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The currency exchange is probably not something you think about on a regular basis, but the exchange rate does affect you as a consumer. In today's global market, the exchange rate of your country's currency determines your consumer buying power on both domestic and international levels. The exchange rate is just one part of the much bigger global market, the foreign exchange market.
The foreign exchange market relates to the exchange of currencies between countries. Whether you are an investor trading foreign currencies, a bank wiring funds to a foreign country, or a tourist purchasing traveler's checks, you participate in foreign exchange. Staying updated on the currency exchange rate is important, especially for issues that might affect your international investments.
You don't necessarily have to travel abroad to know that the exchange rate affects you. Take the US dollar and Euro for instance. Recently, the Euro has seen a steady increase in its value against the dollar. In other words, the purchasing power of the Euro has grown significantly. International factors have an effect on the exchange rate and vice-versa.
Currently the Euro has strong international buying power, and it is likely that European investors will aggressively invest in foreign countries which maximize their buying power. Ultimately, the currency exchange rate is dependent on many factors, including economic and political circumstances. Governments and central banks work constantly to avoid large market swings, as the market performs optimally around a balanced level.