The apportionment of premiums and discounts on forward exchange transactions that relate directly to deposit swap (interest arbitrage) deals, over the period of each deal.
Official action normally occasioned by a change either in the internal economic policies to correct a payment imbalance or in the official currency rate.
Traders and/or price action are acting with conviction.
A financial professional who has expertise in evaluating investments and puts together buy, sell and hold recommendations for clients.
A product is said to 'appreciate' when it strengthens in price in response to market demand.
The simultaneous purchase or sale of a financial product in order to take advantage of small price differentials between markets.
Refers to the central banks or monetary authorities of Asian countries. These institutions have been increasingly active in major currencies as they manage growing pools of foreign currency reserves arising from trade surpluses. Their market interest can be substantial and influence currency direction in the short-term.
23:00 – 08:00 GMT.
The price at which the market is prepared to sell a product. Prices are quoted two-way as Bid/Ask. The Ask price is also known as the Offer.
In FX trading, the Ask represents the price at which a trader can buy the base currency, shown to the left in a currency pair. For example, in the quote USD/CHF 1.4527/32, the base currency is USD, and the Ask price is 1.4532, meaning you can buy one US dollar for 1.4532 Swiss francs.
In CFD trading, the Ask also represents the price at which a trader can buy the product. For example, in the quote for UK OIL 111.13/111.16, the product quoted is UK OIL and the Ask price is £111.16 for one unit of the underlying market.*
An instruction given to a dealer to buy or sell at the best rate that can be obtained at a specific time.
An instruction given to a dealer to buy or sell at a specific price or better.
A term for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX 200), which is an index of the top 200 companies (by market capitalization) listed on the Australian stock exchange.
Refers to the AUD/USD (Australian Dollar/U.S. Dollar) pair. Also "Oz" or "Ozzie".
The value of a country's exports minus its imports.
A type of chart which consists of four significant points: the high and the low prices, which form the vertical bar; the opening price, which is marked with a horizontal line to the left of the bar; and the closing price, which is marked with a horizontal line to the right of the bar.
A certain price of great importance included in the structure of a Barrier Option. If a Barrier Level price is reached, the terms of a specific Barrier Option call for a series of events to occur.
Any number of different option structures (such as knock-in, knock-out, no touch, double-no-touch-DNT) that attaches great importance to a specific price trading. In a no-touch barrier, a large defined payout is awarded to the buyer of the option by the seller if the strike price is not 'touched' before expiry. This creates an incentive for the option seller to drive prices through the strike level and creates an incentive for the option buyer to defend the strike level.
The first currency in a currency pair. It shows how much the base currency is worth as measured against the second currency. For example, if the USD/CHF (U.S. Dollar/Swiss Franc) rate equals 1.6215, then one USD is worth CHF 1.6215. In the forex market, the US dollar is normally considered the base currency for quotes, meaning that quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the other currency quoted in the pair. The primary exceptions to this rule are the British pound, the euro and the Australian dollar.
The lending rate of the central bank of a given country.
A chart pattern used in technical analysis that shows when demand and supply of a product are almost equal. It results in a narrow trading range and the merging of support and resistance levels.
A unit of measurement used to describe the minimum change in the price of a product.
Negative for price direction; favoring a declining market. For example, "We are bearish EUR/USD" means that we think the euro will weaken against the dollar.
Traders who expect prices to decline and may be holding short positions.
The difference between the bid and the ask (offer) price.
The price at which the market is prepared to buy a product. Prices are quoted two-way as Bid/Ask.
In FX trading, the Bid represents the price at which a trader can sell the base currency, shown to the left in a currency pair. For example, in the quote USD/CHF 1.4527/32, the base currency is USD, and the Bid price is 1.4527, meaning you can sell one US Dollar for 1.4527 Swiss francs.
In CFD trading, the Bid also represents the price at which a trader can sell the product. For example, in the quote for UK OIL 111.13/111.16, the Bid price is £111.13 for one unit of the underlying market.*
At any given moment, each currency pair has two exchange rates or prices – the bid price and the ask price. What’s the difference between those two? The bid price is the price at which buyers are willing to buy, while the ask price is the price at which sellers are willing to sell.
Given its nature, the bid price is always lower than the ask price. Once those two prices meet, either when sellers lower their ask price to meet a buyer’s bid price or when buyers increase their rate they’re willing to pay for a currency and meet a seller’s ask price, a transaction occurs.
In the end, buyers buy at the ask price, and sellers sell at the bid price. This means that each price plotted on your chart represents the market equilibrium at that point of time – the price at which the majority of market participants are willing to transact.
Refers to the first three digits of a currency quote, such as 117 USD/JPY or 1.26 in EUR/USD. If the price moves by 1.5 big figures, it has moved 150 pips.
The Bank for International Settlements located in Basel, Switzerland, is the central bank for central banks. The BIS frequently acts as the market intermediary between national central banks and the market. The BIS has become increasingly active as central banks have increased their currency reserve management. When the BIS is reported to be buying or selling at a level, it is usually for a central bank and thus the amounts can be large. The BIS is used to avoid markets mistaking buying or selling interest for official government intervention.
The term used for systematic, model-based or technical traders.
The upside equivalent of capitulation. When shorts throw in the towel and cover any remaining short positions.
Bank of Canada, the central bank of Canada.
Bank of England, the central bank of the UK.
Bank of Japan, the central bank of Japan.
A tool used by technical analysts. A band plotted two standard deviations on either side of a simple moving average, which often indicates support and resistance levels.
A name for debt which is issued for a specified period of time.
In a professional trading environment, a book is the summary of a trader's or desk's total positions.
A British measure of the rate of inflation at various surveyed retailers. This index only looks at price changes in goods purchased in retail outlets.
An individual or firm that acts as an intermediary, bringing buyers and sellers together for a fee or commission. In contrast, a dealer commits capital and takes one side of a position, hoping to earn a spread (profit) by closing out the position in a subsequent trade with another party.
Market slang for one million units of a dollar-based currency pair, or for the US dollar in general.
Favouring a strengthening market and rising prices. For example, "We are bullish EUR/USD” means that we think the euro will strengthen against the dollar.
Traders who expect prices to rise and who may be holding long positions.
Germany's central bank.
Taking a long position on a product.
Looking to buy 20-30-pip/point pullbacks in the course of an intra-day trend.
Cross pairs, on the other hand, include any two major currencies except the US dollar. Unlike major pairs, cross pairs have higher transaction costs and, at times of lower liquidity, traders can face slippage. Cross pairs are also usually more volatile than major pairs. Examples of cross pairs include EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF and AUD/NZD.
Exotic pairs on the other hand, include exotic currencies which are not in the Top 10 of the most traded currencies, such as the Mexican peso, Turkish lira or Czech koruna. Since those currencies can be extremely volatile, they should be left to be traded by the pros.
The word currency is derived from the Latin word “currens”, which means “running” or “in circulation.” A currency is money used as a medium of circulation, such as banknotes and coins. Some sources refer to currencies as a system of money used among people in a nation.
The United Nations currently recognize 180 currencies that are used in 195 countries across the world. Some examples of currencies are the US dollar, the Euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen, which all act as a store of value and which are traded on the global foreign exchange market (Forex).
Just like other assets, the forces of supply and demand determine the value of a currency relative to another currency. Increased supply of a currency sinks its value, while increased demand pushes its value up.
Even though currencies are traded on the Forex market, we’re not able to buy or sell single currencies. Each time we place a trade in the market, we have to trade on currency pairs. Currency pairs consist of two currencies – the first one is the base currency and the second one the counter-currency.
An example of a currency pair is the EUR/USD pair. When we buy the EUR/USD pair, we’re actually buying the euro and selling the US dollar. Similarly, when we sell the EUR/USD pair, we’re actually selling the euro and buying the US dollar.
The exchange rate of a currency pair is what all traders follow. The exchange rate is often simply called the price, since it shows the price of the base currency expressed in terms of the counter-currency. For example, if the exchange rate of EUR/USD is 1.15, this means that one euro costs $1.15, or it takes $1.15 to buy one euro.
A rise in the exchange rate of a currency pair shows that the base currency is appreciating against the counter-currency or that the counter-currency is depreciating against the base currency. Similarly, a fall in the exchange rate shows that the base currency is depreciating against the counter-currency or that the counter-currency is appreciating against the base currency.
You’ve probably heard about going long or short in a currency pair. Going long simply means to buy, while going short means to sell. In equity markets, most traders are long in anticipation of rising prices. However, in derivative markets, such as options and futures, there is always an equal number of longs and shorts in the market, because each new contract that is bought needs a corresponding seller who needs to go short, and vice-versa.
Since retail Forex is mostly traded with CFDs, traders are able to bet both on rising prices and falling prices. When buying, they’re going “long”, and when short-selling, they’re going “short”.
The Forex market is open around the clock and offers traders to profit not only on rising prices, but also on falling ones. However, there is another reason why a large number of traders feel attracted to the Forex market – leverage.
Trading on leverage allows traders to open a much larger position size than their initial trading account size would otherwise allow, and the Forex market is known for extremely high leverage ratios offered by retail brokers.
The position size you take on the market determines the size of your profits and losses in dollar value by affecting the value of a single pip. In the Forex market, one standard lot (standard position size) equals to 100.000 units of the base currency. For example, if you take one standard lot in the EUR/USD pair, you’re actually trading 100,000 euros with a pip-value equal to $10.
Fortunately, traders with smaller account sizes can take smaller trades with mini-lots (10.000 units of the base currency) and micro-lots (1.000 units of the base currency.) Some brokers even allow you to trade on nano-lots (100 units of the base currency.) In any case, calculate your lot size in dependence of the size of your stop-loss so that you remain inside your risk-management boundaries.
In general, currency pairs can be grouped into major pairs, cross pair, and exotic pairs. Major pairs are currency pairs that include the US dollar as either the base currency or counter-currency and one of the other seven major currencies (EUR, CAD, GBP, CHF, JPY, AUD, NZD.)
If you’re just beginning with trading, you should focus on the major pairs since they usually offer very low transaction costs and enough liquidity to avoid high slippage. Examples of major pairs are EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CHF.
When trading on leverage, your broker will allocate a portion of your trading account size as the collateral for the leveraged trade. This collateral is called “margin” and its size depends on the leverage ratio that you’re trading on. A leverage ratio of 100:1 asks for a margin that equals 1% of your position size.
What’s important when trading on leverage is to always keep an eye on your free margin. Your free margin equals your total equity (account size + any unrealized profits/losses), minus your used margin. If your free margin drops to zero, you’ll receive a margin call and all your open trades will be closed at the current market rate.
When Forex traders talk about profits or losses, they usually use the term “pips”. A pip is short from Percentage in Point and represents the smallest increment that an exchange rate can move up or down. Usually, one pip equals the fourth decimal of most currency pairs.
For example, if EUR/USD is currently trading at 1.1558 and rises to 1.1562, that rise would equal to a change of 4 pips. However, some currency pairs have their pips located at the second decimal place, mostly yen-pairs. If USD/JPY currently trades at 110.25 and falls to 110.10, that fall would equal to a change of 15 pips.
A pip represents the fourth decimal place of most currency pairs, but there is an even smaller increment that prices can change. It’s called a pipette and equals 1/10 of a pip, i.e. 10 pipettes are one pip. A pipette is located at the fifth decimal place of most pairs (in yen-pairs, they’re at the third decimal place.)
Most traders don’t follow movements in pipettes, even though some brokers use them in their trading platform. Today, pipettes are mostly used to measure the bid/ask spread, where a tenth of a pip is needed. For example, the spread in EUR/USD might be 1.4 pips, or one pip and four pipettes.
Just like support levels, resistance levels are also a crucial tool in a technical trader’s toolbox. While support levels are based on previous lows, resistance levels track previous highs at which the price had difficulties to break above.
Traders remember those levels and place their sell orders around them, as they believe that those levels will again provide selling pressure and move the price down. Since fresh memory is more important than old memory, recent support and resistance levels usually have a higher importance than old support and resistance levels.
Each time you enter into a trade, you have the pay transaction costs for that trade. While most brokers don’t charge commissions and fees on placing trades nowadays, the bid/ask spread remains the main cost to Forex traders. When bulls buy at the ask price (the price at which sellers are willing to sell), their position is immediately in a loss that equals the bid/ask spread.
If you’re a day trader or scalper, you need to pay attention to the bid/ask spread since it can eat a large portion of your profits at the end of the day. Swing traders and position traders who have a longer-term approach to trading are less affected by the spread as they open a smaller number of positions and have relatively higher profit targets.
Support and resistance are one of the most important concepts in technical analysis. Technical traders analyze only price-moves as they believe that the price reflects available fundamental information, and support and resistance trading plays an important role in that analysis.
The markets are made of crowds of people that speculate, hedge, trade, invest or gamble in the markets. Since people have memory, they remember certain price-levels where the price had difficulties to break below in the past.
They place their buy orders around those levels, as they believe that the price will again fail to break below. This is how support levels are formed. In other words, a support level is a previous low at which the price has a large chance to retrace and move up.