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Futures and options exchanges strongly benefit from the dualism of their participants: hedgers and speculators.

A hedger is a market participant who enters the derivatives market in order to seek protection against price, interest rate or foreign exchange risks. Before entering the market, the hedger gauges the risk level in order to decide on the action to be taken.

In principle, the hedger does not anticipate future price fluctuations in order to gain a profit (this is done by the speculator). The hedger seeks protection against this unknown factor. The hedger is looking for insurance against risk.