Forex Rates: Interbank vs. Open vs. Close Rate

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When we talk about money from different countries, understanding how much one currency is worth compared to another is crucial. This is where “Interbank vs. Open vs. Close Rates” come into play. These terms might sound a bit complex, but they’re like a language that helps us figure out the value of money in a straightforward way. In this article, we’ll break down these terms so that understanding the world of money becomes much easier.

Interbank Market Rate

Imagine a place where banks and big financial institutions gather to trade money with each other. This is the heart of the financial world, and it’s called the interbank market. Here, they exchange currencies, setting a price known as the “interbank market rate.”

The interbank market rate is like the core value of a currency, the most accurate and honest price at a particular moment. It’s decided based on supply and demand — if more people want a currency, its price goes up. If there’s less demand, the price goes down.

Why it matters

Now, why is this so important? Well, think of it as a reference point. All other exchange rates you see, whether at your local bank or online, are based on this interbank rate. It’s like the main building block for determining how much your money is worth when exchanged into another currency.

Understanding the interbank market rate gives us a peek into the true value of money in the world of finance. It’s the foundation on which the entire structure of currency valuation is built, making it a crucial concept to grasp in the realm of international trade and finance.

How interbank rate is decided

The interbank rate, also known as the interbank market rate, is determined through a process where major banks and financial institutions agree on the exchange rates at which they trade currencies among themselves. It’s like a dynamic negotiation that happens electronically, often multiple times per day.

The rates are influenced by several factors:

  • Supply and Demand: If a lot of banks want a particular currency because it’s in demand for various transactions (like business deals, travel, or investments), the price of that currency in the interbank market goes up. Conversely, if the demand is lower, the price decreases.
  • Economic and Political Stability: The overall stability of a country’s economy and its political situation can affect the demand for its currency. If a country’s economy is strong and stable, its currency may be more in demand, impacting the interbank rate.
  • Market Sentiment: Sometimes, the perception of how a currency is doing can influence its demand. Positive news about a country’s economy can lead to higher demand for its currency and an increase in its interbank rate.
  • Central Bank Actions: Decisions and actions taken by a country’s central bank, like changing interest rates or implementing monetary policies, can also influence the interbank rates.

Why banks trade with each other

Banks need to trade currencies with each other for several reasons:

  • Balancing Currency Flows: Banks have customers who need to buy or sell different currencies for various purposes, like travel, trade, or investments. When a bank doesn’t have enough of a certain currency that their customer needs, they can acquire it from another bank through trading.
  • Managing Risk: Banks operate in various countries and deal with multiple currencies. By trading with each other, they can manage the risk associated with fluctuations in currency values. They may also use complex financial instruments to hedge against currency risks.
  • Facilitating Global Transactions: Businesses and individuals engage in international trade and finance. When a business in one country wants to pay another business in a different currency, banks help facilitate these transactions by trading currencies to ensure the funds reach the recipient in the right currency.

Open Market Rate

The open market rate is like the price of candy on the shelves of a local store. This rate is what you and I usually see when we want to buy a specific foreign currency. It’s the rate offered to everyone, just like the price tag on candy at the store.

How it differs from interbank rate

Now, let’s talk about the difference between this open market rate and the interbank rate. The interbank rate is like the price at which stores buy candy from the candy factory. It’s usually a bit cheaper because they buy in bulk.

The open market rate, on the other hand, is like the store’s price, which includes the store’s expenses and a little profit. It’s slightly higher than the interbank rate because stores need to cover their costs and make some money.

Why this difference matters

Understanding this difference is important because it helps us know if we’re getting a good deal. If the open market rate is way higher than the interbank rate, we might want to shop around to get a better price, just like we might go to a different store for cheaper candy.

So, knowing both rates lets us figure out the fair price for our foreign money. It’s like being a smart shopper in the world of currency, making sure we get a good deal when we exchange our money.

Close Market Rate

The close market rate is like the score when the game ends. At the end of a trading day, the financial market decides on this rate. It’s the value of one currency compared to another, and it’s kind of like saying, “This is how much your money is worth in comparison to other currencies when the day is done.”

How it affects us

Imagine you’re in a race and someone tells you your position each time you complete a lap. But at the end of the race, your final position is what really matters. That’s like the close market rate. It’s the ultimate position of a currency after all the ups and downs of the trading day.

Impact on trading decisions

Now, why is this so important? Imagine you’re a coach in a race, and you want to decide which runners did the best. You’d look at their final positions. In the financial world, businesses and investors look at this close market rate to decide how different currencies performed that day.

If a currency has a strong position at the end of the day, it might mean good news for that country’s economy. It could influence investment decisions, like where to put money. It’s comparable to stating, “The team showed exceptional performance today; perhaps they’re a strong bet for the upcoming race.”

Understanding this final score of the day helps everyone involved in finance make smarter choices for the next day. It’s like a report card for currencies, telling us who did great and who needs to up their game.


The interbank market rate, foundational to currency valuation, influences all other rates and impacts various financial transactions.

Open market rates, being more accessible to individuals and businesses, offer practical insights for smaller-scale transactions, aiding in understanding transactional costs.

On the other hand, close market rates provide a conclusive value for the day, influencing trading decisions and shaping future strategies. Moreover, observing trends in close market rates offers insights into market sentiment and economic health, aiding in predicting potential future movements.

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