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Halacha of currency trading


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Tammuz 9, 5769
My question concerns spot currency trading commonly know as ’forex trading’. This involves trading currency pairs (ie the Euro versus the Dollar) via a broker, with a view to making money off small moves in the spot currency exchange rate. Due to the use of leverage only a very small percentage moves is required to make (or lose) a significant amout of money. The question is whether this occupation is a halachically acceptable means to make a living. The reason I question this is that this form of ’work’ is a highly risky occupation where the lines between ’trading’ and gambling can be blurred, and one persons gain is another person’s loss, since when one person buys another person is selling to you, albeit via a broker. I look forward to hearing from you.
I am not a Dayan qualified to rule on monetary cases but I can't see the problem, this is not the only risky profession around and they are permitted, and the nature of business is that one looses while another gains.
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