A debt security or corporate preferred stock whose interest rate is adjusted periodically to reflect changing money market rates is known as a floating rate instrument.
These securities, for example, five-year notes, are initially offered with an interest rate that is slightly below the rate being paid on comparable fixed-rate securities.
But because the rate is adjusted upward from time to time, its market price generally remains very close to the offering price, or par.
When a nation's currency moves up and down in value against the currency of another nation, the relationship between the two is described as a floating exchange rate.
For example, the US dollar is worth more Japanese yen in some periods and less in others. That movement is usually the result of what's happening in the economy of each of the nations and in the economies of their trading partners.
A fixed exchange rate, on the other hand, means that two (or more) currencies, such as the US dollar and the Bermuda dollar, always have the same relative value.
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