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In a swap, the individual future cash flows that are swapped. The legs are calculated over a notional principal amount, which is not exchanged between the counterparties. Thus, in a swap, the only things traded are the two legs, which each party pays the other at set intervals over the life of the contract. For example, in an interest rate swap, one party may agree to pay the other a fixed interest rate over a notional value while the second party may agree to pay a variable interest rate over the same notional value. In this case, the fixed interest rate and the variable interest rate are the swap's two legs.