What is Hedging in Forex? – Simple Currency Hedging Strategy!

Hedging in the forex (foreign exchange) market involves taking positions to protect against adverse currency movements. By hedging, traders and businesses can limit their exposure to currency fluctuations and reduce the unpredictability of their portfolios.

Here are several examples of hedging in forex:

  1. Simple Forex Hedge:
    • A U.S. company expects to receive EUR 1 million in three months for a product it sold in Europe. The company is concerned about the Euro weakening against the U.S. dollar in the next three months. The company can sell EUR 1 million forward to hedge, locking in today’s exchange rate. If the Euro falls in value, the forward contract gain offsets the currency conversion loss.
  2. Multiple Currency Pairs Hedge:
    • A trader anticipates the Euro will strengthen against the U.S. dollar but is uncertain about its movement against the British pound. The trader could go long on EUR/USD (buying Euro and selling U.S. dollars) and simultaneously go short on EUR/GBP (selling Euro and buying British pounds). This hedges against the risk of the Euro weakening only against the pound.
  3. Forex Options Hedge:
    • A forex options hedge involves using forex options to reduce or eliminate the risk of unfavorable currency price movements. By purchasing a forex option, a trader obtains the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a currency pair at a specified rate in the future. This strategy protects against adverse market movements while retaining the potential for profit if the market moves in the trader’s favor.
  4. Money Market Hedge:
    • A money market hedge involves using the borrowing and lending capacities of the money market to lock in a future exchange rate for a foreign currency transaction. For example, suppose a U.S. trader expects to receive €1 million in one year and fears the EUR/USD rate might fall. In that case, he can borrow an equivalent present value in euros, convert it to dollars at the current rate, and invest it in a U.S. money market instrument. When the future payment is received in euros, the trader can repay the euro loan, ensuring the initial exchange rate for the entire amount, irrespective of market fluctuations.
  5. Operational Hedge:
    • A company could establish operations in another country to offset its currency exposure. For example, a U.S. company selling products in Japan, earning in JPY, could also source materials or set up manufacturing in Japan. This way, even if the JPY weakens against the USD, the company’s increased costs in USD terms (from the revenue side) could be offset by reduced costs in JPY terms (from the cost side).
  6. Currency Correlation Hedge:
    • Suppose a trader believes that the Canadian dollar (CAD) will strengthen against the U.S. dollar but is unsure of the magnitude. In that case, they might take a position in another currency correlated with the CAD. For instance, since oil prices often influence the CAD and Norwegian Krone (NOK), a trader might buy CAD/USD and NOK/USD. If CAD doesn’t move as expected, the NOK position might still profit if oil prices rise.

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Simple Forex Hedge Example

A simple forex hedge strategy involves two trades of the same assets, one buy and one sell. For example, traders can buy EURSD and sell EURUSD at different entry positions to reduce trading risk.

simple forex hedge example

Primary Position:

  1. A trader buys (goes long) EUR/USD at 1.12.
  2. Sets a stop loss at 1.11. If the price falls to this level, the position will automatically close, limiting the loss.
  3. Sets a target at 1.15. If the price rises to this level, the position will automatically close, capturing the profit.

Hedge Position:

  1. To hedge against short-term adverse movements, the trader also sells (goes short) EUR/USD at 1.126.
  2. Sets a stop loss at 1.128. If the price rises to this level, the hedge position will close, limiting the loss on the hedge.
  3. Sets a target at 1.124. If the price falls to this level, the hedge position will close, capturing a profit.

Possible Outcomes:

  1. EUR/USD Falls Immediately: If the price drops to 1.124 shortly after establishing the positions, the hedge captures a profit, helping to offset some of the unrealized losses on the primary long position.
  2. EUR/USD Rises to 1.126 and Then Falls: If the price first rises to activate the hedge at 1.126 and then drops to 1.11 or lower, the loss on the hedge and the loss on the primary position will compound. However, the hedge will limit losses if the price reverses before reaching the primary position’s stop loss.
  3. EUR/USD Rises Straight to 1.15: The primary position captures the profit target. Meanwhile, depending on how the EUR/USD moved, the hedge might have incurred a loss, potentially reducing the total profit.

This simple forex hedge protects against adverse short-term movements in the EUR/USD. Still, managing both positions actively ensures the hedge serves its purpose without unnecessarily eroding profits.

Hedging Options and Forex

A forex option hedge can be a valuable strategy to mitigate potential losses due to unfavorable price movements. Let’s use an example illustrating how a trader might use a forex option with a Contract for Difference (CFD) position on the EUR/USD pair.


  1. Buying the EUR/USD CFD: Suppose a trader believes the Euro will strengthen against the U.S. Dollar in the next month. He decides to buy a CFD on EUR/USD at the current rate of 1.1000, hoping to benefit from a rise in the exchange rate.
  2. Concerns about potential decline: While the trader is optimistic about the Euro’s prospects, he is also concerned that there might be a chance the Euro could weaken instead, leading to a loss. To protect against this risk, he is considering buying a put option on the EUR/USD.
  3. Buying the EUR/USD Put Option: He buys a one-month EUR/USD put option with a strike price of 1.0900. This gives him the right, but not the obligation, to sell the EUR/USD at this price within the next month. For this option, he pays a premium, say 50 pips, or $500 for one standard lot (100,000 units).

Possible Outcomes:

  1. EUR/USD Rises: If the EUR/USD rises to 1.1200 within the month, the trader profits from his CFD position, earning 200 pips or $2,000 for one standard lot. However, the put option will expire worthless since it’s out of the money. Considering the option premium paid, the net profit would be $2,000 – $500 = $1,500.
  2. EUR/USD Declines Below the Strike Price: If the EUR/USD drops to 1.0800, the trader will lose 200 pips, or $2,000, on the CFD. However, his put option will be in the money, allowing him to sell the EUR/USD at 1.0900, gaining 100 pips or $1,000. Considering the option premium, the net loss would be $2,000 – $1,000 – $500 = $1,500.
  3. EUR/USD Declines but Remains Above the Strike Price: If the EUR/USD drops to 1.0950, the trader will lose 50 pips or $500 from the CFD. The option will expire worthless since the rate never reached the strike price. Including the premium, the total loss is $1,000.

The forex option acts as a hedge in each scenario, protecting against adverse price moves. However, the cost of this protection is the option premium, which can impact the overall profitability of the strategy.

Hedging in trading

In trading, hedging is the practice of investing to offset potential losses or gains that another investment may incur. Traders hedge various types of assets based on the market they are involved in, their perceived risks, and their investment strategy. Some of the most commonly hedged assets include:

  1. Currencies:
    • Forex traders, multinational corporations, and investors who have international exposure might hedge against potential losses due to currency fluctuations.
    • Instruments: Forward contracts, futures contracts, options, and swaps.
    • Example: If a U.S. company expects to receive Euros in three months for a contract but is concerned that the Euro might weaken against the dollar, it can lock in a future exchange rate with a forward contract.
  2. Equities (stocks):
    • Equity investors hedge against potential price drops in the stocks they hold.
    • Instruments: Options (especially put options), equity index futures, inverse ETFs.
    • Example: An investor holds a prominent position in Company A’s stock and buys a put option on the same stock. If the stock price falls, the put option will increase in value, offsetting some or all losses.
  3. Interest Rates:
    • Institutions and traders sensitive to interest rate changes, such as banks, might hedge against fluctuations in interest rates.
    • Instruments: Interest rate futures, options on interest rate futures, swaps.
    • Example: A bank might use interest rate swaps to transform its fixed-rate liabilities into floating-rate liabilities if it expects interest rates to fall.
  4. Commodities:
    • Producers and consumers of commodities like oil, gold, or agricultural products may hedge to protect against price changes.
    • Instruments: Futures contracts, options on futures.
    • Example: An airline expecting to buy jet fuel in the future might enter into futures contracts to lock in today’s prices and protect against potential future price hikes.
  5. Credit Risk:
    • Institutions looking to hedge against the risk of credit events like default.
    • Instruments: Credit default swaps (CDS).
    • Example: If a bank is concerned about a corporate bond it holds and the potential for the company to default, it can buy a CDS as insurance against that default.
  6. Equity Market Volatility:
    • Investors are concerned about the overall volatility of the stock market.
    • Instruments: VIX futures and options (VIX is the volatility index).
    • Example: If an investor believes the market might become more volatile (but is unsure of direction), they might buy VIX futures.


Hedging forex strategies are essential tools for managing exposure to foreign exchange risks. While they can effectively protect traders and businesses against adverse price movements, it’s essential to understand that hedging often involves a trade-off between risk and potential profit. When executed correctly, these strategies can limit losses, reduce gains, or even result in additional costs. As with any trading strategy, understanding the mechanics, actively managing positions, and regularly reassessing the market conditions and risk profile is crucial for success in hedging.



Igor has been a trader since 2007. Currently, Igor works for several prop trading companies. He is an expert in financial niche, long-term trading, and weekly technical levels. The primary field of Igor's research is the application of machine learning in algorithmic trading. Education: Computer Engineering and Ph.D. in machine learning. Igor regularly publishes trading-related videos on the Fxigor Youtube channel. To contact Igor write on: igor@forex.in.rs

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