Managing currency risk

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Sep 2015

Spring and summer 2015 has been a currency trader's dream, but for some it has been a roller-coaster nightmare


Ask a room full of market traders what they like most of all and you'll probably hear the response: volatility. Traders make (and sometimes lose) money on price moves. Their aim is to buy low and sell high. The sooner this happens the better. If prices stagnate there is no money to be made.

But for those with a long term, structural foreign exchange rate risk, such as those with income in one currency and costs in another, volatility is generally an unwelcome guest. And when that particular guest appears right out of the blue, the impact can be worse still. This was the situation felt by many in mainland China, borrowing in USD and accustomed to a steady, or appreciating, domestic currency. Until now.