The foreign exchange market assists international trade and investment by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from the European Union member states especially Euro zone members and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a form of exchange for the global decentralized trading of international currencies.
The Market Participants are discussed in brief below:
A commercial bank (or business bank) is a type of financial institution and intermediary. It is a bank that lends money and provides transactional, savings, and money market accounts and that accepts time deposit n order to facilitate international trade and development, commercial banks convert and trade foreign currencies. When a company is doing business in another country it may be paid in the currency of that country. While some of these revenues will be used to pay workers in that country and for administrative expense such as office rent, utilities and supplies, the company may need to purchase goods from a neighboring country in that country's currency, or convert cash to its native currency for return to the home office.
National central banks play an important role in the foreign exchange markets. They try to control the money supply, inflation, and/or interest rates and often have official or unofficial target rates for their currencies. They can use their often substantial foreign exchange reserves to stabilize the market.
Foreign exchange fixing
Foreign exchange fixing is the daily monetary exchange rate fixed by the national bank of each country. The idea is that central banks use the fixing time and exchange rate to evaluate behavior of their currency. Fixing exchange rates reflects the real value of equilibrium in the market. Banks, dealers and traders use fixing rates as a trend indicator.
Hedge funds as speculators
About 70% to 90% of the foreign exchange transactions are speculative. In other words, the person or institution that bought or sold the currency has no plan to actually take delivery of the currency in the end; rather, they were solely speculating on the movement of that particular currency. Hedge funds have gained a reputation for aggressive currency speculation since 1996. They control billions of dollars of equity and may borrow billions more, and thus may overwhelm intervention by central banks to support almost any currency, if the economic fundamentals are in the hedge funds' favor.
Investment management firms
Investment management is the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds and other securities) and assets (e.g., real estate) in order to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. These firms (who typically manage large accounts on behalf of customers such as pension funds and endowments) use the foreign exchange market to facilitate transactions in foreign securities
Retail foreign exchange traders
One of the most important tools required to perform a foreign exchange transaction is the trading platform providing retail traders and brokers with accurate currency quotes. Retail foreign exchange trading is a small segment of the large foreign exchange market.