Global financing and exchange rates are major topics when considering a venturing business abroad. In the proceeding I will explain in detail what hard and soft currencies are. I will then go into detail explaining the reasoning for the fluctuating currencies. Finally I will explain hard and soft currencies importance in managing risks.
Hard currency is usually from a highly industrialized country that is widely accepted around the world as a form of payment for goods and services. A hard currency is expected to remain relatively stable through a short period of time, and to be highly liquid in the forex market. Another criterion for a hard currency is that the currency must come from a politically and economically stable country. The U.S. dollar and the British pound are good examples of hard currencies (Investopedia,2008). Hard currency basically means that the currency is strong. The terms strong and weak, rising and falling, strengthening and weakening are relative terms in the world of foreign exchange (sometimes referred to as “forex”). Rising and falling, strengthening and weakening all indicate a relative change in position from a previous level. When the dollar is “strengthening,” its value is rising in relation to one or more other currencies. A strong dollar will buy more units of a foreign currency than previously. One result of a stronger dollar is that the prices of foreign goods and services drop for U.S. consumers. This may allow Americans to take the long-postponed vacation to another country, or buy a foreign car that used to be too expensive. U.S. consumers’ benefit from a strong dollar, but U.S. exporters is hurt. A strong dollar means that it takes more of a foreign currency to buy U.S. dollars. U.S. goods and services become more expensive for foreign consumers who, as a result, tend to buy fewer U.S. products. Because it takes more of a foreign currency to purchase strong dollars, products priced in dollars are more expensive when sold overseas (chicagofed,2008).
Soft currency is another name for “weak currency”. The values of soft currencies fluctuate often, and other countries do not want to hold these currencies due to political or economic uncertainty within the country with the soft currency. Currencies from most developing countries are considered to be soft currencies. Often, governments from these developing countries will set unrealistically high exchange rates, pegging their currency to a currency such as the U.S. dollar (invest words,2008). Soft currency breaks down to the currency being very weak, an example of this would be the Mexican peso. A weak dollar also hurts some people and benefits others. When the value of the dollar falls or weakens in relation to another currency, prices of goods and services from that country rise for U.S. consumers. It takes more dollars to purchase the same amount of foreign currency to buy goods and services. That means U.S. consumers and U.S. companies that import products have reduced purchasing power. At the same time, a weak dollar …