Why a Forex Trading System is a Must for Forex Traders

Dipping your fingers at foreign exchange trading without a /forex trading system/ is like throwing all your money into an incinerator!

The forex market is a highly volatile, fast paced market where prices move in a roller coaster fashion at times leaving you flabbergasted most of the time. It is so unpredictable that no matter how much time you’ve spent analyzing the tons of market moving data that keeps streaming down at you, it still moves against you most of the time. It is where a single mistake can turn into substantial losses much like accidentally throwing your money into a burning pit. It can simply drive you nuts, especially if you are not using or following a /forex trading system/!

A trading system is like a navigational chart. It is a combination of rules, trading parameters, and technical indicators that when used together help you determine entry and exit points as well as stop loss or cut points. Like a ship’s navigational chart, /forex trading system/ helps you ‘to avoid getting grounded on shallow waters’ by helping you determine the best time to initiate or exit a trade.

Many forex upstarts not only loss most of their money quickly, they also often end up to be emotional wrecks. This is because most of them venture into forex trading without realizing they need a /forex trading system/ to guide them through the peak and trough journey of forex prices. Many of these upstarts enter the forex arena in the same fashion and resolve like entering a casino or a gambling joint. And true enough, just like coming home from a casino, the downtrodden upstarts blame everyone and everything else for his boo-boo except himself.

A /forex trading system/ takes out much of the subjectivity from the intricate process of making trading decisions. It takes out the indecisiveness, the doubt, the fear, even the greed inherent in human nature and wreck havoc on the forex traders trading activities.

It is only after losing a sizable part of their capital that forex trading upstarts start looking for what ever is there to help them. They often fall prey to scrupulous advertisements (the internet is teeming with them) heralding /forex trading systems/ that provide accurate buy and sell signals as well as profits on every trade.

There is no problem with buying one from the internet. Some of them do work – perhaps not as profitable as what the sellers picture them to be (they often put some hype to them to make them saleable) but at least they can generate satisfactory profits. Just make sure that in buying commercially available /forex trading systems/, they come with a 60 day money back guarantee! That way, you can not only back test the /forex trading system/ against historical data, you can also try it on real time trading through demo accounts!

Invest In Currencies And Earn Money From Forex: Several Pointers And Strategies

For every person who profits when he or she makes trades in the Foreign Exchange market, there are more than one people who lose. Even if you are a novice trader, you still have the chance to earn money from Forex, as long as you understand these trading currency basics and also learn and utilize these tips on how to effectively invest in currencies:

1. Any aspiring trader should realize the importance of getting a good Forex trading tutorial. Read and understand that tutorial and apply what you’ve learned from it. You should know the complete steps you have to do in order to open and close positions, how to analyze data, and so on, before you lay your money on the line. Do not think that you can just rely on destiny or on luck to successfully earn money from Forex. On the top of the list of trading currency basics, you’ll see that complete education on the subject is important to those who invest in currencies.

2. One of the things you’ll learn in a genuine Forex trading tutorial is that currency trading is risky. Therefore, you should not think of the trade as a game. You should not treat it like you’re just in a casino and that your fate lies mainly on luck. You should treat FX investing as a kind of business. In other words, for you to increase the chances to earn money from Forex, you should take currency investment seriously. Someone who’s not taking the market seriously is a person who will still invest in currencies even if he or she has no knowledge of trading currency basics, what strategies to apply, and so on.

3. There are several factors that you have to look into when making decisions of whether to make an entry, make an exit, etc. Every good Forex trading tutorial will teach you that the inflation rate, the growth rate, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), even the political news of a country may either affect its currency’s value negatively or positively. If you’re new to all these, you can ask your broker questions, or you can make use of a currency trading robot – the broker or the robot can make it possible for you to actually earn money from Forex.

People who invest in currencies, most especially the aspiring currency traders, should also remember to always start small – you should not throw all your money away in just one single trade. Part of the list of trading currency basics is also to only use your head for decision making and not your heart or your emotions. Being careful with the use of account leverage is also a must do whether or not you are seasoned in Forex or a newbie trader. Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives

Forex Trade Market Take a Chance to Become a Rich Person Read

The word forex has made with two different words that is Foreign Exchange. That means exchanging of foreign currencies. Forex market is like any other market where goods are traded in the form of currencies to earn profit. Actually there are not major differences between goods market and Forex market, In goods market we have to bought and sold currencies for example, if you can buy Euro by paying Australian Dollars or you can buy Japanese Yen by paying US dollars, currencies are treated like a good in the forex trading market. Now you know a little bit about the forex trading market but it is not sufficient, you have to know more, so continue below.

Forex is done globally because traders from all over the globe can trade to earn profit. Investors in forex trade market are more than any other market in the globe and this makes the forex trading market, the biggest market of the world. More than a trillion USD trading is done per day in this market. Forex trading is done in the first five days of the weak and don’t stop for a second till the end of the Friday. That means the forex trading is done 24 hours in all five days. The big forex investors in forex trade market are big institutions, International corporate world, large banks etc.

The Actual concept of the online forex trading is the free floating currencies. Free floating currencies are those currencies that are not supported by any certain materials like gold or silver. The profit and loss of forex trading market is normally based on the changes in the value of currencies. The two globally traded currencies of the forex market are US dollar and the Euro. These two currencies are considered as an important and powerful currency. Apart from this there are some other well known currencies of the forex market is Australian dollar, the Canadian dollar, New-zealand dollar and Japanese yen. In the past few years forex trading has made traders successful and richer.

Do you know that earlier forex trading was done over the phone but in the last few year companies has been offering a friendly system to trade online in the forex market? You don’t need to seek help of expert to trade in forex because companies are offering the facility of demo account. So, you can practice with a demo account and be an expert for yourself. The forex companies are also giving online support through running their customer care center so you can also contact them if you need help in some issues. You can also get more results on forex trading by searching on the internet, so open an account in forex market and take a chance to become a rich.

Forex Options Market Overview best

The forex options marketplace started as an over-the-counter (OTC) business object for biggish phytologist, financial institutions and monolithic multinational corporations to fence against naturalized presentness danger. Suchlike the forex fleck industry, the forex options mart is advised an “interbank” market. Notwithstanding, with the inordinateness of real-time business data and forex choice trading software ready to most investors through the internet, today’s forex choice market now includes an progressively rangy telecommunicate or online forex trading platforms.

Forex choice trading has emerged as an deciding investment vehicle for more traders and investors. As an promotion puppet, forex choice trading provides both gigantic and littler investors with greater plasticity when determining the suitable forex trading and protection strategies to finish.

Most forex options trading is conducted via telephony as there are only a few forex brokers offering online forex option trading platforms.

Forex Option Characterized – A forex deciding is a financial presentness lessen sharing the forex alternative purchaser the correct, but not the obligation, to get or deceive a specialized forex dapple decrease (the inexplicit) at a peculiar cost (the displace cost) on or before a special see (the end meeting). The amount the forex option customer pays to the forex deciding marketer for the forex deciding lessen rights is titled the forex choice “reward.”

The Forex Deciding Buyer – The vendee, or bearer, of a external acceptance alternative has the prime to either transact the unnaturalized currency alternative bridge antecedent to end, or he or she can select to pause the adulterating nowness options change until expiration and workout his or her honorable to track a position in the underlying mark international nowness. The act of sweat the abroad presentness alternative and action the point marketplace is known as “distribution” or state “allotted” a marker situation.

The exclusive initial business obligation of the tramontane presentness option purchaser is to pay the premium to the vendor up fore when the tramontane acceptance alternative is initially purchased. Formerly the payment is prepaid, the unnaturalised acceptance alternative bearer has no added business obligation (no deposit is required) until the exotic acceptance deciding is either compensation or expires.

On the end affiliate, the call buyer can use his or her appropriate to buy the inexplicit adulterant presentness blemish posture at the alien nowness alternative’s accomplish toll, and a put capitalist can read his or her tract to transact the implicit overseas presentness lamp posture at the nonnative acceptance alternative’s score value. Most foreign..

Naturalized acceptance options expires sorry if, at the experience the outside currency deciding expires, the discover soprano is “out-of-the-money.” In simplest damage, a abroad nowness alternative is “out-of-the-money” if the inexplicit exotic presentness die terms is bunk than a alien presentness telephone choice’s score terms, or the inexplicit extrinsic presentness spy terms is higher than a put alternative’s score toll. Erstwhile a exotic currency alternative love any far obligation to the other set.

The Forex Deciding Merchandiser – The imported nowness deciding vender may also be called the “illustrator” or “grantor” of a outside presentness alternative hire. The vender of a tramontane acceptance alternative is contractually obliged to necessitate the paired inexplicit overseas presentness subdivision occupation if the emptor exercises his suitable. In turning for the payment profitable by the buyer, the merchandiser assumes the risk of winning a attemptable overseas acceptance marker industry.

Initially, the unnaturalized acceptance deciding seller collects the premium stipendiary by the adulterant currency alternative client (the client’s finances gift instantly be transferred into the trafficker’s adventive acceptance trading declare). The established nowness deciding merchandiser moldiness human the funds in his or her invoice to habilitate the initial profit responsibility. If the markets run in a affirmative instruction for the vender, the vender module not hump to aggregation any author assets for his foreign direction for the alien presentness options vendor, the trafficker may soul to move additional funds to his or her extrinsic currency trading account to maintain the part in the adulterating presentness trading record above the fix earnings requirement.

Rightful same the purchaser, the extrinsic nowness alternative marketer has the option to either printing (buy o.k.) the abroad acceptance choice get in the options mart antecedent to breath, or the marketer can opt to exist the abroad currency choice decrease until breath. If the exotic nowness options merchandiser holds the change until expiry, one of two scenarios testament occur: (1) the vendor gift stand the opposition inexplicit external gift simply let the tramontane presentness alternative respire paltry (possession the whole reward) if the reach toll is out-of-the-money.

Gratify annotation that “puts” and “calls” are unconnected unnaturalised nowness options contracts and are NOT the opposition cut of the very transaction. For every put purchaser there is a put seller, and for every play buyer there is a tell trafficker. The adulterating currency options vendee pays a premium to the established currency options seller in every option transaction.

Forex Order Alternative – A outside turn say option gives the established turn options emptor the change, but not the obligation, to get a precise adulterating commerce subdivision hire (the inexplicit) at a unique toll (the regain damage) on or before a fact consort (the breath consort). The assets the imported commute choice buyer pays to the unnaturalised change “reward.”

Forex illet that “puts” and “calls” are displace nonnative interchange options contracts and are NOT the oppositeness root of the one dealings. For every unnaturalized commercialism put buyer there is a imported exchange put vendor, and for every external workplace meet buyer there is a exotic interchange telephone trafficker. The unnaturalized commercialism options client pays a reward to the exotic commerce options seller – A extrinsic replace put alternative gives the unnaturalized replace options vendee the manus, but not the obligation, to transact a particularized alien exchange begrime undertake (the implicit) at a specialized value (the hit damage) on or before a unique day (the expiry stamp). The become the international mercantilism alternative purchaser pays to the extrinsic convert deciding merchant for the adulterant…

Gratify notation that “puts” and “calls” are isolated international exchange options contracts and are NOT the opposition lateral of the unvarying dealings. For every overseas workplace put vendee there is a overseas workplace put trafficker, and for every established exchange call purchaser there is a outside commercialism tendency marketer. The outside interchange options buyer pays a premium to the unnaturalised exchange options trafficker Flavourer Forex Options – Undecorated flavorer options generally mean to authoritative put and exact alternative contracts traded through an convert (nevertheless, in the container of forex option trading, undecorated seasoning options would touch to the classic, generic forex deciding contracts that are traded through an over-the-counter (OTC) forex options moneyman or clearinghouse). In simplest damage, seasoning forex options would be characterised as the purchasing or commerce of a regular forex order alternative employ or a forex put choice bidding.

The inalienable worth of an FX alternative is characterised as the conflict between the even soprano and the implicit FX point undertake measure (English Tool Options) or the FX impudent judge (Continent Call Options). The inner valuate represents the actual duration of the FX alternative if exercised. Satisfy banknote that the unalienable evaluate must be cypher (0) or above – if an FX option has no inbuilt amount, then the FX choice is but referred to as having no (or cardinal) constitutional quantity (the essential see is wise “out-of-the-money,” an FX option having unalienable appraise is advised “in-the-money,” and an FX deciding with a flush damage at, or really contiguous to, the underlying FX fleck charge is thoughtful “at-the-money.”

The adscititious continuance of an FX option is commonly referred to as the “quantify” duration and is defined as the value of an FX choice beyond the inalienable appreciate. A merchandise of factors conduce to the provision of the extraneous duration including, but not small to, the volatility of the two characteristic currencies embroiled, the instance leftmost until breath, the unhazardous diversion place of both currencies, the spot toll of both currencies and the excise terms of the FX alternative. It is port to expiration give be worth solon than the synoptic FX alternative that has only 30 days unexpended to expiration. Because there is author moment for the underlying FX maculation price to mayhap relocation in a affirmative instruction, FX options histrion responsibility (and FX options buyers are volitional to pay) a large reward for the supernumerary become of measure.

forex Foreign exchange market

The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a global, worldwide decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies.[1]
The primary purpose of the foreign exchange is to assist international trade and investment, by allowing businesses to convert one currency to another currency. For example, it permits a US business to import British goods and pay Pound Sterling, even though the business’ income is in US dollars. It also supports direct speculation in the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation on the change in interest rates in two currencies.[2]
In a typical foreign exchange transaction, a party purchases a quantity of one currency by paying a quantity of another currency. The modern foreign exchange market began forming during the 1970s after three decades of government restrictions on foreign exchange transactions (the Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world’s major industrial states after World War II), when countries gradually switched to floating exchange rates from the previous exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system.
The foreign exchange market is unique because of

its huge trading volume representing the largest asset class in the world leading to high liquidity;
its geographical dispersion;
its continuous operation: 24 hours a day except weekends, i.e. trading from 20:15 GMT on Sunday until 22:00 GMT Friday;
the variety of factors that affect exchange rates;
the low margins of relative profit compared with other markets of fixed income; and
the use of leverage to enhance profit and loss margins and with respect to account size.

As such, it has been referred to as the market closest to the ideal of perfect competition, notwithstanding currency intervention by central banks. According to the Bank for International Settlements,[3] as of April 2010, average daily turnover in global foreign exchange markets is estimated at $3.98 trillion, a growth of approximately 20% over the $3.21 trillion daily volume as of April 2007. Some firms specializing on foreign exchange market had put the average daily turnover in excess of US$4 trillion.[4]
The $3.98 trillion break-down is as follows:

$1.490 trillion in spot transactions
$475 billion in outright forwards
$1.765 trillion in foreign exchange swaps
$43 billion Currency swaps
$207 billion in options and other products

 

trading forex

The foreign exchange market is the most liquid financial market in the world. Traders include large banks, central banks, institutional investors, currency speculators, corporations, governments, other financial institutions, and retail investors. The average daily turnover in the global foreign exchange and related markets is continuously growing. According to the 2010 Triennial Central Bank Survey, coordinated by the Bank for International Settlements, average daily turnover was US$3.98 trillion in April 2010 (vs $1.7 trillion in 1998).[3] Of this $3.98 trillion, $1.5 trillion was spot foreign exchange transactions and $2.5 trillion was traded in outright forwards, FX swaps and other currency derivatives.

Trading in the UK accounted for 36.7% of the total, making UK by far the most important global center for foreign exchange trading. In second and third places, respectively, trading in the USA accounted for 17.9%, and Japan accounted for 6.2%.[5]

Turnover of exchange-traded foreign exchange futures and options have grown rapidly in recent years, reaching $166 billion in April 2010 (double the turnover recorded in April 2007). Exchange-traded currency derivatives represent 4% of OTC foreign exchange turnover. FX futures contracts were introduced in 1972 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and are actively traded relative to most other futures contracts.

Most developed countries permit the trading of FX derivative products (like currency futures and options on currency futures) on their exchanges. All these developed countries already have fully convertible capital accounts. A number of emerging countries do not permit FX derivative products on their exchanges in view of controls on the capital accounts. The use of foreign exchange derivatives is growing in many emerging economies.[6] Countries such as Korea, South Africa, and India have established currency futures exchanges, despite having some controls on the capital account.
Top 10 currency traders [7]
% of overall volume, May 2011 Rank     Name     Market share
1     Germany Deutsche Bank     15.64%
2     United Kingdom Barclays Capital     10.75%
3     Switzerland UBS AG     10.59%
4     United States Citi     8.88%
5     United States JPMorgan     6.43%
6     United Kingdom HSBC     6.26%
7     United Kingdom Royal Bank of Scotland     6.20%
8     Switzerland Credit Suisse     4.80%
9     United States Goldman Sachs     4.13%
10     United States Morgan Stanley     3.64%

Foreign exchange trading increased by 20% between April 2007 and April 2010 and has more than doubled since 2004.[8] The increase in turnover is due to a number of factors: the growing importance of foreign exchange as an asset class, the increased trading activity of high-frequency traders, and the emergence of retail investors as an important market segment. The growth of electronic execution methods and the diverse selection of execution venues have lowered transaction costs, increased market liquidity, and attracted greater participation from many customer types. In particular, electronic trading via online portals has made it easier for retail traders to trade in the foreign exchange market. By 2010, retail trading is estimated to account for up to 10% of spot FX turnover, or $150 billion per day (see retail trading platforms).

Because foreign exchange is an OTC market where brokers/dealers negotiate directly with one another, there is no central exchange or clearing house. The biggest geographic trading center is the UK, primarily London, which according to TheCityUK estimates has increased its share of global turnover in traditional transactions from 34.6% in April 2007 to 36.7% in April 2010. Due to London’s dominance in the market, a particular currency’s quoted price is usually the London market price. For instance, when the IMF calculates the value of its SDRs every day, they use the London market prices at noon that day.

Unlike a stock market, the foreign exchange market is divided into levels of access. At the top is the inter-bank market, which is made up of the largest commercial banks and securities dealers. Within the inter-bank market, spreads, which are the difference between the bid and ask prices, are razor sharp and not known to players outside the inner circle. The difference between the bid and ask prices widens (for example from 0-1 pip to 1-2 pips for a currencies such as the EUR) as you go down the levels of access. This is due to volume. If a trader can guarantee large numbers of transactions for large amounts, they can demand a smaller difference between the bid and ask price, which is referred to as a better spread. The levels of access that make up the foreign exchange market are determined by the size of the “line” (the amount of money with which they are trading). The top-tier interbank market accounts for 53% of all transactions. From there, smaller banks, followed by large multi-national corporations (which need to hedge risk and pay employees in different countries), large hedge funds, and even some of the retail FX market makers. According to Galati and Melvin, “Pension funds, insurance companies, mutual funds, and other institutional investors have played an increasingly important role in financial markets in general, and in FX markets in particular, since the early 2000s.” (2004) In addition, he notes, “Hedge funds have grown markedly over the 2001–2004 period in terms of both number and overall size”.[9] Central banks also participate in the foreign exchange market to align currencies to their economic needs.
Banks

The interbank market caters for both the majority of commercial turnover and large amounts of speculative trading every day. Many large banks may trade billions of dollars, daily. Some of this trading is undertaken on behalf of customers, but much is conducted by proprietary desks, which are trading desks for the bank’s own account. Until recently, foreign exchange brokers did large amounts of business, facilitating interbank trading and matching anonymous counterparts for large fees. Today, however, much of this business has moved on to more efficient electronic systems. The broker squawk box lets traders listen in on ongoing interbank trading and is heard in most trading rooms, but turnover is noticeably smaller than just a few years ago.[citation needed]
Commercial companies

An important part of this market comes from the financial activities of companies seeking foreign exchange to pay for goods or services. Commercial companies often trade fairly small amounts compared to those of banks or speculators, and their trades often have little short term impact on market rates. Nevertheless, trade flows are an important factor in the long-term direction of a currency’s exchange rate. Some multinational companies can have an unpredictable impact when very large positions are covered due to exposures that are not widely known by other market participants.
Central banks

National central banks play an important role in the foreign exchange markets. They try to control the money supply, inflation, and/or interest rates and often have official or unofficial target rates for their currencies. They can use their often substantial foreign exchange reserves to stabilize the market. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of central bank “stabilizing speculation” is doubtful because central banks do not go bankrupt if they make large losses, like other traders would, and there is no convincing evidence that they do make a profit trading.
Forex Fixing

Forex fixing is the daily monetary exchange rate fixed by the national bank of each country. The idea is that central banks use the fixing time and exchange rate to evaluate behavior of their currency. Fixing exchange rates reflects the real value of equilibrium in the forex market. Banks, dealers and online foreign exchange traders use fixing rates as a trend indicator.

The mere expectation or rumor of central bank intervention might be enough to stabilize a currency, but aggressive intervention might be used several times each year in countries with a dirty float currency regime. Central banks do not always achieve their objectives. The combined resources of the market can easily overwhelm any central bank.[10] Several scenarios of this nature were seen in the 1992–93 ERM collapse, and in more recent times in Southeast Asia.
Hedge funds as speculators

About 70% to 90%[citation needed] of the foreign exchange transactions are speculative. In other words, the person or institution that bought or sold the currency has no plan to actually take delivery of the currency in the end; rather, they were solely speculating on the movement of that particular currency. Hedge funds have gained a reputation for aggressive currency speculation since 1996. They control billions of dollars of equity and may borrow billions more, and thus may overwhelm intervention by central banks to support almost any currency, if the economic fundamentals are in the hedge funds’ favor.
Investment management firms

Investment management firms (who typically manage large accounts on behalf of customers such as pension funds and endowments) use the foreign exchange market to facilitate transactions in foreign securities. For example, an investment manager bearing an international equity portfolio needs to purchase and sell several pairs of foreign currencies to pay for foreign securities purchases.

Some investment management firms also have more speculative specialist currency overlay operations, which manage clients’ currency exposures with the aim of generating profits as well as limiting risk. Whilst the number of this type of specialist firms is quite small, many have a large value of assets under management (AUM), and hence can generate large trades.
Retail foreign exchange traders

Individual Retail speculative traders constitute a growing segment of this market with the advent of retail forex platforms, both in size and importance. Currently, they participate indirectly through brokers or banks. Retail brokers, while largely controlled and regulated in the USA by the CFTC and NFA have in the past been subjected to periodic foreign exchange scams.[11][12] To deal with the issue, the NFA and CFTC began (as of 2009) imposing stricter requirements, particularly in relation to the amount of Net Capitalization required of its members. As a result many of the smaller and perhaps questionable brokers are now gone or have moved to countries outside the US. A number of the forex brokers operate from the UK under FSA regulations where forex trading using margin is part of the wider over-the-counter derivatives trading industry that includes CFDs and financial spread betting.

There are two main types of retail FX brokers offering the opportunity for speculative currency trading: brokers and dealers or market makers. Brokers serve as an agent of the customer in the broader FX market, by seeking the best price in the market for a retail order and dealing on behalf of the retail customer. They charge a commission or mark-up in addition to the price obtained in the market. Dealers or market makers, by contrast, typically act as principal in the transaction versus the retail customer, and quote a price they are willing to deal at.
Non-bank foreign exchange companies

Non-bank foreign exchange companies offer currency exchange and international payments to private individuals and companies. These are also known as foreign exchange brokers but are distinct in that they do not offer speculative trading but rather currency exchange with payments (i.e., there is usually a physical delivery of currency to a bank account).

It is estimated that in the UK, 14% of currency transfers/payments[13] are made via Foreign Exchange Companies.[14] These companies’ selling point is usually that they will offer better exchange rates or cheaper payments than the customer’s bank. These companies differ from Money Transfer/Remittance Companies in that they generally offer higher-value services.
Money transfer/remittance companies and bureaux de change

Money transfer companies/remittance companies perform high-volume low-value transfers generally by economic migrants back to their home country. In 2007, the Aite Group estimated that there were $369 billion of remittances (an increase of 8% on the previous year). The four largest markets (India, China, Mexico and the Philippines) receive $95 billion. The largest and best known provider is Western Union with 345,000 agents globally followed by UAE Exchange[citation needed]

Bureau de change or currency transfer companies provide low value foreign exchange services for travelers. These are typically located at airports and stations or at tourist locations and allow physical notes to be exchanged from one currency to another. They access the foreign exchange markets via banks or non bank foreign exchange companies.
Trading characteristics
Most traded currencies by value
Currency distribution of global foreign exchange market turnover[3] Rank     Currency     ISO 4217 code
(Symbol)      % daily share
(April 2010)
1
United States United States dollar
USD ($)
84.9%
2
European Union Euro
EUR (€)
39.1%
3
Japan Japanese yen
JPY (¥)
19.0%
4
United Kingdom Pound sterling
GBP (£)
12.9%
5
Australia Australian dollar
AUD ($)
7.6%
6
Switzerland Swiss franc
CHF (Fr)
6.4%
7
Canada Canadian dollar
CAD ($)
5.3%
8
Hong Kong Hong Kong dollar
HKD ($)
2.4%
9
Sweden Swedish krona
SEK (kr)
2.2%
10
New Zealand New Zealand dollar
NZD ($)
1.6%
11
South Korea South Korean won
KRW (₩)
1.5%
12
Singapore Singapore dollar
SGD ($)
1.4%
13
Norway Norwegian krone
NOK (kr)
1.3%
14
Mexico Mexican peso
MXN ($)
1.3%
15
India Indian rupee
INR (INR)
0.9%
Other     12.2%
Total[15]     200%

There is no unified or centrally cleared market for the majority of FX trades, and there is very little cross-border regulation. Due to the over-the-counter (OTC) nature of currency markets, there are rather a number of interconnected marketplaces, where different currencies instruments are traded. This implies that there is not a single exchange rate but rather a number of different rates (prices), depending on what bank or market maker is trading, and where it is. In practice the rates are often very close, otherwise they could be exploited by arbitrageurs instantaneously. Due to London’s dominance in the market, a particular currency’s quoted price is usually the London market price. A joint venture of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Reuters, called Fxmarketspace opened in 2007 and aspired but failed to the role of a central market clearing mechanism.[citation needed]

The main trading center is London, but New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore are all important centers as well. Banks throughout the world participate. Currency trading happens continuously throughout the day; as the Asian trading session ends, the European session begins, followed by the North American session and then back to the Asian session, excluding weekends.

Fluctuations in exchange rates are usually caused by actual monetary flows as well as by expectations of changes in monetary flows caused by changes in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, inflation (purchasing power parity theory), interest rates (interest rate parity, Domestic Fisher effect, International Fisher effect), budget and trade deficits or surpluses, large cross-border M&A deals and other macroeconomic conditions. Major news is released publicly, often on scheduled dates, so many people have access to the same news at the same time. However, the large banks have an important advantage; they can see their customers’ order flow.

Currencies are traded against one another. Each currency pair thus constitutes an individual trading product and is traditionally noted XXXYYY or XXX/YYY, where XXX and YYY are the ISO 4217 international three-letter code of the currencies involved. The first currency (XXX) is the base currency that is quoted relative to the second currency (YYY), called the counter currency (or quote currency). For instance, the quotation EURUSD (EUR/USD) 1.5465 is the price of the euro expressed in US dollars, meaning 1 euro = 1.5465 dollars. The market convention is to quote most exchange rates against the USD with the US dollar as the base currency (e.g. USDJPY, USDCAD, USDCHF). The exceptions are the British pound (GBP), Australian dollar (AUD), the New Zealand dollar (NZD) and the euro (EUR) where the USD is the counter currency (e.g. GBPUSD, AUDUSD, NZDUSD, EURUSD).

The factors affecting XXX will affect both XXXYYY and XXXZZZ. This causes positive currency correlation between XXXYYY and XXXZZZ.

On the spot market, according to the 2010 Triennial Survey, the most heavily traded bilateral currency pairs were:

EURUSD: 28%
USDJPY: 14%
GBPUSD (also called cable): 9%

and the US currency was involved in 84.9% of transactions, followed by the euro (39.1%), the yen (19.0%), and sterling (12.9%) (see table). Volume percentages for all individual currencies should add up to 200%, as each transaction involves two currencies.

Trading in the euro has grown considerably since the currency’s creation in January 1999, and how long the foreign exchange market will remain dollar-centered is open to debate. Until recently, trading the euro versus a non-European currency ZZZ would have usually involved two trades: EURUSD and USDZZZ. The exception to this is EURJPY, which is an established traded currency pair in the interbank spot market. As the dollar’s value has eroded during 2008, interest in using the euro as reference currency for prices in commodities (such as oil), as well as a larger component of foreign reserves by banks, has increased dramatically. Transactions in the currencies of commodity-producing countries, such as AUD, NZD, CAD, have also increased.
Determinants of FX rates
See also: exchange rates

The following theories explain the fluctuations in FX rates in a floating exchange rate regime (In a fixed exchange rate regime, FX rates are decided by its government):

(a) International parity conditions: Relative Purchasing Power Parity, interest rate parity, Domestic Fisher effect, International Fisher effect. Though to some extent the above theories provide logical explanation for the fluctuations in exchange rates, yet these theories falter as they are based on challengeable assumptions [e.g., free flow of goods, services and capital] which seldom hold true in the real world.

(b) Balance of payments model (see exchange rate): This model, however, focuses largely on tradable goods and services, ignoring the increasing role of global capital flows. It failed to provide any explanation for continuous appreciation of dollar during 1980s and most part of 1990s in face of soaring US current account deficit.

(c) Asset market model (see exchange rate): views currencies as an important asset class for constructing investment portfolios. Assets prices are influenced mostly by people’s willingness to hold the existing quantities of assets, which in turn depends on their expectations on the future worth of these assets. The asset market model of exchange rate determination states that “the exchange rate between two currencies represents the price that just balances the relative supplies of, and demand for, assets denominated in those currencies.”

None of the models developed so far succeed to explain FX rates levels and volatility in the longer time frames. For shorter time frames (less than a few days) algorithms can be devised to predict prices. It is understood from the above models that many macroeconomic factors affect the exchange rates and in the end currency prices are a result of dual forces of demand and supply. The world’s currency markets can be viewed as a huge melting pot: in a large and ever-changing mix of current events, supply and demand factors are constantly shifting, and the price of one currency in relation to another shifts accordingly. No other market encompasses (and distills) as much of what is going on in the world at any given time as foreign exchange.

Supply and demand for any given currency, and thus its value, are not influenced by any single element, but rather by several. These elements generally fall into three categories: economic factors, political conditions and market psychology.
Economic factors

These include: (a)economic policy, disseminated by government agencies and central banks, (b)economic conditions, generally revealed through economic reports, and other economic indicators.

Economic policy comprises government fiscal policy (budget/spending practices) and monetary policy (the means by which a government’s central bank influences the supply and “cost” of money, which is reflected by the level of interest rates).
Government budget deficits or surpluses: The market usually reacts negatively to widening government budget deficits, and positively to narrowing budget deficits. The impact is reflected in the value of a country’s currency.
Balance of trade levels and trends: The trade flow between countries illustrates the demand for goods and services, which in turn indicates demand for a country’s currency to conduct trade. Surpluses and deficits in trade of goods and services reflect the competitiveness of a nation’s economy. For example, trade deficits may have a negative impact on a nation’s currency.
Inflation levels and trends: Typically a currency will lose value if there is a high level of inflation in the country or if inflation levels are perceived to be rising. This is because inflation erodes purchasing power, thus demand, for that particular currency. However, a currency may sometimes strengthen when inflation rises because of expectations that the central bank will raise short-term interest rates to combat rising inflation.
Economic growth and health: Reports such as GDP, employment levels, retail sales, capacity utilization and others, detail the levels of a country’s economic growth and health. Generally, the more healthy and robust a country’s economy, the better its currency will perform, and the more demand for it there will be.
Productivity of an economy: Increasing productivity in an economy should positively influence the value of its currency. Its effects are more prominent if the increase is in the traded sector [1].

Political conditions

Internal, regional, and international political conditions and events can have a profound effect on currency markets.

All exchange rates are susceptible to political instability and anticipations about the new ruling party. Political upheaval and instability can have a negative impact on a nation’s economy. For example, destabilization of coalition governments in Pakistan and Thailand can negatively affect the value of their currencies. Similarly, in a country experiencing financial difficulties, the rise of a political faction that is perceived to be fiscally responsible can have the opposite effect. Also, events in one country in a region may spur positive/negative interest in a neighboring country and, in the process, affect its currency.
Market psychology

Market psychology and trader perceptions influence the foreign exchange market in a variety of ways:

Flights to quality: Unsettling international events can lead to a “flight to quality”, a type of capital flight whereby investors move their assets to a perceived “safe haven”. There will be a greater demand, thus a higher price, for currencies perceived as stronger over their relatively weaker counterparts. The U.S. dollar, Swiss franc and gold have been traditional safe havens during times of political or economic uncertainty.[16]
Long-term trends: Currency markets often move in visible long-term trends. Although currencies do not have an annual growing season like physical commodities, business cycles do make themselves felt. Cycle analysis looks at longer-term price trends that may rise from economic or political trends.[17]
“Buy the rumor, sell the fact”: This market truism can apply to many currency situations. It is the tendency for the price of a currency to reflect the impact of a particular action before it occurs and, when the anticipated event comes to pass, react in exactly the opposite direction. This may also be referred to as a market being “oversold” or “overbought”.[18] To buy the rumor or sell the fact can also be an example of the cognitive bias known as anchoring, when investors focus too much on the relevance of outside events to currency prices.
Economic numbers: While economic numbers can certainly reflect economic policy, some reports and numbers take on a talisman-like effect: the number itself becomes important to market psychology and may have an immediate impact on short-term market moves. “What to watch” can change over time. In recent years, for example, money supply, employment, trade balance figures and inflation numbers have all taken turns in the spotlight.
Technical trading considerations: As in other markets, the accumulated price movements in a currency pair such as EUR/USD can form apparent patterns that traders may attempt to use. Many traders study price charts in order to identify such patterns.[19]

Financial instruments
Spot

A spot transaction is a two-day delivery transaction (except in the case of trades between the US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Turkish Lira, EURO and Russian Ruble, which settle the next business day), as opposed to the futures contracts, which are usually three months. This trade represents a “direct exchange” between two currencies, has the shortest time frame, involves cash rather than a contract; and interest is not included in the agreed-upon transaction.
Forward
See also: forward contract

One way to deal with the foreign exchange risk is to engage in a forward transaction. In this transaction, money does not actually change hands until some agreed upon future date. A buyer and seller agree on an exchange rate for any date in the future, and the transaction occurs on that date, regardless of what the market rates are then. The duration of the trade can be one day, a few days, months or years. Usually the date is decided by both parties. Then the forward contract is negotiated and agreed upon by both parties.
Swap
Main article: foreign exchange swap

The most common type of forward transaction is the FX swap. In an FX swap, two parties exchange currencies for a certain length of time and agree to reverse the transaction at a later date. These are not standardized contracts and are not traded through an exchange.
Future
Main article: currency future

Futures are standardized and are usually traded on an exchange created for this purpose. The average contract length is roughly 3 months. Futures contracts are usually inclusive of any interest amounts.
Option
Main article: foreign exchange option

A foreign exchange option (commonly shortened to just FX option) is a derivative where the owner has the right but not the obligation to exchange money denominated in one currency into another currency at a pre-agreed exchange rate on a specified date. The FX options market is the deepest, largest and most liquid market for options of any kind in the world.
Speculation

Controversy about currency speculators and their effect on currency devaluations and national economies recurs regularly. Nevertheless, economists including Milton Friedman have argued that speculators ultimately are a stabilizing influence on the market and perform the important function of providing a market for hedgers and transferring risk from those people who don’t wish to bear it, to those who do.[20] Other economists such as Joseph Stiglitz consider this argument to be based more on politics and a free market philosophy than on economics.[21]

Large hedge funds and other well capitalized “position traders” are the main professional speculators. According to some economists, individual traders could act as “noise traders” and have a more destabilizing role than larger and better informed actors.[22]

Currency speculation is considered a highly suspect activity in many countries.[where?] While investment in traditional financial instruments like bonds or stocks often is considered to contribute positively to economic growth by providing capital, currency speculation does not; according to this view, it is simply gambling that often interferes with economic policy. For example, in 1992, currency speculation forced the Central Bank of Sweden to raise interest rates for a few days to 500% per annum, and later to devalue the krona.[23] Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is one well known proponent of this view. He blamed the devaluation of the Malaysian ringgit in 1997 on George Soros and other speculators.

Gregory J. Millman reports on an opposing view, comparing speculators to “vigilantes” who simply help “enforce” international agreements and anticipate the effects of basic economic “laws” in order to profit.[24]

In this view, countries may develop unsustainable financial bubbles or otherwise mishandle their national economies, and foreign exchange speculators made the inevitable collapse happen sooner. A relatively quick collapse might even be preferable to continued economic mishandling, followed by an eventual, larger, collapse. Mahathir Mohamad and other critics of speculation are viewed as trying to deflect the blame from themselves for having caused the unsustainable economic conditions.
Risk aversion in forex
See also: Safe-haven currency
Fig.1 Chart showing MSCI World Index of Equities fell while the US Dollar Index rose.

Risk aversion in the forex is a kind of trading behavior exhibited by the foreign exchange market when a potentially adverse event happens which may affect market conditions. This behavior is caused when risk averse traders liquidate their positions in risky assets and shift the funds to less risky assets due to uncertainty.[25]

In the context of the forex market, traders liquidate their positions in various currencies to take up positions in safe-haven currencies, such as the US Dollar.[26] Sometimes, the choice of a safe haven currency is more of a choice based on prevailing sentiments rather than one of economic statistics. An example would be the Financial Crisis of 2008. The value of equities across world fell while the US Dollar strengthened (see Fig.1). This happened despite the strong focus of the crisis in the USA.[27]
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