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What is Forex?

Forex, also known as foreign exchange, FX or currency trading, is a decentralized global market where all the world's currencies trade. The forex market is the largest, most liquid market in the world with an average daily trading volume exceeding $5 trillion. All the world's combined stock markets don't even come close to this. But what does that mean to you? Take a closer look at forex trading and you may find some exciting trading opportunities unavailable with other investments.

FOREX TRANSACTION: IT'S ALL IN THE EXCHANGE

If you've ever traveled overseas, you've made a forex transaction. Take a trip to France and you convert your pounds into euros. When you do this, the forex exchange rate between the two currencies—based on supply and demand—determines how many euros you get for your pounds. And the exchange rate fluctuates continuously.

A single pound on Monday could get you 1.19 euros. On Tuesday, 1.20 euros. This tiny change may not seem like a big deal. But think of it on a bigger scale. A large international company may need to pay overseas employees. Imagine what that could do to the bottom line if, like in the example above, simply exchanging one currency for another costs you more depending on when you do it? These few pennies add up quickly. In both cases, you—as a traveler or a business owner—may want to hold your money until the forex exchange rate is more favorable.

There are several key differences between swapping currencies abroad and buying or selling on the forex.

  • The first is convenience. The forex is a decentralised, electronic exchange. Accordingly, participants are able to trade currencies from anywhere, anytime the market is open.
  • The second is efficiency. Forex traders enjoy the utmost in liquidy, which promotes tight spreads, regular volatilities and rock-bottom pricing.

Participating in the foreign exchange market is the easiest, most efficient way of exchanging currencies. You don't have to stand in line at a currency dealer and pay undue premiums to trade monies. Instead, you simply need computing power, internet connectivity and an FX broker to engage the world's currency markets.

OPPORTUNITIES IN FOREX: WHAT'S YOUR OPINION?

Flexibility and diversity are perhaps the two biggest advantages to trading currencies on the forex. The ability to open either a long or short position in the world's leading major, minor or exotic currencies affords traders countless strategic options.
Just like stocks, you can trade currency based on what you think its value is (or where it's headed). But the big difference with forex is that you can trade up or down just as easily. If you think a currency will increase in value, you can buy it. If you think it will decrease, you can sell it. With a market this large, finding a buyer when you're selling and a seller when you're buying is much easier than in other markets. Maybe you hear on the news that China is devaluing its currency to draw more foreign business into its country. If you think that trend will continue, you could make a forex trade by selling the Chinese currency against another currency, say, the US dollar. The more the Chinese currency devalues against the US dollar, the higher your profits. If the Chinese currency increases in value while you have your sell position open, then your losses increase and you want to get out of the trade.

Past Performance: Past Performance is not an indicator of future results.

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MAKING A TRADE: HOW TO BUY AND SELL CURRENCY

You have an opinion. Now what? Open your free forex demo platform and trade your opinion.

What Is Forex How to buy and sell currency

All forex trades involve two currencies because you're betting on the value of a currency against another. Think of EUR/USD, the most-traded currency pair in the world. EUR, the first currency in the pair, is the base, and USD, the second, is the counter. When you see a price quoted on your platform, that price is how much one euro is worth in US dollars. You always see two prices because one is the buy price and one is the sell. The difference between the two is the spread. When you click buy or sell, you are buying or selling the first currency in the pair.

Let's say you think the euro will increase in value against the US dollar. Your pair is EUR/USD. Since the euro is first, and you think it will go up, you buy EUR/USD. If you think the euro will drop in value against the US dollar, you sell EUR/USD.

If the EUR/USD buy price is 0.70644 and the sell price is 0.70640, then the spread is 0.4 pips. If the trade moves in your favor (or against you), then, once you cover the spread, you could make a profit (or loss) on your trade.

Trading FX pairs in the contemporary forex marketplace is straightforward and user-friendly. Vast functionalities are readily available on the software trading platform designed to aid in analysis and trade execution. Some of the most powerful features are advanced charting applications, technical indicators and multiple order types. Whether you are an intraday scalper or long-term investor, modern platforms make it routine to conduct business on the forex.

FRACTIONS OF A PENNY: TRADING ON MARGIN

If prices are quoted to the hundredths of cents, how can you see any significant return on your investment when you trade forex? The answer is leverage.

When you trade forex, you're effectively borrowing the first currency in the pair to buy or sell the second currency. With a US$5-trillion-a-day market, the liquidity is so deep that liquidity providers—the big banks, basically—allow you to trade with leverage. To trade with leverage, you simply set aside the required margin for your trade size. If you're trading 200:1 leverage, for example, you can trade £2,000 in the market while only setting aside £10 in margin in your trading account. For 50:1 leverage, the same trade size would still only require about £40 in margin. This gives you much more exposure, while keeping your capital investment down.

While it's true that forex leverage is a great way to optimise your capital efficiency, it must be treated with respect. Ultra-low margin requirements give you the ability to assume large positions in the market with only a minimal capital outlay. This is a key element of posting extraordinary returns over the short, medium or long-run.

However, in FX trading, leverage is the quintessential double-edged sword; it simultaneously boosts profit potential and assumed liability. During volatile periods, an unfortunate turn in price can generate losses in excess of deposited funds. The result can be a premature position liquidation, margin call or account closure.

If you're new to the forex, then it's best to start small. Trading lower leverage ensures that you have enough capital to become experienced in the market. There's plenty of time to implement higher degrees of leverage once you gain competency and security in the marketplace.

Forex Training

In an atmosphere as dynamic as the forex, proper training is important. Whether you are a seasoned market veteran or brand-new to currency trading, being prepared is critical to producing consistent profits.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. To ensure that you have your best chance at forex success, it is imperative that your on-the-job training never stops. Developing solid trading habits, attending expert webinars and continuing your market education are a few ways to remain competitive in the fast-paced forex environment.
If your goal is to become a consistently profitable forex trader, then your education will never stop. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect; while perfection is often elusive for active traders, being prepared for every session should be routine.

Forex Trading For Beginners

The forex is the largest capital marketplace in the world. Featuring more than $5 trillion in daily turnover, the forex is a digital trading venue where speculators, investors and liquidity providers from around the world interact.

For those new to the global currency trade, it is important to build an educational foundation before jumping in with both feet. Understanding the basic points of the forex is a critical aspect of getting up-to-speed as quickly as possible. It's imperative that you're able to read a quote, quantify leverage and place orders upon the market.

If you are interested in boosting your forex IQ, completing a multi-faceted forex training course is one way to get the job done. To learn more, check out our currency market primer to get on the same page as the forex pros.

Best Practices Of Successful Traders

Unless you are playing the lottery, success isn't an accident. Mastering any discipline takes desire, dedication and aptitude. Becoming a winning forex trader is no different. Without the want, will and know-how, your journey into the marketplace is very likely doomed before it begins.

By far, the most common attribute among successful traders is that they have a plan. The trading plan is a structured approach to trade selection, trade management and risk management. Without a plan, a trader is likely to flounder in live market conditions.

Through incorporating a viable strategy to sound money management principles, one is able to consistently engage the forex. In doing so, chance is removed and statistically verifiable, repeatable results are generated. So how does one build a successful trading plan? The answer lies in personal experience and input from market professionals.

Fortunately, some of the differences between successful traders and those who lose money are no longer a secret. Through conducting an intense study of client behaviour, the team at FXCM has identified three areas where winning traders excel. While there is no "holy grail" for profitable forex trading, establishing good habits in regards to risk vs reward, leverage and timing is a great way to enhance your performance.

To learn how successful traders approach the forex, it helps to study their best practices and personal traits. Trading doesn't have to be a mystery—much of the work has already been done for you.

Free Online Forex Trading Courses

One of the advantages of being a modern forex trader is the availability of expert guidance. Internet connectivity and systems technology have brought an abundance of useful information to our fingertips. The only thing needed to raise your trading IQ is a desire to learn. Trading courses, tutorials, blogs, guides and expert webinars are all readily accessible online, 24/7/365.

A webinar is one of the best ways to learn information online. They offer an unparalleled personal learning experience in an exclusive one-on-one format. Attending a webinar is the next best thing to sharing a desk with a forex professional. If you are interested in watching an FX market professional at work, then attending a webinar is a must.

FXCM offers a variety of webinar types, each designed to cater to your trading needs. Daily entries cover the fundamental market drivers of the German, London and New York sessions. Wednesdays bring The Crypto Minute, a weekly roundup of the pressing news facing cryptocurrencies. In addition, a library of past recordings and guest speakers are available to access at your leisure in FXCM's free, live online classroom.

Forex News - Updated Currency Charts


Which Currencies Strengthened, Which Weakened

How currencies strengthened or weakened over the past day is visualized in the chart below. Specifically, NOK changed by 1.25%, making it the top outperformer for the day. USD, though, showed relative weakness, as it changed by -0.85%. (Source: CFDTrading.com - Forex News)

Last updated: November 6, 2020, 1:16 am

How much did pairs move yesterday?

Over the day prior, USDNOK, AUDUSD, and GBPUSD made the biggest moves in terms of percentage change in their exchange rate. Especially noteworthy are the moves in GBPCHF and USDHKD, as they were especially large given to the usual volatility those currency pairs experience.

Last updated: November 6, 2020, 1:18 am

Why Trade With FXCM?

FXCM is an industry-leading provider of forex, CFD and spread-betting services. No matter one's strategy, size and level of experience, FXCM can help you achieve your market-related goals. Upon opening an account, you'll enjoy the following benefits:

  • Award-Winning Customer Service: When the markets are open, our service suite is at your disposal. Get service anytime, anywhere―24/5.
  • Premium Software: Access the forex with our proprietary flagship platform Trading Station. Also, engage the markets via industry-standard MetaTrader 4 (MT4), NinjaTrader, ZuluTrade or a collection of other platform options.
  • Rock-Bottom Pricing: FXCM features one of the most competitive pricing structures around. Tight spreads and limited fees come standard with any active account.

To learn more about how FXCM can help make your journey into the forex a positive one, open a free demo account today.

Disclosure

Leverage: Leverage is a double-edged sword and can dramatically amplify your profits. It can also just as dramatically amplify your losses. Trading foreign exchange/CFDs with any level of leverage may not be suitable for all investors.

Live Spreads Widget: Dynamic live spreads are available on Active Trader commission-based accounts. When static spreads are displayed, the figures are time-weighted averages derived from tradable prices at FXCM from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020. Spreads are variable and are subject to delay. Single Share prices are subject to a 15 minute delay. The spread figures are for informational purposes only. FXCM is not liable for errors, omissions or delays, or for actions relying on this information.