Definition Definition

What Is Foreign Currency Exchange Rate? Causes of Exchange Rate Fluctuation and Examples

What Is Foreign Currency Exchange Rate?

The value of one country's currency in relation to another currency is referred to as the foreign currency exchange rate. This rate defines how much of one currency is required to buy one unit of another. It varies regularly due to various factors, such as economic growth, inflation, and central bank policy.

Understanding the Term “Exchange Rate”

A foreign currency exchange rate or simply exchange rate, is the price of one country's currency in units of another currency or commodity (typically gold or silver). 

Individuals and corporations traveling, trading, or investing worldwide must be aware of exchange rates. If you are an American traveling to Europe, the exchange rate between the US dollar and the euro will decide how much money you will receive in exchange for your dollars. 

If the exchange rate is advantageous, you will receive more euros for your dollars; otherwise, you will receive fewer euros. 

If the government of a country— for example, Argentina— regulates the rate at which its currency— the peso— is exchanged for other currencies, the system or regime is classified as a fixed or managed exchange rate regime. 

The rate at which the currency is fixed, or pegged, is frequently referred to as its par value. If the government does not interfere in the valuation of its currency in any way, it is classified the currency as floating or flexible.

The Causes of Exchange Rate Fluctuation

The economic growth of a country can have a substantial impact on its exchange rate. If it grows faster than other countries, its currency becomes more valuable, and its exchange rate rises. If its slower than other countries, its currency loses value, and its exchange rate falls.

Exchange rates are also affected by inflation. When a country has excessive inflation, its currency loses value, and its exchange rate falls. This is because outrageous inflation diminishes the currency's purchasing power and increases the cost of imports.

Central bank actions also influence exchange rate swings. Central banks can affect exchange rates by adjusting interest rates or buying and selling their country's currency in the foreign exchange market. When a central bank boosts interest rates, it attracts more investment, which increases demand for the currency and causes the exchange rate to rise.

The Importance of Exchange Rate

The exchange rate is critical in international trade, investment, and travel.

  • International Trade Facilitation

 Exchange rates affect the cost of imports and exports, which involves a country's business's global competitiveness. A favorable exchange rate can reduce the cost of a country's exports, while an unfavorable exchange rate might increase the cost of imports.

  • Having an Impact on Investment Decisions

 Foreign investment returns are affected by exchange rates, making them more or less appealing to investors. A strong currency can boost returns on foreign investments, whereas a weak currency can reduce them.

  • Impacting Tourism

 The cost of travel and tourism is affected by exchange rates. A favorable exchange rate can make a country more inexpensive, but an unfavorable exchange rate might increase the cost of visiting.

  • Influence on Inflation and Interest Rates

 Exchange rates can influence inflation and interest rates, affecting the value of a currency. For example, if a country experiences significant inflation, its central bank may raise interest rates to combat it, causing its currency's value to rise.

  • Developing International Competence

 Exchange rates substantially impact a country's corporate competitiveness in the global market. A favorable exchange rate can boost a country's business competitiveness, while an unfavorable exchange rate might reduce it.


  • The recent increase of the Chinese yuan against the US dollar is an example of exchange rate fluctuation. This was due to the Chinese government's efforts to stimulate the Chinese economy and attract international investment.
  • Another example is the Turkish lira collapsing against the US dollar in 2018. This was because of Turkey's high inflation and political uncertainties.

In Sentences

  • Exchange rates can substantially impact the financial status of an individual or a business.
  • The foreign currency exchange rate determines the value of one currency concerning another.
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