Forex Trading

FOREX: Introduction to the Foreign Exchange Market

The foreign exchange markets are always in a constant state of flux, and for the budding forex trader, it can be a daunting.

Are you researching the topic of Forex and the foreign exchange market for education? Or are you a trader who is looking for other markets to play around with? Well hopefully, we will give you an introduction to the Forex markets that will accommodate both your needs and inform you of the basic concepts and issues that intertwine with the world’s currency exchange market. Foreign exchange markets are always in a constant state of flux, and for the budding forex trader, it can be a rather daunting place to invest and trade your money, or for the student it is a rather confusing topic to master. We introduce you into the world of the foreign exchange market.

The Australian foreign exchange market alone turns over some $US81 billion daily. And that figure only represents a fraction of the worldwide forex market. The foreign exchange rate can be defined as the agreed price of one currency expressed in terms of another currency. For example, the EURO and USD (EUR/USD) currency pair can be quoted as “1.2204”. This would mean one EURO can be exchanged for $1.2204 US dollars. On the other hand, the (mathematical) inverse relationship is that one US dollar would fetch 0.8194 EURO. As you can see dealing with the foreign exchange market can get confusing pretty quickly if not for some simple high school arithmetic: some fractions and ratios.

Most currencies that trade in the worldwide foreign exchange market are floated with the exception of some that have a fixed currency value. Mid 2005 had the Yuan supposedly floated but the value of the Ren Min Bi (RMB – the other name Chinese currency is given besides Yuan) is still strictly controlled by the Chinese government. Trading the foreign exchange market involves taking advantage of the floating values of currencies worldwide. The currency floating system is where exchange rates are allowed to change in price in response to the primary market forces of supply and demand. There are many things that influence supply and demand and the value of currencies – too many to describe here – but a lot of the indicators are tied to the health of the country’s economy.

As these floating currencies fluctuate in the foreign exchange market fluctuate and change, traders take advantage of the price differences across the currencies and buy and sell into and out of trades to make a profit. Again, with the EUR/USD currency pair: if the value of this figure goes up it can be said that the EURO has gone up in value against the USD. On the other hand if the value falls, it can be conversely said that the USD has grown in strength while the EURO was weaker.

This brings us to the end of our short introduction to the foreign exchange markets. You may have picked up a few things (or not) about trading forex. We have covered the basic concepts of how the foreign exchange rates work, we’ve touched on why the value goes up and down and about the floating exchange system. We talk about the intricacies about forex trading and more detail into the technicalities of trading the markets at our website.

George Polizogopoulos is a staff writer for MyShareTrading.com, an information hub for traders: forex, shares, derivatives, CFD's. MyShareTrading.com also provides free blogs for traders who wish to share their market experiences.

This article "FOREX: Introduction to the Foreign Exchange Market" can be found in our Foreign Exchange (FX) Markets category.

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