What is a currency carry trade? The currency carry trade, known simply as carry trading is a strategy where the investor sells a currency with a relatively low borrowing rate and uses the borrowed funds to purchase another currency with a higher interest rate differential. An investor using this strategy attempts to take advantage of the interest rate differential.
A good example of a currency susceptible to carry trades is the Japanese Yen,whose borrowing rate is at 0.5 percent.
Eg. A trader borrows 2,000 Yen from a Japanese Bank the converts it to Australian Dollars then buys a bond for the equivalent amount. Assuming that the bond pays 5 percent and the Japanese interest rate is 0.5 percent, the trader expects a 4.5 percent profit under the condition that that the exchange rate between the two nations don't change.
Carry trading is risky due to volatile movements of the exchange rates. Using the above example, if the Australian Dollar depreciates against the Japanese Yen, the trader is set to make a loss. Carry trade transactions are usually done with leverage, therefore a small movement in exchange rates would result in massive losses of funds.
The Japanese Yen in recent years had been susceptible to carry trade due to its relatively low borrowing rates.
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