Chapter 13 Exchange Rates and the Foreign Exchange Market: An Asset Approach November 2009
Preview • The basics of exchange rates • Exchange rates and the prices of goods • Foreign exchange markets • The demand for currency and other assets • A model of foreign exchange markets • role of interest rates on currency deposits • role of expectations about future exchange rates
Domestic and foreign currencies • Domestic currency refers to the US dollar • Foreign currency refers to the Euro, or at times to the Yen or the Yuan • The exchange rate is the price of the foreign currency • The exchange rate is the amount of the domestic currency that one unit of the foreign currency is worth • Its symbol is E • Example: if €1 is worth $1.54, then E = 1.54
Definitions of Exchange Rates • Exchange rates allow us to show the price of a good or service in any currency. • What is the price of a Honda Accord? • ¥3,000,000 • Or, ¥3,000,000 x $0.0098 = $29,400 • Because ¥1 is assumed to be worth $0.0098: E = 0.0098
Depreciation and Appreciation • Depreciation is a decrease in the (exchange) value of a currency (relative to another currency). • A depreciated currency is less valuable (less expensive) and therefore can be exchanged for (can buy) a smaller amount of foreign currency. • Appreciation is an increase in the (exchange) value of a currency (relative to another currency). • An appreciated currency is more valuable (more expensive) and therefore can be exchanged for (can buy) a larger amount of foreign currency.
Depreciation and Appreciation • Example: €1 used to be worth $1. Now €1 is worth $1.46. • The euro is now more valuable. It has appreciated. • So, the dollar is less valuable. It has depreciated. • Note that E has increased from 1.00 to 1.46 • Note that E is the value of the euro in dollars. • E↑ means appreciation of the euro (and depreciation of the dollar) • E↓ means depreciation of the euro (and appreciation of the dollar)
Depreciation and Appreciation (cont.) • Example: Suppose the foreign currency is the yen. Suppose E increases from 0.0098 to 0.0100. • A Honda Accord costs ¥3,000,000. What is it in dollars? • 3,000,000 0.0098 = $29,400 • 3,000,000 0.0100 = $30,000 • A depreciated currency is less valuable, and therefore it can buy fewer foreign-made goods. • When our currency depreciates: • imports are more expensive for us, and conversely • domestically produced goods are less expensive for foreigners. • A depreciated currency lowers the price of exports relative to the price of imports.
Depreciation and Appreciation (cont.) • Suppose E decreases from 0.0098 to 0.0090. • How much does a Honda cost? ¥3,000,000 • 3,000,000 x 0.0098 = $29,400 • 3,000,000 x 0.0090 = $27,000 • An appreciated currency is more valuable, and therefore it can buy more foreign-made goods. • An appreciated currency means that imports are less expensive and domestically produced goods and exports are more expensive. • An appreciated currency raises the price of exports relative to the price of imports.
How are exchange rates determined? • The exchange rate (E) is a price • It may be the price of one currency in units of another, but it is a price nevertheless • And people buy and sell currencies just like they trade goods and services • So, the familiar theory of supply and demand can be used to explain what determines the exchange rate and what makes the exchange rate fluctuate
The Foreign Exchange Market The main participants: • Commercial banks and other depository institutions: their transactions involve buying/selling of bank deposits in different currencies for their clients. • Non bank financial institutions (pension funds, insurance funds) may buy/sell foreign assets. • Private firms: they conduct foreign currency transactions to buy/sell goods, assets or services. • Central banks: conduct official international reserves transactions. • Private individuals, such as tourists
In which country should you keep your savings? • This chapter focuses on currency trades that are motivated by our constant search for a good return on our savings • If you think that your savings would grow fastest in a Canadian bank, you will need to • Turn your US dollars into Canadian dollars • Deposit your Canadian dollars in a Canadian bank • Such trades represent supply and demand in currency markets
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • The rate of return on a bank deposit denominated in the domestic currency is simply the domestic interest rate on bank deposits, R. • The rate of return on a bank deposit denominated in the foreign currency is • the foreign interest rate on bank deposits, R*, plus • the expected rate of appreciation of the foreign currency (relative to the domestic currency).
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • Suppose the interest rate on a dollar deposit is 2%. • R = 0.02 • Suppose the interest rate on a euro deposit is 4%. • R* = 0.04 • Does a euro denominated deposit yield a higher expected rate of return? • Should you expect your savings to grow faster if you exchange your US dollars for Euros and deposit them in a European bank? • Not necessarily! • The higher interest rate is not the decisive factor
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • Suppose today $1 = €1: that is, E = 1. • Suppose the exchange rate expected one year in the future is $0.97 = €1: that is, Ee = 0.97. • This means that the euro is expected to depreciate by 3%: (0.97 – 1.00)/1.00 = – 0.03. • In general, the expected rate of increase in E is:
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • Again, suppose today’s exchange rate is $1 for €1: that is, E = 1. • Suppose the rate expected one year in the future is $0.97 for €1: that is, Ee = 0.97. • $100 can be exchanged today for €100. • These €100 will yield €104 after one year, as the interest rate on euro deposits is 4% (R* = 0.04). • These €104, when received a year in the future, are expected to be worth 0.97 104 = $100.88.
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • So, $100 becomes $100.88 after one year if you keep the money in a European bank (that is, in Euro denominated assets) • The rate of return in terms of dollars from investing in euro deposits is ($100.88 – $100)/$100 = 0.0088. • 0.04 + -0.03 = 0.01 ≈ 0.0088 • Note that the rate of return on a euro deposit is approximately equal to: • the interest rate on euro deposits [R*], plus • the expected appreciation of the euro [(Ee – E)/E]
The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • Therefore, the dollar rate of return on Euro denominated deposits approximately equals • the interest rate on euro deposits, R* • plus the expected rate of appreciation on euro deposits (Ee – E)/E. This is:
Let’s compare domestic and foreign rates of return! • We have already calculated that your money will grow at the annual rate of 0.01 if you keep it in a euro bank account (or, in euro-denominated assets) • Let’s compare this rate of return with the rate of return from a domestic bank deposit, R. • This rate of return is simply the US interest rate: 0.02 • The euro deposit has a lower expected rate of return: all investors will prefer dollar deposits and none will hold euro deposits. • So, even though the foreign interest rate is higher, your savings can be expected to grow faster in the US!
The Market for Foreign Exchange • The foreign exchange market is in equilibrium when deposits in all currencies offer the same expected rate of return. • This condition is called interest parity
The Market for Foreign Exchange (cont.) • Suppose interest parity did not hold. • Suppose R > R* + (Ee – E)/E. • Then no investor would want to hold Euro deposits • This would drive down the demand for and the price of Euros (E↓). • All investors would want to hold dollar deposits, driving up the demand for and the price of dollars (E↓). • This will increase the right side until equality is achieved.
current exchange rate expected exchange rate interest rate on euro deposits expected rate of return = interest rate on dollar deposits expected rate of appreciation of the euro expected rate of return on euro deposits The Demand for Foreign Currency Assets • R = R* + (Ee – E)/E
The Market for Foreign Exchange (cont.) • How do changes in the current exchange rate affect expected returns in foreign currency deposits? • If E↓, or Ee↑, or R*↑, then the rate of return on euro bank deposits ↑. • Therefore, for equilibrium to be maintained, R↑.
The Market for Foreign Exchange (cont.) What can the market for foreign exchange tell us about exchange rates? If R↓, or Ee↑, or R*↑, then E↑.
R (–) E (+) R* (+) Ee Value of the Euro (E) • Therefore, E must ↓ if: • R↑ • R*↓ • Ee↓