Your Practice. Popular Courses. Part Of. Basic Forex Overview. Key Forex Concepts. Currency Markets. Advanced Forex Trading Strategies and Concepts. Table of Contents Expand. How Does it Work? Pairs and Pips. Far Fewer Products. What Moves Currencies?
The Bottom Line. Currencies are traded against one another as pairs e. Article Sources. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
Compare Accounts. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Related Articles. Partner Links. Related Terms Electronic Currency Trading Definition Electronic currency trading is a method of trading currencies through an online brokerage account. Forex Mini Account Definition A forex mini account allows traders to participate in currency trades at low capital outlays by offering smaller lot sizes and pip than regular accounts.
Forex FX Forex FX is the market where currencies are traded and is a portmanteau of "foreign" and "exchange. Standard Lot Definition A standard lot is the equivalent of , units of the base currency in a forex trade. A standard lot is similar to trade size. It is one of the three lot sizes; the other two are mini-lot and micro-lot. Dual Currency Service Definition A dual currency service allows investors to speculate on exchange rate movement between two currencies.
Investopedia is part of the Dotdash publishing family. Commodity and currency traders median wages, according to the U. Firm profitability and trading volume can make a big difference in your bonus. Wall Street compensation came under considerable scrutiny as a result of the credit crisis of , and future banking and securities industry changes may affect the way compensation is paid in the United States.
Currency trading centers include New York, Hong Kong and London, with major trading firms located in other cities and significant futures trading taking place in Chicago. Depending on where you live, your day may start with arrival on the trading desk by a. If you trade the Asian markets out of New York, your day may start at 4 p. One constant about work hours in this field is that 12 hours on the trading desk is not unusual.
Currency traders tend to be agile and open minded people with a facility with numbers. They enjoy the pressure of taking risks and working in a time sensitive and risk sensitive environment. On top of that, you ordinarily need at least a master's in business administration or a Ph. If you don't have the educational credentials but can point to years of experience and a verifiable record of outstanding trading performance, you are also qualified.
In a fixed exchange rate regime, exchange rates are decided by the government, while a number of theories have been proposed to explain and predict the fluctuations in exchange rates in a floating exchange rate regime, including:. None of the models developed so far succeed to explain exchange rates 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 supply and demand.
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 include: a economic policy, disseminated by government agencies and central banks, b economic conditions, generally revealed through economic reports, and other economic indicators. 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.
Market psychology and trader perceptions influence the foreign exchange market in a variety of ways:. 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.
Spot trading is one of the most common types of forex trading. Often, a forex broker will charge a small fee to the client to roll-over the expiring transaction into a new identical transaction for a continuation of the trade. This roll-over fee is known as the "swap" fee. 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. NDFs are popular for currencies with restrictions such as the Argentinian peso. In fact, a forex hedger can only hedge such risks with NDFs, as currencies such as the Argentinian peso cannot be traded on open markets like major currencies. The most common type of forward transaction is the foreign exchange swap.
In a 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. A deposit is often required in order to hold the position open until the transaction is completed.
Futures are standardized forward contracts 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. Currency futures contracts are contracts specifying a standard volume of a particular currency to be exchanged on a specific settlement date. Thus the currency futures contracts are similar to forward contracts in terms of their obligation, but differ from forward contracts in the way they are traded.
In addition, Futures are daily settled removing credit risk that exist in Forwards. In addition they are traded by speculators who hope to capitalize on their expectations of exchange rate movements. 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. Controversy about currency speculators and their effect on currency devaluations and national economies recurs regularly. Economists, such as Milton Friedman , have argued that speculators ultimately are a stabilizing influence on the market, and that stabilizing speculation performs 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.
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. Currency speculation is considered a highly suspect activity in many countries. He blamed the devaluation of the Malaysian ringgit in on George Soros and other speculators.
Gregory 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. In this view, countries may develop unsustainable economic 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 is a kind of trading behavior exhibited by the foreign exchange market when a potentially adverse event happens that 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.
In the context of the foreign exchange market, traders liquidate their positions in various currencies to take up positions in safe-haven currencies, such as the US dollar. An example would be the financial crisis of The value of equities across the world fell while the US dollar strengthened see Fig. This happened despite the strong focus of the crisis in the US.
Currency carry trade refers to the act of borrowing one currency that has a low interest rate in order to purchase another with a higher interest rate. A large difference in rates can be highly profitable for the trader, especially if high leverage is used.
However, with all levered investments this is a double edged sword, and large exchange rate price fluctuations can suddenly swing trades into huge losses. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Global decentralized trading of international currencies.
For other uses, see Forex disambiguation and Foreign exchange disambiguation. See also: Forex scandal. Main article: Exchange rate. Derivatives Credit derivative Futures exchange Hybrid security. Foreign exchange Currency Exchange rate. Forwards Options. Spot market Swaps. Main article: Foreign exchange spot. See also: Forward contract. See also: Non-deliverable forward. Main article: Foreign exchange swap. Main article: Currency future. Main article: Foreign exchange option.
See also: Safe-haven currency. Main article: Carry trade. Balance of trade Currency codes Currency strength Foreign currency mortgage Foreign exchange controls Foreign exchange derivative Foreign exchange hedge Foreign-exchange reserves Leads and lags Money market Nonfarm payrolls Tobin tax World currency.
The percentages above are the percent of trades involving that currency regardless of whether it is bought or sold, e. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cottrell p. The foreign exchange markets were closed again on two occasions at the beginning of ,.. Essentials of Foreign Exchange Trading. Retrieved 15 November Triennial Central Bank Survey. Basel , Switzerland : Bank for International Settlements.
September Retrieved 22 October Retrieved 1 September Explaining the triennial survey" PDF. Bank for International Settlements. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 31 October Then Multiply by ". The New York Times.
Retrieved 30 October Retrieved 16 September Financial Glossary. Archived from the original on 27 June Retrieved 22 April Splitting Pennies. Elite E Services. Petters; Xiaoying Dong 17 June Retrieved 18 April Retrieved 25 February Retrieved 27 February The Guardian. Categories : Foreign exchange market. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages Use dmy dates from May Wikipedia articles needing clarification from July All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from May Articles with unsourced statements from June Vague or ambiguous geographic scope from July Commons category link is on Wikidata Articles prone to spam from April Articles with Curlie links.
Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read View source View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons. Currency band Exchange rate Exchange-rate regime Exchange-rate flexibility Dollarization Fixed exchange rate Floating exchange rate Linked exchange rate Managed float regime Dual exchange rate.
Foreign exchange market Futures exchange Retail foreign exchange trading. Currency Currency future Currency forward Non-deliverable forward Foreign exchange swap Currency swap Foreign exchange option. Bureau de change Hard currency Currency pair Foreign exchange fraud Currency intervention. JP Morgan. Deutsche Bank. XTX Markets. State Street Corporation. Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Goldman Sachs. United States dollar. Japanese yen. Pound sterling. Australian dollar. Canadian dollar. Swiss franc.
Hong Kong dollar. New Zealand dollar. Swedish krona. South Korean won. Singapore dollar. Norwegian krone. Mexican peso. Indian rupee. Russian ruble. South African rand. Turkish lira. Brazilian real. New Taiwan dollar. Working for a company usually requires more rigid standards of formal education and training. Every trade a currency trader makes involves two currencies. The trader uses one currency to buy another.
Thus, trades are based on current exchange rates. For example, a trader might buy 1, U. Since all currency values are defined relative to one another, if the yuan were to gain value in relation to the dollar, and become more valuable per dollar, then the trader who bought yuan with U.
There are a variety of vendors that exchange currencies, and each currency trader has the opportunity to shop around for the best deal. The market is open 24 hours during the weekdays. One of the most critical aspects of currency trading, whether for a financial firm or independently, is research. The market for currencies is subject to constant motion during operating hours, so it pays to stay current with trends, news and movements. It also pays to have a thorough understanding of the mechanics of the business.
Any type of news can have an effect on currency trading: economic, political and social. Since the fundamental unit of trading is currency pairs -- the bought currency and the sold currency -- you must stay aware of recent events in the countries whose currency you trade in. In addition to constant vigilance and attention to relevant news, technical analysis is also important for currency traders. It is important for the trader to understand and analyze the relevant numbers and trends associated with any trades he is going to make.
In essence, technical analysis means looking at the numbers to determine the possible risks and rewards of a transaction. For example, if one U. If the trader makes the buy and ends up being correct, then he will have bought euros at far below market value a week earlier.
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