Basics of Forex trading

By: Andrew Daigle
This article gives an introduction about the basics of trading Forex online, a brief explanation of the markets and the major benefits of trading forex online. Foreign exchange or forex are all terms used to describe the trading of the world's many currencies. The forex market is the largest market in the world, with trades amounting to more than 1.5 trillion dollars every day. The foreign exchange market has no central clearing house or exchange and is considered an over-the-counter (OTC) market. Forex traders are generating incredible wealth day after day from the comfort of their home. Foreign exchange is normally traded on margin. A relatively small deposit can control much larger positions in the market.

Forex trading takes place directly between the two counterparts necessary to make a transaction, whether over the telephone or on electronic brokerage networks all over the world. This is a trade that includes simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another one. There are two reasons to buy and sell currencies. About 5% of daily turnover is from companies, and governments that buy or sell products and services in a foreign country must convert profits made in foreign currencies into their domestic currency. The other 95% is trading for profit, or speculation.

The currency combination used in the trade is called a cross (for example, the Euro/US Dollar, or the GB Pound/Japanese Yen.).

The market is called the spot market because trades are settled immediately, or "on the spot". One of the major benefits of trading forex is the opportunity to trade 24 hours a day from Sunday evening (20:00 GMT) to Friday evening (22:00 GMT). Unlike stock trading, currency trading on the Forex market is not cut short at the "close" of each day's trading. The benefit of Forex being a 24 hour a day market is that there are little or no gaps in the market, meaning there is no chance that prices will close one day and reopen the next day. The fact that forex is often traded without commissions makes it very attractive as an investment opportunity for investors who want to deal on a frequent basis.

Since the market is always moving, there are always trading opportunities, whether a currency is strengthening or weakening in relation to another currency. When you trade currencies, they literally work against each other. Different currencies pay different interest rates. The interest rate differential doesn't usually affect trade considerations unless you plan on holding a position with a large differential for a long period of time. This is one of the main driving forces behind foreign exchange trends. You can have both a positive and a negative interest rate differential, so it may work for or against you when you make a trade. It is inherently attractive to be a buyer of a currency that pays a high interest rate while being short a currency that has a low interest rate. Fortunately, there are no daily limits on foreign exchange trading and no restrictions on trading hours other than the weekend. This means that there will nearly always be an opportunity to react to moves in the main currency markets and a low risk of getting caught without the opportunity of getting out.

A forex trading method with a high winning percentage is rewarding psychologically, keeps your morale high and is enjoyable to trade. A string of profits will build your confidence. Losses have to be kept small and wins should be larger than losses. You can make big money working only a few hours a day or week on your computer. You can trade from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection.

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