higher spot price. No profit but a breakeven is gained when the spot price exceeds the exercise price only by an amount equal to the premium paid.

Opposite payoffs are always realized by the option seller and buyer. The maximum profit the seller can make is the premium received and any gain to the holder is a loss to the seller. Each time the option is not used and matures the seller profits by the full amount of the premium. The same profile will be used for other options like buying and selling a put.

Each buyer has the right to sell a currency at a fixed price on some future date without the obligation to sell, the buyer can have the chance to make unlimited profits should the underlying currency strengthen and limit loss in the buying a put option. Each time the pound sterling has appreciated sufficiently enough to compensate for the initial premium paid out then there is a break even. The option to write a put means that the option writer earns the premium, but accepts substantial risk should the pound sterling depreciates.

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