About Financial Markets
A financial market is a market in which people and entities can trade financial securities, commodities, and other fungible items of value at low transaction costs and at prices that reflect supply and demand. Securities include stocks and bonds, and commodities include precious metals or agricultural goods.
There are both general markets (where many commodities are traded) and specialized markets (where only one commodity is traded). Markets work by placing many interested buyers and sellers, including households, firms, and government agencies, in one "place", thus making it easier for them to find each other. An economy which relies primarily on interactions between buyers and sellers to allocate resources is known as a market economy in contrast either to a command economy or to a non-market economy such as a gift economy.
Financial markets facilitate:
- The raising of capital (in the capital markets)
- The transfer of risk (in the derivatives markets)
- Price discovery
- Global transactions with integration of financial markets
- The transfer of liquidity (in the money markets)
- International trade (in the currency markets),
Financial Markets are used to match those who want capital to those who have it.
Typically a borrower issues a receipt to the lender promising to pay back the capital. These receipts are securities which may be freely bought or sold. In return for lending money to the borrower, the lender will expect some compensation in the form of interest or dividends. This return on investment is a necessary part of markets to ensure that funds are supplied to them.