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Exchange rates are the measure of the relative value between two currencies. Simply put, the exchange rate is the price of one unit of a country's currency expressed in another country's currency. Currencies are usually expressed in terms of the US dollar. Sterling is the exception and it is usual to talk of dollars to the pound (sterling). Currencies may also be expressed against each other in cross rates, or against a basket of currencies represented by a trade-weighted index. For example, on 6th May 2005 at 16.39 the exchange rate between the USD and the euro was 0.77 (source www.uk.yahoo.finance.com). Therefore, at that time one dollar was worth 0.77 euro.

However, most exchange rates are continually changing due to market forces. Also, each currency has a separate exchange rate for every other currency. Currency is traded on the currency market, which is known as the ForEx, derived from the words foreign exchange. This is effectively a wholesale trading market, used primarily by governments, banks and business.