currency linked to a stock

Herbert Thoma herbert.thoma at
Sat Dec 20 08:19:50 EST 2014

Am 17.12.2014 23:53, schrieb Sébastien de Menten:
> On Yahoo! Finance, there are multiple symbols for Yahoo! Inc in function of
> the exchange (YHOO for Nasdaq, YHOO.BA for buenos aires, YHO.DE. For
> XETRA,...).

YHOO on Nasdaq would presumably by the "original" stock in USD. For
YHOO.BA you would get a price in Argentinian Pesos (?), for YHO.DE
a price in Euro. Right?

> Should all these "stocks" be the same commodity in GnuCash (with then
> multiples prices in function of the currency) ? Or should they be different
> commodities (with different namespaces) ? And if I have a brokerage account
> to trade stocks, can I buy the yahoo stock on Nasdaq and sell it back on
> XETRA ? Or should I be a bank/trader to be able to do that ? (I haven't
> gone farther than sell/buy stock to/from the same exchange for my personal
> use)

In Germany we have not only Xetra but also regional stock exchanges (at least
Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Berlin). If I buy or sell
stocks with my broker I can choose which exchange to use. Of course in this
example all prices would be in Euro. I can select NYSE and a number of other
exchanges as well. I never tried this, but I expect it to work (at higher fees
than local exchanges ...).

For different international exchanges the treatment would depend on weather
it is really the same thing on the different exchanges. In some cases not the
real stock is traded on foreign exchanges, but so called GDRs
( These would be
different to the real shares, IMHO. But your YHO.DE example seems to be the
real stock.

> I thought there would be different stocks in GnuCash and that a stock would
> have a single currency. Now, the example of the Cheddar is a bit stretched
> as it looks more similar to "I buy a house in CAD and sell it back in USD"
> (ie it could be considered as an asset/account and not as a commodity).
> If one was to manage import/export of goods in multiple currencies (ie not
> through an exchange), would it use "commodities" to do so in GnuCash (one
> commodity per type of cheese (or type of electronic material or type
> of clothes) ?

Why do you make a distinction between commodity and asset? A commodity is a
subclass of asset, IMHO. (Even cash is a subclass of asset.) And it does not
have a fixed currency attached to it.

In Germany we switched from DEM to EUR. So from one day to the next all my
stocks had new prices in EUR. But they still were just the same stocks.
The same way I can buy a share of Intel for 30 EUR on Xetra and sell it
on Nasdaq for 35 USD.


> On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, John Ralls <jralls at> wrote:
>>> On Dec 17, 2014, at 1:28 PM, Sébastien de Menten <sdementen at
>> <javascript:;>> wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>> There is no currency explicitly linked to a given stock (is this
>> correct?).
>>> As a result, one can attach to a given stock multiple prices in multiple
>>> commodities.
>>> For instance, YHOO (which is traded in USD) could have a price in CAD if
>>> entered manually (in the price editor or through a transaction). When
>> using
>>> the online download, one always get the "correct" currency.
>>> Shouldn't each security (that is not a currency) have its currency (like
>>> USD for YHOO) ? or is this a feature ?
>>> On a related topic, if I have an account with YHOO stock as a commodity
>>> (and so traded in USD), but that my default currency is CAD and that I
>> have
>>> downloaded both the YHOO prices in USD and the exchange rate USD/CAD, can
>>> Gnucash convert the YHOO stock in CAD when displaying the Grand Total ?
>> It’s a feature. While a particular stock exchange will price a stock
>> traded on that exchange in the national currency, stocks are traded on many
>> exchanges and privately, and those trades can be denominated in any
>> exchange mechanism the two traders agree on. Aside from online quotes,
>> there’s no difference to GnuCash between Yahoo Stock and a wheel of Cheddar
>> cheese. You can easily imagine buying a wheel of cheese in Wisconsin for
>> say $15 on behalf of a friend at home who pays you C$20 for it. It’s
>> actually possible (though not easy) to do the same with Yahoo stock.
>> ISTR there was a bug or a complaint here that stocks priced in foreign
>> currencies don’t roll up properly into top-level accounts. It *should*
>> work, but apparently doesn’t right now.
>> Regards,
>> John Ralls
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Herbert Thoma
Dipl.-Ing., MBA
Head of Video Group
Multimedia Applications Department
Fraunhofer IIS
Am Wolfsmantel 33, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Phone: +49-9131-776-6130
Fax:   +49-9131-776-6099
email: herbert.thoma at

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