FOREX is an international foreign exchange market. Its abbreviation derives from the word combination denoting currency transactions – Foreign Exchange. As one of the youngest market financial markets – Forex in its present identity has been around only since the 1970s – this foreign exchange market is nonetheless the largest in volume and the most dynamic. The daily trade on FOREX consists of 4 trillion USD, 30 times greater than the combined volume of all the other capital markets in the US.
As with any other market FOREX conducts business with a base asset. In case of the foreign exchange market this asset is the national currency of different countries. The fundamental cause of exchange rates fluctuations is the demand of government institutions and commercial companies around the world for converting profits earned from the sale of goods and services abroad into their national currency. This sector constitutes approximately 5% of the general trading of the foreign currency market. The other 95% comes from the speculation capital of foreign exchange traders trying to derive a profit from currency fluctuations.
There are various types of brokers on forex market, such as CFD brokers (Contract for Difference), ECN brokers (which provide forex traders with the direct access to other forex market participants), MT brokers (that support MetaTrader 4 software), institutional forex brokers (with the reputation backed up by well-established and reputable off-line companies: banks and financial organizations) and others.
One of the main advantages of the foreign exchange is stability. The principal threat to any financial market is unexpected market failure and market index collapse. However, unlike capital markets, FOREX does not fail. If prices for shares suddenly drop, it’s a catastrophe. If the dollar collapses, it just means that another currency has grown stronger. For instance, the yen once within the period of a few months rose 25% against the dollar in 1998. On certain days the dollar fell ten percent and more. However, the downturn for the dollar could not become a reason for a foreign exchange market crash, and trade continued in its usual fashion. This is precisely why there is market and business stability for foreign exchange transactions. Foreign currency remains the most liquid and reliable trading instrument.
Of greatest interest for speculators are the so-called standard (the most liquid) currencies. Today more than 85% of all transactions are use standard currencies like the United States dollar – USD, Japanese yen – JPG, Euro – EUR, British pound – GBP, Swiss franc – CHF, Canadian – CAD and Australian dollars – AUD.
As important stage in becoming acquainted with foreign exchange trading is understanding the system of currency exchange markings. This is a relatively simple task taking into account that all standard currency pairs are indicated the same way – on opposite sides of the slash mark “/” there are two symbols, the relationship of values of which is the exchange rate of the currencies: EUR/USD (the exchange rate of Euro against US dollar), GBP/USD (exchange rate of the British pound against the US dollar), USD/JPY (exchange rate of the US dollar against the Japanese yen) etc. The slash mark “/” is often omitted and currency pairs are spelled in the following manner: EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY.
The gist of FOREX operations is completely transparent– earning a profit from currency transactions based on market fluctuations in the relationship between one currency against the other: the entire foreign exchange market consists of the total of currency pairs each of which reflects the value of one national currency in relation to the other. For example, if we say that one euro is worth 1 dollar and 34 cents, that means the exchange rate of EUR/USD equals 1 : 1.3400.
We invite you to learn more about how to make a profit on the FOREX market using actual examples.