Foreign exchange, or Forex for short, is quite simply a market where you’re able to exchange one currency for another. When you ‘sell’ a currency, there is a buyer for that currency somewhere else. Now, the exchange rate between those two currencies is what’s important when trading forex. The exchange rate is constantly fluctuating, and it’s these fluctuations that allow market speculators to earn from trading.
With a daily trade volume of $6.5 trillion dollars, the forex market itself is huge! It eclipses the likes of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) which, by comparison, has a trading volume of only $22.4 billion per day.
The Forex Market’s sheer size attracts a wide range of different participants, including Central Banks, Investment Managers, Hedge Funds, Corporations, Brokers and Retail Traders – with 90% of those market participants being currency speculators!
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The value of each currency depends on the supply and demand for it, thus determining the ‘exchange rate’ between the two currencies, which is continually fluctuating. The exchange rate itself is basically the difference between the value of one currency against another.
It's this exchange rate that determines how much of one currency you get in exchange for another, e.g. how many pounds you get for your euros.
Now, when you’re trading forex, you’ll be trading currency pairs. So, two different currencies will be involved, and you’ll be speculating about their value in relation to each other.
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