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Foreign Exchange: The Complete Deal

A comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of the Forex market

By James Sharpe

Paperback £34.99 / $56.99
eBook £30.99 / $36.99
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Foreign Exchange: The Complete Deal

A comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of the Forex market

By James Sharpe

Jacket text

The foreign exchange market is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world. In recent years its volatility has been especially pronounced, which has posed problems for investors, companies and governments attempting to manage their economies. The management of exchange rates has become integral to economic performance and to the political landscape.

‘Foreign Exchange, The Complete Deal’, part of Harriman House’s Applied Essentials series, is a comprehensive guide to this broad and exciting market, and how it is traded. James Sharpe, a foreign exchange practitioner with more than 30 years’ experience, unravels the important features of the Forex market to give a clear understanding of the issues and processes involved in foreign exchange transactions.

This book begins with an exploration of the historical and theoretical background to the markets as they exist today. The transition from a fixed exchange rate system to a floating system is examined and insight is given on the processes that determine exchange rates and how the system employed impacts government policy. There is also a detailed section about the influence interventions by central banks have on the market.

The focus then moves to foreign exchange in practice, the core of the book. Topics covered include:

– The range of foreign exchange transactions available – including spot, forward, broken date, non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), swaps and options – and how they can be used, with clear worked examples
– How foreign exchange prices are quoted; bid-offer spreads; pips
– How foreign exposures are hedged
– How banks and dealers cover their exposure in the market and make profits
– A discussion of tools that are used to analyse the market, including technical analysis
– Factors that influence foreign exchange prices on a daily basis including a detailed look at liquidity
– How professional traders analyse markets and provide a blueprint for professional trading
– How best to choose and manage the relationship with foreign exchange providers

This is an indispensable guide for those who need to understand more about the commercial realities of currency trading and hedging, providing a clear and thorough explanation of the complete world of foreign exchange.

About the author

James Sharpe has been involved in the financial markets since the late 1970s. He has a degree in economics and a Masters in finance. His early career was geared towards financial analysis and wholesale lending but from 1980 his role has been treasury based. Unlike many who write financial books he is still writing out deal tickets and advising clients.

James' range of experience is extraordinary and is unlikely to be repeated. He has worked in the US and the Middle East where he was responsible for the region and interbank/central bank relationships. He has combined positions of trader and foreign exchange sales but it is in the latter area that Jim has focused and where he has run a number of desks.

He has worked for a range of institutions around the world, including in the US, Japan, Scandinavia and the UK. He has dealt with an array of counterparties including banks, corporates, central banks, funds and multinationals. In recent years he has completed 'the hand' and deals with high net worth individuals and corporate customers at a leading private bank.


If foreign exchange were taught as an A level subject this book would be a shoo-in as the title of choice used by teachers everywhere to explain the subject. Equally, if you are about to start foreign exchange trading for the first time, or even if you have some experience already, there will undoubtedly be things that you can learn from this book.

–FX-MM Magazin

Media coverage

From Money Maker Magazine:

The FX market is the most exciting financial market for traders and also one of the most important markets for those who run our economies. Foreign exchange provides an opportunity for traders and, on the other side, the management of exchange rates is a central part of countries? economic performance. This is even more relevant… Read more »

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From Money Observer:

In Foreign Exchange: The Complete Deal James Sharpe explains how to make money from the forex market. To win one of five copies, email your name and address to Winners will be picked at 3pm on Friday 15 June. Good luck!

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From Traders Magazine:

There must be very few traders indeed now who are not aware that the Forex market is the largest, most liquid and most volatile financial market in the 21st century ? these facts are mentioned so often and so consistently that it is hard not to have heard them said or written somewhere before. This… Read more »

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From FX-MM Magazine:

We don?t often do book reviews at FX-MM but last week we were sent a copy of ?Foreign Exchange: The Complete Deal? by James Sharpe (Harriman House £34.99) and decided that we?d take a look at it. The book, which is part of the Harriman House ?Applied Essentials? series, sets out to be a comprehensive… Read more »

Read More…


James Sharpe ?Foreign Exchange: The Complete Deal? interview- Trading Diary19th January 2012

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1. Exchange Rate Systems: From Fixed to Floating, and Chaos
- Fixed exchange rates
- Floating exchange rates
- Conclusion
- Foreign exchange and the UK - 1960 to the 2000s

2. Central Banks and Foreign Exchange Intervention
- What is foreign exchange intervention?
- Intervention and monetary policy
- The efficacy of intervention
- Conclusion

3. The Basics of Foreign Exchange
- A definition of foreign exchange
- The foreign exchange market

4. The Theory of Foreign Exchange: How Exchange Rates are Determined
- Exchange rates and supply and demand
- The effect of exchange rates on an economy
- Interest rate parity (IRP)
- Purchasing power parity (PPP)
- Currencies overshooting their expected levels - Rudiger Dornbusch

5. Foreign Exchange in Practice
- Price quotations
- How dealers cover their exposure
- Orders
- How to calculate trading profits and losses
- Recording a trade
- Rules when making foreign exchange transactions

6. Types of Foreign Exchange Transactions
1. Spot
2. Forward outright
3. Broken date contracts
4. Non-deliverable forward (NDF)
5. Swap
6. Forward/forwards
7. Algorithmic trading
8. Options

7. Predicting the Future: Technical Analysis and FX Forecasting
- Technical analysis and the foreign exchange markets
- Forecasting the foreign exchange markets

8. Psychology and Foreign Exchange
- Group behaviour
- Overconfidence
- Overreaction
- Attitude to risk
- Attitude to rules

9. Influences on Foreign Exchange Markets
- Economic data
- Impact of central bank intervention
- Breach of technical levels
- Seasonal price analysis
- Dramatic events
- Market intelligence

10. A Blueprint for Trading
- Before, during and after the trade
- Managing losses
- Investment vs. Speculation

11. Liquidity
- Assessing liquidity
- When liquidity disappears
- The carry trade and Torschlusspanik (door shut panic)

12. Hedging Currency Exposure
- Overview of hedging
- Sources of exposure
- The hedging process
- Impact of hedging
- Currency overlay
- Conclusion

13. The Management of Dealing
- Risks
- Dealing limits at banks
- Monitoring forward foreign exchange exposure

14. Dealing with Banks and Financial Institutions
- The provider should be financially strong
- The provider should be operationally strong
- Check the bank can supply the product and service you require
- Dealing mandate
- Foreign exchange limits
- Understanding what is on offer
- Agreements
- Banks dealing with customers


Appendix 1. Foreign exchange solutions in brief
Appendix 2. A simple guide to technical analysis


Published: 09/01/2012
Edition: 1st
Pages: 308
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9781906659653
ebook - ISBN 9780857192066
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