Forex market is an international money market. Forex formed its name from foreign currency exchange operation: FOReign EXchange, or FOREX, for short. Forex is one of the youngest financial markets and has had its present appearance since the 1970s. Due to the sheer volume of the money market, Forex is the most dynamically developing market.
Forex’s daily trading rotations reach 4 trillion USD, that is 30 times more than the general volume of all stock market exchange in the US. Like any other market, Forex trades certain goods. In the case of the money market, these goods consist of national foreign currency. Fundamentally, currency rates are set by government institutions as well as commerce companies all around the world that need to convert currency for trading in foreign countries. They make up 5% of the general currency market rotation volume. The other 95% comes from speculative trading on the part of traders trying to earn profit from buying and selling currency at fluctuation rates. An important money market feature is its steadiness.
The main financial market danger comes from sudden drops, or when the stock index collapses. However unlike the stock market, Forex doesn’t drop. When stocks depreciate, that means a crash is coming. But should the dollar fall, this simply means that some other currency will become stronger.
Let’s take a look at the yen for example. Within a few months at the end of 1998 the price of the yen increased by 25% in relation to the US dollar. On particular days, the USD decrease was measured with a tenth of a percent. However a drop in the USD, as with any other currency, could not cause the money market to crash, and trading would carry on as before. This is the key to the market’s steadiness, which works for businesses as well. Currency is the most liquid and secure trading tool.
Speculators have a great interest in so called liquid or base currencies. Nowadays over 85% of all deals are in base currencies, often the following currencies: US dollar (USD), Japanese yen (JPY), euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), Swiss franc (CHF), Canadian dollar(CAD) and the Australian dollar (AUD).
Important to getting to know currency trading is understanding the exchange rate notation system. This is relatively simple if you remember that all currency pairs are noted in the same way. Two currency symbols are present on either side of the slash “/”. The correlation of their cost to each other expresses the rate of the given currency pair: EUR/USD (euro to US dollar rate), GBP/USD (British Pound to US dollar rate), USD/JPY (US dollar to Japanese yen rate) and so on.
When defining currency pair symbols, the slash (“/”) symbol is usually absent and the currency pair notation is written: EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDJPY.
The concept of money market operations is pretty clear: you earn profit from the movement of one type of currency rate in relation to the movement of another currency rate. The entire currency market consists of currency pair rates, where each one reflects the relational cost of one national currency compared to another. For example, when people say that for 1 euro it is possible to get 34 cents, this means that the currency pair EUR/USD rate equals 1.3400.