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Trading financial products on margin carries a high risk and is not suitable for all investors. Ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

Trading financial products on margin carries a high degree of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

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Trading Terms

Devaluation: Meaning & example

A stack of money and a graph of money falling in value, depicting devaluation.

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You've most likely heard the term "devaluation" in the news or discussions about the economy. But what does it mean? Devaluation is when a country lowers the value of its currency compared to other currencies. This is usually done by the government or the central bank of that country. Keep reading to understand devaluation better, including examples and its effects.

What is devaluation?

Devaluation is when a country decides to lower the value of its own money compared to other countries' money. This is usually done by the government or the central bank.

Imagine you have 1 dollar, and it's worth 1 Euro. If the country devalues its money, that same 1 dollar might only be worth 0.5 Euros.

Here's what happens when money is devalued:

  1. Cheaper exports: Things made in the country become cheaper for people in other countries to buy. This can help the country's businesses sell more products overseas.
  2. More expensive imports: Things made in other countries become more expensive to buy. This might encourage people in the country to buy local products instead of imported ones.
  3. Inflation: Prices inside the country can go up due to inflation. If the country imports goods or materials, those become more expensive, making the final products cost more.
  4. Debt repayment: If the country owes money to other countries, it becomes more expensive to pay back those loans because the value of the country's money has dropped.

Devaluation is a way for countries to try to fix economic problems, but it could also cause prices to rise and make life more expensive for people living there.

Example of devaluation

Let's look at an example of devaluation using the EUR/USD currency pair.

Currencies are usually traded in pairs, meaning you see the value of one currency compared to another. In the EUR/USD pair, EUR (Euro) is the base currency, and USD (US dollar) is the secondary currency. When you see EUR/USD = 1.0700, it means 1 Euro is worth 1.0700 US dollars.

Now, let's imagine the European Central Bank decides to devalue the Euro. Before the devaluation, the exchange rate is EUR/USD = 1.0700. After the devaluation, the new rate might be EUR/USD = 0.9000. Here's what happens:

  1. Before devaluation: 1 Euro is worth 1.0700 US dollars. If you have 100 Euros, you can exchange them for 107 US dollars.
  2. After devaluation: 1 Euro is now worth only 0.9000 US dollars. If you have 100 Euros, you can exchange them for only 90 US dollars.

What does this mean in simple terms?

  • For exporters in Europe: European products become cheaper for people in the US to buy. If a product costs 100 Euros, it used to be 107 US dollars. After devaluation, the same product costs only 90 US dollars. This can help European businesses sell more products to the US.
  • For importers in Europe: Products from the US become more expensive for Europeans to buy. If something costs 107 US dollars, it used to be 100 euros. After the devaluation, the same 107 US dollars will now cost around 118.89 Euros. This might make Europeans buy fewer products from the US and look for local alternatives.
  • For travelers: Europeans traveling to the US will find it more expensive because their Euros are now worth less in dollars. On the other hand, US travelers will find Europe cheaper.

This is a basic example of how devaluation affects currency exchange rates and the economy, although past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance.

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What causes a currency to devalue?

  1. Government decision: Sometimes, a government or Central Bank decides to lower the value of their currency on purpose. This is usually done to make the country's exports cheaper and more competitive in the global market.
  2. Economic problems: If a country is facing economic troubles, such as high debt or a large trade deficit (buying more from other countries than it sells), investors might lose confidence in that country's economy. This can lead to the currency losing value.
  3. Inflation: If prices are rising quickly in a country (high inflation), the currency might lose value. This happens because the purchasing power of the currency decreases, meaning you need more of it to buy the same amount of goods or services.
  4. Interest rates: When a country lowers its interest rates, it becomes less attractive for investors to hold that currency. They might move their money to countries with higher interest rates, causing the currency to lose value.
  5. Political instability: Political issues, like government corruption, conflicts, or frequent leadership changes, can make investors nervous. If they think the country is unstable, they might pull their investments out, leading to a devaluation of the currency.
  6. Speculation: Sometimes, traders and investors in the financial markets speculate that a currency will lose value in the future. If enough people start selling the currency based on this belief, it can cause the currency to devalue.
  7. Trade imbalances: If a country imports much more than it exports, it means more of its currency is being exchanged for foreign currencies to pay for those imports. Over time, this can reduce the value of the country's currency.
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Effects of monetary devaluation in trading

Monetary devaluation affects how much you can trade with that currency. Let's break down how this works with a simple example. 

Imagine you are trading the EUR/USD currency pair, which represents the value of the Euro against the U.S. dollar.

Going short (Betting the Euro will fall):

  • Short position: You believe the Euro will decrease in value against the dollar.
  • Action: You "short" EUR/USD, meaning you sell Euros and buy dollars.
  • Outcome: If the Euro’s value drops, you can buy back Euros at a lower price, making a profit. If the Euro’s value rises, you have to buy back Euros at a higher price, resulting in a loss.

Going long (Betting the Euro will rise):

  • Long position: You believe the Euro will increase in value against the dollar.
  • Action: You "go long" EUR/USD, meaning you buy Euros and sell dollars.
  • Outcome: If the Euro’s value rises, you can sell Euros at a higher price, making a profit. If the Euro’s value falls, you have to sell Euros at a lower price, resulting in a loss.

Summary

Trading currencies involves substantial risk and is not suitable for everyone. The value of currencies can be very volatile, and you may lose all of your invested capital. Make sure you fully understand the risks involved and consider your financial situation and experience level before trading. 

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Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance. This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.

No commissions, no markups.
15/07 - 19/07
TSLA.US: 00:00 - 21:00 UTC
MANAUSD: 13:30 - 20:00 UTC
Trade now
What better way to welcome you than with a bonus?
Start trading with a $30 bonus on your first deposit.

Terms and Conditions apply
Get Bonus
Experience Skilling's award-winning platform
Try out any of Skilling’s trading platforms on the device of your choice across web, android or iOS.
Sign up