Basics of currency transaction

Quick guide on basics of Currency Transactions

by Shruti Agarwal on Basic Finance, Currency Market & Forex Basics

Currency pair consists of two currencies. In case of a currencies transactions, one will always be sold while the other will be bought and vice versa.

For example, Mr. A wants to convert X amount of INR (Indian rupees) into USD. For this he will need to do the following:

 currency buy sell

On the other hand, if Mr. A wants to convert USD into INR, he will sell USD and buy INR.

Base & Term

Currency Transaction

The above pair denotes the number of units of home currency per unit of foreign currency.  For example if the quote is 1 $ = Rs. 67/-, this means that to buy a $, you need Rs. 67. This signifies a DIRECT QUOTE in India.


Based on the above example, always keep in this mind, that in case of a direct quote, a foreign currency is always listed as the base currency and the domestic/ home currency is the term currency.


An indirect quote is just the opposite of the direct quote. In this case, home currency is always listed as the base currency and the foreign currency is the term currency.

 For example, the indirect quote will be INR 1 = USD 0.01503. Hence, it is the value of $ in terms of the Indian rupee.

Note: Direct quote is more common than the indirect quote.


You will always find the quotes coming with two quotes for buy/BID as well sell/ ASK.

Currency quote

In the above figure, you will see that the USD INR rate is 67.5000/67.5025. This means the following:

The market participant bids Rs. 67.5000 to buy USD and ask Rs. 67.5025 for selling USD.

The difference between the BID-ASK rate (67.5025 – 67. 5000 = 0.0025) is called the “Bid-Ask Spread.”

Note: The narrower the bid-ask spread the better is the price quotation as it ensures more liquidity in the market. In case you are getting a wider spread quotation, then either the currencies is not well traded or demand & supply is not very good.

Price Quotation Norms

The prices can be quoted either up to 2 decimal points or 4 decimal points.

For example: In the figure below, you will find that the maximum prices are quoted up to 4 decimal points.

Currency Option Chain



Whenever the currency is traded whether in the Over the Counter (OTC) market or Exchange traded market, the currencies rates fluctuates which causes an appreciation/ depreciation in any one of the currencies from the pair.


When the value of a currency increases, it is called appreciation.

This means that when more of a term/ quotation currency can be bought using one unit of base currency, it is called currency appreciation.

For example, the quote of USD INR moves from Rs. 65.00 to Rs. 65.65, we say that USD has appreciated by INR 0.65, this means now you have to pay more for purchasing 1 unit of base currency.


When the value of a currency falls, it is called depreciation.

This means that when we need less term/ quotation currencies to buy one unit of base currency, it is called currency depreciation.

For example: the quote of USD INR moves from Rs. 65.65 to Rs. 65.00, we say that USD has depreciated by INR 0.65, this means that now you will to pay less to buy one unit of base currency.

You  may read 5 International Destinations to consider this Holiday Season due to Gain in Indian Currency to know how you can be benefited from currency appreciation.

Exchange Rate Arithmetic

In this, we will learn as to how to determine the exchange rates when the direct quote for the transaction is not available.

For example The quotes are as follows:

USDINR = 66.50/ 51

EURUSD = 1.1400/ 10

Find the cross rate for EURINR

For finding out the cross rate for EURINR, you simply need to multiply the rates in the following manner:

= Bid rate* Bid rate/ Ask rate* Ask rate

= 66.50 * 1.14/ 66.51*1.141

= 75.81/ 75.88

Currency Transaction is a very interesting topic.

You can know more about Currency Pairs and Currency Transaction in Currency Derivatives course.

You can gain  more knowledge on the basics of the currency transactions by watching the video below:


Hope we have been able to justify the concept of currency terms in the most simple manner.

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Happy Learning!1


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