A Little More About Forex For Beginner

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What is Forex?
Forex, or the foreign exchange market (also called FX for short) is the marketplace where currencies are traded. At its simplest, a foreign exchange transaction might be, for example, when you transfer your local currency to a new one for an upcoming holiday. Across the market as a whole, an estimated 5.3 billion USD is traded every day between governments, banks, corporations, and speculators.

Knowing how the industry is mapped out is important, because the collective combination of all participants creates the market you trade in. The relative weight of the trading party to the market is measured by how much money that party manages – from billion dollar hedge funds and investment banks, to private traders with a few thousand dollars in action.

Currencies are traded as pairs, and the movement of currency pairs measure the value of one currency against another. For instance, the EURUSD currency pair measures the value of the Euro against the US dollar. When the value of the pair increases, this means the value of the Euro has increased against the value of the US dollar. When the value of the pair decreases, this means the value of the US dollar has increased (or the value of the Euro has fallen).

By trading Forex and CFDs, traders can make a profit off of these currency movements.

Which Forex Pairs Can You Trade?
Forex currency pairs are known as majors, minors, and exotics.

Major currency pairs are made up of the most frequently traded currencies, which are:

  • USD - The US Dollar
  • EUR - The Euro
  • JPY - The Japanese Yen
  • GBP - The British Pound
  • CHF - The Swiss Franc
  • CAD - The Canadian Dollar
  • AUD - The Australian Dollar
  • NZD - The New Zealand Dollar
A major currency pair is one that contains any one of these currencies paired against the US dollar, such as the EUR/USD, USDJPY or the GBPUSD. Forex minors pairs made up of these major currencies that don't include the US dollar. These pairs include EURGBP, EURCHF, AUDNZD and so on.

Finally, exotic currencies are any currencies that we haven't already mentioned, such as the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), the Norwegian Krone (NOK), the South African Rand (ZAR) and the Thai Baht (THB). Exotic pairs include one exotic currency and one major currency.

When learning about Forex trading, many beginners tend to focus on major currency pairs because of their daily volatility and tight spreads. But there are numerous other opportunities – from exotic FX pairs, to CFD trading opportunities on stocks, commodities, energy futures, to indices. There are even indices that track groups of indices, and you can trade them as well.

How many markets you scan for opportunities is up to you, but do not limit yourself to just one instrument or one market. Market limitation can lead to overtrading, so make sure to diversify your investment.

How Do Forex Quotes Work?
When trading Forex, you'll see that both 'Bid' and 'Ask' prices are quoted. The bid price is the price at which you can buy the currency, while the ask price is the price at which you can sell it. If you are purchasing a currency in a trade, this is known as a long trade, and the hope is that the currency pair will increase in value, so that you can sell it at a higher price and make a profit on the difference.

If you are selling a currency in a trade, the opposite is true - the hope is that the currency pair will fall in value, so that you can buy it back at a lower price, which means you will profit on the difference.

The number quoted for these prices is based on the current exchange rate of the currencies in the pair, or how much of the second currency you would get in exchange for one unit of the first currency (for instance, if 1 EUR could be exchanged for 1.68 USD, the bid and ask price would be on either side of this number). Learn more about Forex quotes in this article: Understanding and Reading Forex Quotes.
 

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