Forex trading: A beginner's guide

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Due to the fact that business is global, there is a need to transact with other countries in their own particular currency.

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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 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, like 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 a 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 USA 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 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.

The volume of transactions done through Foreign Exchange Companies in India amounts to about USD 2 billion [70] per day This does not compete favorably with any well developed foreign exchange market of international repute, but with the entry of online Foreign Exchange Companies the market is steadily growing. 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 the 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. 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, the 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:. 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. Until recently, trading the euro versus a non-European currency ZZZ would have usually involved two trades: The following theories explain the fluctuations in exchange rates in a floating exchange rate regime In a fixed exchange rate regime, rates are decided by its government:.

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 demand and supply.

The world's currency markets can be viewed as a huge melting pot: 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: 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. Also known as leveraged trading, this means you can put up a small amount of money to control a much larger amount. This means you can leverage your money further but it also means that losses will be magnified as well, so you should manage your risk accordingly — please ensure that you fully understand the risks of leveraged trading.

Commonly traded currency pairs are traditionally divided into three groups related to popularity and liquidity: At City Index, you can trade over 65 currency pairs including majors, minors and exotics. The spreads for these are usually tighter compared to the less traded minor currency pairs. These are not traded as heavily as the major currencies, and so tend to fluctuate more often. Spreads for minor currency pairs also tend to be wider due to the medium sized liquidity in the market, as compared to major currency pairs.

These are currency pairs that are only very rarely traded. Due to the low volumes of trade, exotic currency pairs are illiquid and tend to be expensive to trade with wider spreads. Many traders view exotic currency pairs as having higher risk profiles compared to commonly traded currency pairs.

Forex trading is ideal for investors who want the opportunity to trade on a market that is open 24 hours a day, while at the same time minimizing trading costs and potentially profitting from markets that are rising or falling.

However, it contains significant risks to your money and is not suitable for everyone. We strongly suggest trading on a demo account before you try it with your own money.

Looking for short term opportunities. FX prices are also influenced by economic and political conditions, such as interest rates, inflation, and political instability, such conditions usually have only a short-term impact, so FX trades are typically held open for a few days or weeks, rather than over the longer term.

You can try several different methods: Technical analysis involves reviewing charts or historical data to predict how the currency will move based on past events. You can usually obtain charts from your broker or use a popular platform like Metatrader 4.

This type of analysis involves looking at a country's economic fundamentals and using this information to influence your trading decisions. This kind of analysis is largely subjective. Essentially you try to analyze the mood of the market to figure out if it's "bearish" or "bullish. Depending on your broker's policies, you can invest a little bit of money but still make big trades.

Your gains and losses will either add to the account or deduct from its value. For this reason, a good general rule is to invest only two percent of your cash in a particular currency pair. You can place different kinds of orders: These orders instruct your broker to execute a trade at a specific price.

For instance, you can buy currency when it reaches a certain price or sell currency if it lowers to a particular price.

A stop order is a choice to buy currency above the current market price in anticipation that its value will increase or to sell currency below the current market price to cut your losses. Watch your profit and loss. Above all, don't get emotional. The forex market is volatile, and you will see a lot of ups and downs. What matters is to continue doing your research and sticking with your strategy.

Eventually you will see profits. The brokers are the ones with the pricing, and execute the trades. However, you can get free demo accounts to practice and learn platforms.

Not Helpful 17 Helpful Not unless you really know what you're doing. For most people, Forex trading would amount to gambling. If you can find an experienced trader to take you under his wing, you might be able to learn enough to succeed. There is big money to be made in Forex, but you could easily lose your whole stake, too. Not Helpful 20 Helpful It's common to begin with several thousand dollars, but it's possible to start with just a few hundred dollars.

Not Helpful 5 Helpful We're talking here about using one national currency to purchase some other national currency and trying to do so at an advantageous exchange rate so that later one can sell the currency at a profit. Not Helpful 4 Helpful During the process of opening a trading account, electronically transfer money to it from your bank account.

The broker will tell you the minimum amount with which you can open an account. Not Helpful 13 Helpful Forex trading is not easy, even for experienced traders.

Don't rely on it for income until you know what you're doing. Not Helpful 21 Helpful For an inexperienced trader, yes, it's gambling. Even experienced traders sometimes have to rely on luck, because there are so many variables at play.

Not Helpful 19 Helpful Your trading account will be at a brokerage, but you can link it to whatever bank account you choose. Not Helpful 10 Helpful If you don't want to do the work to educate yourself, hire a full-service broker to do the thinking for you. First of all, re-read Part 2 above. Then do an online search for "Forex Brokers. Not Helpful 14 Helpful How will I transfer money?

Answer this question Flag as Research about broker and know how much does he make per annum? Should I deposit my money in Reserve Bank? How can I find an experienced trader that I can learn from in order to succeed?

Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Did this summary help you? The prices in Forex are extremely volatile, and you want to make sure you have enough money to cover the down side.

Start trading forex with a demo account before you invest real capital. That way you can get a feel for the process and decide if trading forex is for you.

When you're consistently making good trades on demo, then you can go live with a real forex account. You wouldn't have lost money. Having enough capital to cover the downside will allow you to keep your position open and see profits. Remember that losses aren't losses unless your position is closed. If your position is still open, your losses will only count if you choose to close the order and take the losses.

If your currency pair goes against you, and you don't have enough money to cover the duration, you will automatically be canceled out of your order. Make sure you don't make this mistake.