Wall Street Journal Assignment on International Finance
The direct quote of the U.S. Dollar versus the currency whose issuing country’s name starts with the same letter (or closest letter) as my own last name is 1 USD = 5.2 Thai Baht (THB). It means for each US dollar one can purchase five and a half tenths (or the closest letter) of a Thai baht. Or, for every baht purchased you can get 0.19 US Dollars.
Indirect quotes, on the other side, state how many foreign currencies (in this example Thai Bahts), are needed to buy one unit of local currency (in our case United States Dollars). For this example, 1 THB would equal 0.19 US dollars. That means you need nineteen cents to purchase a Thailand baht.
These quotes are useful for determining the appropriate amount to convert funds when moving money from one country into another. Investors can use these data to maximize profits by leveraging fluctuations on international markets.