# Exchange Rates: Application of Supply and Demand

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1 Exchange Rates: Application of Supply and Demand ECO 120: Global Macroeconomics Goals Goals ˆ Specific goals: Learn how interpret exchange rates. Learn how to use supply and demand to interpret exchange rates. Learn how countries can choose to control exchange rates. ˆ Learning objectives: LO3: Use the supply and demand model for currencies to predict changes in exchange rates. Relevant Reading ˆ Module 42 2 Exchange Rate Basics 2.1 Reporting and Interpreting Exchange Rates ˆ Nominal Exchange Rate: how much of one currency can be traded for one unit of another currency. ˆ Example: The Mexican Peso / U.S. Dollar exchange rate is pesos / dollar (Jan ). One U.S. dollar can be exchanged for pesos. 1

2 ˆ There are two ways to express every exchange rate. ˆ Same example: The Mexican Peso / U.S. Dollar exchange rate is dollars / peso (Jan ). One Mexican Peso can be exchange for dollars (or between 7-8 U.S. cents). Changes in the Exchange Rate ˆ Appreciation: A currency appreciates against a second currency when one unit of the first currency can purchase more of the second currency. ˆ Depreciation: A domestic currency depreciates against a second currency when one unit of the first currency can purchase less of the second currency. ˆ Examples of an appreciation of the dollar: Exchange rate increases from pesos/dollar to 15.4 pesos/dollar. Exchange rate decreases from dollars/peso to dollars/peso. 2.2 Recent History Mexico: Mexican Pesos per U.S. Dollars Pesos per Dollar

3 Australia: U.S. Dollars per Australian Dollar US Dollar per Australian Dollar Canada: Canadian Dollars per U.S. Dollar Canadian Dollar per U.S. Dollar China: Chinese Yuan per U.S. Dollar 3

4 Chinese Yuan per U.S. Dollar Europe: U.S. Dollar per Euro U.S. Dollars per Euro Japan: Japanese Yen per U.S. Dollars 4

5 Japanese Yen per U.S. Dollar Trade-Weighted Index Foreign Currency per U.S. Dollar ˆ ˆ Weighted Average of many currencies, based on level of trade. Includes: Euro Area, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, and Sweden. 5

6 3 Supply and Demand 3.1 Demand for Currency Demand for Currency ˆ Price of currency of interest (say U.S. Dollars): Exchange rate expressed as foreign currency per one unit of currency of interest. Example: price of dollars = Euros per U.S. dollar. An increase in this exchange rate means an appreciation of the dollar. ˆ Demand for currency is a derived demand. It depends on... foreign demand for the country s goods. foreign demand for the country s assets. Demand for Currency ˆ Law of demand for foreign exchange: as the value of the currency increases, the quantity of the currency demanded will fall. ˆ Exports effect: if the currency is more expensive, the country s goods are more expensive. Shifts in Demand ˆ When something besides the exchange rate influences the demand for a currency, then there is a shift in the demand. ˆ Determinants of demand for currency: Changes in demand for country s products. Changes in interest rate differential. Expectations of future exchange rate. 3.2 Supply of Currency Supply of Currency ˆ A currency is supplied when holders of the currency try to sell it. ˆ Supply of U.S. dollars happens when people in U.S. demand foreign currencies. ˆ Supply of a currency is nothing more than the holders demands for foreign currency. 6

7 3.3 Examples Example: Trade Restrictions on Chinese Imports Suppose there is an increase in trade restrictions on Chinese imports that results in fewer American imports of Chinese Products. Two related markets. Market for Dollars (Price=Yuan/\$) and Market for Yuan (Price=\$/Yuan) Decrease in Americans demand for Chinese Yuan Decrease in Supply of U.S. Dollars. Example: Decrease in U.S. Interest Rate Since the onset of the recession in the U.S. the interest rate has decreased more in the United States than in Europe. Two related markets. Market for Dollars (Price=Euros/\$) and Market for Euros (Price=\$/Euro) Decrease in Europeans demand for U.S. dollars Decrease in Supply of Euros. Increase in Americans demand for Euros Decrease in Supply of U.S. Dollars. 4 Monetary Policy 4.1 Central Banks Central Banks 7

8 ˆ Each country s central bank may also be interested in influencing the exchange rate. ˆ Central Bank: (Semi-) government institution that attempts to regulate the health of the macro-economy by influencing the country s money supply and banking rules. ˆ Federal Reserve (aka Fed): United States central bank. ˆ Central banks across the world hold reserves of their own currency, foreign currency, and foreign and domestic assets. 4.2 Exchange Rate Policy Central Bank Exchange Rate Policy ˆ The Fed can increase the supply of dollars by... printing more money. buying assets like Treasury Bills. buying foreign currency. buying foreign government bonds. ˆ What would be the effect on the U.S./Euro exchange rate if the government bought Treasury Bills? ˆ What would be the effect on the U.S./Euro exchange rate if the government sold Euros it owned? 8

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