Subsidiary relationships are as follows:. Both of these firms have been acquired by FXCM. I have added the June figures to the previous table from the first post in this thread. And I have compared the Adjusted Net Capital positions of 24 forex brokers as of May 31 and June 30, and calculated the percentage change which occurred from May to June.
These figures are shown in the expanded table, below. In the table below, forex brokers are listed in order according to Adjusted Net Capital as of May Forex Brokers. Clint May 31, , pm 1. Clint May 24, , pm 3. Clint May 24, , pm 4. Unlike a stock market, the foreign exchange market is divided into levels of access. At the top is the interbank foreign exchange market , which is made up of the largest commercial banks and securities dealers.
Within the interbank 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 to 1 pip to 1—2 pips for 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. An important part of the foreign exchange 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 a 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 corporations MNCs can have an unpredictable impact when very large positions are covered due to exposures that are not widely known by other market participants. National central banks play an important role in the foreign exchange markets.
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 as other traders would. There is also no convincing evidence that they actually make a profit from trading.
Foreign exchange 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 the behavior of their currency. Fixing exchange rates reflect the real value of equilibrium in the market. Banks, dealers, and traders use fixing rates as a market trend indicator. The mere expectation or rumor of a central bank foreign exchange intervention might be enough to stabilize the currency.
However, 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. 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.
While the number of this type of specialist firms is quite small, many have a large value of assets under management and can, therefore, generate large trades. Individual retail speculative traders constitute a growing segment of this market. Currently, they participate indirectly through brokers or banks. Retail brokers, while largely controlled and regulated in the US by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association , have previously been subjected to periodic foreign exchange fraud.
Those NFA members that would traditionally be subject to minimum net capital requirements, FCMs and IBs, are subject to greater minimum net capital requirements if they deal in Forex. A number of the foreign exchange brokers operate from the UK under Financial Services Authority regulations where foreign exchange trading using margin is part of the wider over-the-counter derivatives trading industry that includes contracts for difference 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 principals in the transaction versus the retail customer, and quote a price they are willing to deal at. 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.
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 foreign exchange markets via banks or non-bank foreign exchange companies. There is no unified or centrally cleared market for the majority of 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 quite close due to arbitrage. 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 and aspired but failed to the role of a central market clearing mechanism. 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.
Fluctuations in exchange rates are usually caused by actual monetary flows as well as by expectations of changes in monetary flows. Major news is released publicly, often on scheduled dates, so many people have access to the same news at the same time. However, large banks have an important advantage; they can see their customers' order flow. Currencies are traded against one another in pairs.
The first currency XXX is the base currency that is quoted relative to the second currency YYY , called the counter currency or quote currency. The market convention is to quote most exchange rates against the USD with the US dollar as the base currency e. On the spot market, according to the Triennial Survey, the most heavily traded bilateral currency pairs were:. The U. Trading in the euro has grown considerably since the currency's creation in January , and how long the foreign exchange market will remain dollar-centered is open to debate.
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.
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There are several factors that need to come into your consideration when deciding which forex broker to use. Something else to think about when finding the best UK forex brokers is the range of currencies available for deposits and withdrawals. Ensure that the forex broker not only allows deposits in pounds, but that it also facilitates withdrawals in GBP. It is imperative for traders to stay up to date with relevant news to inform their strategy.
This is in contrast with cryptocurrency markets, with the likes of bitcoin less susceptible to economic and geopolitical trends. It is also worth adding key meetings to your calendar. Trading robots are becoming increasingly common, with their presence potentially another factor to consider when choosing a broker or trading platform.
These robots fulfill trades automatically when a set of pre-determined parameters are met. This means that successful trade is still the product of intelligent human analysis, as a trading robot is only as smart as its programmer. The main advantage of these trading robots is that they can initiate a trade the instant that market levels are favorable. As soon as a currency rises or falls to a certain level, the robot automatically completes the trade on your behalf.
A broker's revenues will come from the commissions it charges and the spreads the traders have to pay. A broker with higher commissions and spreads will generate more revenue than a similar sized broker with lower spreads. There is also the problem of integrated products offered by the companies. A company offering stocks trading, options and futures along with forex trading will generate revenue from more sources as compared to a pure forex broker.
If the stocks business generates most of the revenue, the company can be very large but the forex division can still be small compared to others. Profits - Ranking forex brokers by profits is totally irrelevant, as this criteria includes the same problems we identified when discussing about revenues, and many more.
Just think about a large company with a bloated business that has huge operating costs. It can be a really big company but generate no profit. While they are not managed by the brokers, they represent the total value of the client accounts.
This measure is much more relevant than the previous ones, but it still lacks the differentiation between the forex business and the other services offered by the company. If you mix stocks trading with forex, it is very likely that the largest part of the client funds will be used in trading stocks, not forex. Another thing that makes clients funds less relevant is the different leverage used by brokers.
Lower leverage needs more funds in the broker's custody for the same operations. Also, it is possible to have large forex accounts with very little trading activity. Considering the above mentioned criteria are irrelevant when judging the size of forex brokers, we must come up with a measure that is more relevant to this specific business. In this case, we think that the most relevant criteria to rank forex brokers is by the average volume of daily transactions. Average Volume of Daily Transactions AVDT - The daily transactions of a forex broker can vary a lot, but the more active clients the broker has, the less volatile the value of daily transactions will be.
In order to get a better idea about the real volume of a broker, it is better to calculate the average volume for a larger period of time, as daily and seasonal fluctuations will be less relevant. We think the AVDT becomes relevant when at least the last three months are being taken into consideration when calculating the average.
In order for a forex broker to be considered large it must have an AVDT of at least one billion dollars more than 10, standard lots traded daily. We noticed that all the high quality forex brokers are also large ones and have their AVDT of at least three billion dollars. This is why, in this article we will list only brokers with daily transactions exceeding three billion US dollars.
Below you will see the biggest forex companies in the world by volume of daily transactions. We have separated the companies based on their location, as we have identified four major regions when it comes to forex brokers: United States of America, Europe, Australia and the Rest Of The World.
The regions we identified have different regulation and the brokers in each region must abide by specific rules. The data presented on this article was compiled from different sources such as company presentations and other information found on the internet.
The data is not audited and we cannot guarantee it is accurate. Please take the information about AVDT with a grain of salt as it may contain errors and inaccuracies. Figure 1: Major forex regulators around the world. In order to make it easier for you to identify the best forex brokers from the rest, we have also added our rating next to each broker. We have a dedicated page where you can read more information about our forex broker ratings.
The United States is one of the largest forex markets in the world, but due to very restrictive regulation it has been declining in recent years. It is also the most isolated market since US traders are unable to open account with offshore forex brokers because the FATCA regulations imposed on foreign financial institutions has made it too expensive for anyone to accept US clients.
The strict rules and protection from outside competition had led to consolidation among local brokers, with the most important development being the acquisition of FXCM client base by Gain Capital also known as Forex. Right now there are only three forex brokers in the United States, and one of them is mostly an institutional broker Interactive Brokers , so retail clients have basically only two choices Forex.
This is where most of the large forex companies are located. Because of Europe's cultural and linguistic diversity, local brokers had to adapt early to very different markets and stiff competition, but this has proven to be a great asset when they expanded globally. This is where most brokers are located thanks to the world leading regulation, and even brokers located in other countries such as Denmark's Saxo Bank use a CySEC license for their forex trading division.
While European regulation varies from country to country, they are all compliant with the MIFID legislation of the European Union which adds another layer of protection for traders. Some of the European brokers have gone global, and their operations are spread on different continents. European brokers are used by many traders in Asia, Africa, The Middle East and Latin America, and their total volumes are greatly boosted by their international operations.
Some brokers may have the bulk of their activity from non-European clients attracted by the safety of European regulations and the excellent trading conditions offered by some of the world's leading brokers. Australian brokers are well represented outside Australia's borders as well, because the jurisdiction is very solid and some of the brokers are offering top notch conditions and liquidity. The major forex brokers in Australia are also very successful in other English speaking countries as well as in China and Southeast Asia.
There are three major Australian forex brokers that generate very high average daily volumes, and all of them are experiencing good growth rates. Below you can find the largest forex brokers in Australia:. There are several high volume forex brokers located in other jurisdictions than the ones presented above Australia, Europe and United States.
Since the remaining big brokers are spread around the world and are not concentrated in a smaller region, we have included them in the "rest of the world" category. The brokers listed here come from very different jurisdictions such as St. The brokers in this category abide by different regulation and can vary a lot when it comes to reliability.
However, this does not mean that such brokers cannot be good, as you will see that the ratings they received are very different, from very good to very bad. While US traders will have to settle with a US based broker since they are not allowed to open accounts with foreign companies, people from the rest of the world are free to trade using an offshore forex broker account. In most cases, Europeans will settle for an European broker and Australians will choose a local one as well, but what about people from the rest of the world?
What are their best options? All forex brokers will accept people from most countries, but only a small number of brokers are truly able to handle a diverse client base. In order to better serve people from various countries and continents, a broker must be able to easily handle deposits and withdrawals with a vast number of internationally used payment methods.
The brokers must also allow for accounts denominated in different currencies, have multilingual websites and dedicated customer support for many countries and languages.
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About Us We are willing to fund the best traders in the world. If the leverage is high, the trader can make more profits. However, the risk of accumulating losses is also equally higher. Therefore, you should choose a broker that offers leverage suiting to your needs and based on your style of trading. This is good because you get more money for trading.
You can choose the broker that offers the highest first deposit bonus, but you should make sure other aspects discussed above and those that are discussed below suit your needs. The features to be evaluated when choosing top forex brokers are minimum amount to be deposited to start trading, deposit methods offered, currency options provided, minimum withdrawal amount specified and waiting time for withdrawals, among others. Further, it makes sense to go through all other written policies in detail.
As far as the broker and you are concerned, the significant source of revenue would be the spread, the difference between ask and bid prices. It pays, therefore, to check as to how the brokers you have shortlisted handle spreads: Do they offer fixed or variable spreads?
What is the average and maximum spread for the currency pairs that you are planning to trade? What spreads are offered when the volatility is very high? Do you have to pay any commission for each trade apart from the spread? Similarly, look for forex brokers that offer demo accounts. This helps you to open a practice account. You can try out their platform and find out for yourself as to which of the shortlisted brokers is best suited to your requirements.
Most brokers offer practice accounts these days. Promotions Online forex brokers often try to snatch business through promotions. Do not fall prey to their sales gimmicks. Best forex brokers would never make unbelievable and unachievable promotional offers. It is true that cash and prizes form part of the game, but they should be reasonable. Education Another aspect to look for when evaluating online forex brokers is the educational services offered by them. This helps you to master the art of forex trading.
Brokers that provide you with a variety of educational tools for assisting you in assessing the Forex market are the best forex brokers to work with. Obviously, the former typically operates under regulations stipulated by a forex regulator. Regulated Forex brokers must also be fully licensed and registered in their country of operation, unlike their non-regulated counterparts.
Role of regulation Of course, the role of regulation in Forex market cannot be underestimated. Regulation ensures that all players in this booming industry are strictly supervised. This way, merchants are protected from the many unscrupulous traders out there looking to swindle them off their hard earned money. It offers services to the EU member states. BaFin: BaFin is a financial supervisory authority providing its services to Forex companies in Germany.
To expound more, here are the main reasons why expert traders prefer regulated brokers: 1. That being said, the credibility of any Forex broker is greatly enhanced if the company is regulated by the relevant agencies. Remember that all regulated forex brokers are mandated to follow some strict rules put in place by their respective regulatory bodies. Furthermore, their regulatory bodies expect them to regularly present a copy of their audit report. Compensation Getting compensated in case of any unfortunate scenario is arguably the best reason why most expert traders opt for regulated brokers.
With most regulated brokers, you can rest assured that all your hard earned money will be refunded in case your brokerage firm goes down. This pool of funds is to help settle any form of customer claims in case of any eventuality. In this case, most regulated brokers are always competent enough when dealing with technical support or account issues. In addition, they are very helpful and kind during the whole account opening process.
Quick Deposits and Withdrawals Any reputable Forex broker will allow their merchants to make deposits and withdrawals without any hassle. All they have to do is to facilitate the platform to make it convenient enough for you to trade. Updated Trading Platform Most regulated brokers are mandated by their respective regulatory authorities to provide their clients with the latest, powerful, and easy-to-use trading platforms.
In fact, most of their platforms will readily provide you with all that you need to begin trading immediately. It goes without saying that regulated brokers also offer their clients free demo accounts to help them sharpen their skills before going live.