Top Currencies to Watch in Forex Trading
The prices of currency are influenced by a number of reasons, like political and economic conditions in the issuing country. Interest rates, inflation and political stability are all factors in the prices of any currency. Although governments can try to control their currency prices by lowering the price, this is also called flooding the market, or by raising the price and buying on a large-scale. Although the volume of forex is sizable, it’s still impossible to have any control of a market for any length time and because market forces normally prevail in the long run, forex has become one of the fairest investment opportunities made available.
In the world of forex, each currency is given its own three letter code that is used in the forex quotes. The most common and widely used currencies used in the forex market are USD (U.S. dollars), GBP (United Kingdom pounds), JPY (Japanese yen), CAD (Canadian dollars), EUR (European euros), AUD (Australian dollars) and CHF (Swiss francs). These currencies have been the top foreign currencies to watch in the forex trading game. The prices of the foreign currency exchanges are specified in pairs by the forex quotes. By using a currency pair of U.S. dollars and European euros in the example below, the first currency is called the base (which is always at 1) and the second currency is called the quote (which shows how much it costs to buy one unit of the USD, or base currency):
USD/EUR = 0.7338
When reversed, this is the cost of USD to buy one euro:
EUR/USD = 1.3622
The base currency is growing stronger when the price of the quote currency goes up, therefore only one unit of the base currency can buy more of the quote currency. However, if the quote currency begins to fall then the base currency will become weaker. All forex quotes are perceived as a “ask” or a “bid” price. The ask price is what sellers will sell the base currency at, while at the same time be buying the quote currency. The bid price is what the buyers will pay for the base currency, also while selling the quote currency. For example, a symbol bid ask of:
USD/CAD 1.0871 1.0876
This shows that you can buy one U.S. dollar for 1.0876 Canadian dollars, or you can also sell one U.S. dollar for 1.0871 Canadian dollars. You can find the exchange rates in cross country charts that list numerous types of currencies with their commodity price quotes against other currencies. There are also currency conversion calculators, all of which are readily available online.
Along with the U.S. dollar, United Kingdom pound, Japanese yen, Canadian dollars, European euros, Australian dollars and Swiss francs as some of the top currencies to watch in the forex trading game; some new currencies have been emerging. Be sure to keep an eye out on these emerging currencies: CNY (China yuan), CZK (Czech koruna), HKD (Hong Kong dollar), HUF (Hungarian Forint), INR (Indian Rupee), KRW (Korean Won), MXN (Mexican Peso), PLN (Polish Zloty), SGD (Singapore dollar), ZAR (South African Rand), and THB (Thai Baht). These currencies may not be one of the top currencies now, but they can make for some good investments. Taking two examples out of all of the emerging currencies:
The China yuan is only limited to financial institutions and onshore companies and is not liquid. Currently the USD/CNY rate is about 8.2770 and is being closely managed by the central bank (PBOC). The Chinese government has resisted all calls for them to revalue their currency; but as the Chinese government continues to strengthen their banking systems and make reforms in their economic policies, there is likely to be a possible call for opening forex spot trading market. The inter-bank spot money market does not go beyond 4-months.
The Czech koruna is a convertible, yet free floating currency that has been floating around since May 1997. All foreign investors have unrestricted access to these local markets. London banks continue to be very active in currency trading and accounts for nearly 60% of the daily turnover. This market is liquid for about 10-years or more. The Interest Rate Swaps, or the IRS, is mainly driven by offshore banks.
Trading Foreign Currencies
FOREX trading is all about trading foreign currency, stocks, and similar type of products. The currency of one country is weighed against the currency of another country to determine value. The value of that foreign currency is taken into consideration when trading stocks on the FOREX markets. Most countries have control over the value of that countries value, involving the currency, or money. Those who are often involved in the FOREX markets include banks, large businesses, governments, and financial institutions.
What makes the FOREX market different from the stock market? A forex market trade is one that involves at least two countries, and it can take place worldwide. The two countries are one, with the investor, and two, the country the money is being invested in. Most all transactions taking place in the FOREX market are going to take place through a broker, such as a bank.
What makes up the FOREX Markets?
The foreign exchange market is made up of a variety of transactions and counties. Those involved in the FOREX market are trading in large volumes, large amounts of money. Those who are involved in the FOREX market are generally involved in cash businesses, or in the trade of very liquid assets that you can sell and buy fast. The market is large, very large. You could consider the FOREX market to be much larger than the stock market in any one country overall. Those involved in the FOREX market are trading daily twenty-four hours a day and sometimes trading is completed on the weekend, but not all weekends.
You might be surprised at the number of people that are involved in FOREX trading. In a year with statistics a few years ago, almost two trillion dollars was an average daily trading volume. This is a huge number for the number of daily transactions to take place. Think about how much a trillion dollars really is and then times that by two, and this is the money that is changing hands every day!
The FOREX market is not something new, but has been used for over thirty years. With the introduction of computers, and then the internet, the trading on the FOREX market continues to grow as more and more people and businesses alike become aware of the availability of this trading market. FOREX only accounts for about ten percent of the total trading from country to country, but as the popularity in this market continues to grow so could that number.
Defining Exotic Currencies and Their Impact on Forex Markets
The exotic currency is defines as a currency with little liquidity and limited dealing. The exotic currency is neither a minor nor a major currency. Some of the currencies that are considered minor are the Australian dollar, the Canadian dollar and the New Zealand dollar. Some of the currencies that are considered major are the Japanese yen, the Euro, the British pound, the Swiss francs and the German mark. All exotic currencies play a very important role in the forex market and are just as important as all the major currencies.
The foreign exchange market has played a very important role as the sole domain for financial institutions, most major banks and for the central banks like the United States Federal Reserve. The foreign exchange market has made some substantial profits that are made annually by these banks and financial institutions and these are now offered to you.
All countries are now becoming more dependent on one another due to the increase in worldwide trade and foreign investments. The state of a country’s economic activity can cause the country’s currency to fluctuate, considering how the economic factors can alter the structure of a currency’s interest rate. The monetary health of a particular country depends on whether the currency either appreciates or devalues.
Some banks make between 40-60% of their profits from trading currencies when they allocate around 20-30% of their funds into the foreign exchange market. Until recently, the American public has been unaware of the forex market because the foreign currency market had not been financially accessible to the general population of traders and investors; also, because of the minimum account requirement, which was beyond the means of the average trader or investor. Now that the situation has changed, instead of needing a minimum of $200K to open an account, a mere $10K can be used to open an account.
The foreign exchange market is dominated by these five major currencies: the U.S. dollar (USD), the British pound (GBP), the Japanese yen (JPY), the European euro (EUR) and the Swiss franc (CHF). All five of these currencies rank highly in their activity and popularity thus accounting for more than 70% of trading in North America alone. Other currency’s that are traded, though not as easily, are the more exotic currencies including the New Zealand dollar (NZD), Australian dollar (AUD), Canadian dollar (CAD) and the French franc(XPF). The minor currencies, which can also be considered as exotic currencies, account for between 3-7% of the total market volume. Together, all the major and minor currencies represent all the hard currencies that are currently being traded in the forex market.
Top 3 most Traded Currency in the World
The U.S. dollar Index is the currency that gives relative strength to the Dollar. The Index reflects the statistical weaknesses or strengths of the trend of the U.S. dollar (USD). If the index figure is fairly large, then the U.S. Dollar is stronger, likewise if the index figure is smaller, then the U.S. dollar has become weaker. The Dollar has become weaker over the past two decades, mostly because of the world’s low opinion of financial policies that result in prominent budget deficits.
The European euro and Europe has taken its first steps toward what many economists call “Euroland” with its single currency, the Euro. Europe’s eleven nations that use the euro are: France, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany. These eleven nations consist of about 300 million people and also account for almost 20% of the worldwide economy. The European Union in addition represents America’s largest foreign market, which is twice the size of Japan and Canada combined. Trade flows between Europe and the United States has been roughly in balance for over nearly a quarter of a century, whereas in Asia, the U.S. runs large trade deficits.
Japan, along with its Japanese yen, continues to be one of the most undisputed global economic powers of today’s market place. Since WWII, the Japanese government has been applying all of its energy and resources into developing its economy into one of the biggest economic powers in the world. The Japanese yen has become the third most traded currency in the world.
Crossing Currency – What’s This Mean to Forex Traders?
Learning to trade on the foreign exchange, also called the Forex, market can be both exciting and profitable. In order to trade successfully on the Forex it is essential to understand the way the market works, the terminology and the trends. Brokers and financial institutions are often the best way for traders to learn how to use the Forex for profit.
When an investor or individual wants to trade one type of currency for another, it is called exchanging currency, or crossing currency. Currency crossing is the main goal of trading on the Forex. For example, if a business or investor has US dollars and needs to trade those into Japanese yens, a broker would do this on the Forex. Many investors trade currency to make a profit. When a certain type of currency is bought at a low exchange rate, the currency can be sold once the rate increases to turn a profit.
Crossing currency on the Forex is one of the most profitable ways to earn money for many investors. The Forex is unlike any other type of market in the world. The foreign exchange market is extremely liquid and involves over two trillion dollars everyday. The top three currencies that are most traded on the Forex are the US dollar, the Japanese yen and the Euro. All of these currencies are traded the most out of all other forms of currency.
Learning to cross currency in the Forex can be complicated. The biggest factor in trading on the Forex is having knowledge about the Forex and how it works. In addition, there are many benefits of using the Forex for trading. Crossing currency gives traders the leverage to make large profits while keeping the risk of losing capital to a minimum. In ideal conditions, an investor that puts in $500 could potentially make over $100,000.
With the foreign exchange currency being so large, it is very liquid. Crossing currency using the Forex allows a large amount of flexibility for the trader and investor. The Forex gives the trade the ability to buy and sell currency quickly so that they are never stuck in any investment. When investors use online trading as their form of crossing currency, the trading platform can be pre-set to the preferences of the trader. If the trade is not going as expected, the platform can be set to stop the trade, allowing the trader to lose less money while using the Forex.
Crossing currency also allows traders and investors to profit in rising and falling markets. This is another difference between the stock market and the foreign exchange market. With the stock market, an investor can only make money when the shares are on the rise. When there is a falling “bear” market or the stocks decline, investors cannot make money on the stock market. When crossing currency in the Forex, this is not true. This is one appealing factor of trading on the Forex. Investors can make large amounts of profits when a currency pair is either up or down. Crossing currency in the right direction can always make profits.
Another appealing benefit of using the Forex for currency crossing, or trading is that the Forex is always open. When investing the in the stock market, the trading is limited to when the market is open. It has a definite closing time during the business week. This is not true of the foreign exchange currency. The Forex is open all the time and does not close. Traders benefit from the ability to trade twenty-four hours a day using the Internet.
Learning to trade on the Forex can be easy when new investors go through an experienced broker or financial institution. Also, there are many ways to learn how to trade on the Forex using free demo accounts available on the Internet. These websites offer valuable resources and free ways for the new investor to practice using the Forex. This is very important for those who want to learn the ins and outs of crossing currency before opening an actual account. Mini Forex accounts are also a good way for the new investor to trade currency without having the risk of a regular account. A mini account allows traders to use a smaller amount of money as their initial investment.
Trading Software Can Help Investors make Profitable Decisions
One of the unique things about the forex market as opposed to markets like the New York Stock Exchange is that it runs 24 hours a day. The forex market covers the entire world, all 24 time zones, so no matter what time it is, currency trading is taking place.
Because of this, many traders have found it helpful to have forex futures trading system traders software on their computers. These trading programs enable users to stay informed about the very latest price quotes and to buy and sell foreign currencies around-the-clock during forex trading hours.
Forex software also helps the online firms that deal in retail forex trading. Without the software, customers would have to log on to the site to conduct their transactions. But with the software installed on their computers, customers can handle their buying and selling without having to log in and potential overload the company's server.
Most retail forex companies offer some kind of software for their clients to use, and most programs are about the same. They give up-to-the-minute values of currencies, allow customers to make transactions, and provide for transferring balances. Essentially, this software lets you do the things you once had to do online without actually having to log in to a Web site.
There are also third-party companies that offer forex software, programs that aren't pegged to a particular retail trader but that offer users a way of staying informed and conducting business. Many of these programs also give tutorials and practice runs, to help new investors learn the ropes before getting into the real thing. Such practice is extremely valuable, as forex trading is complicated and can be perilous to a first-time trader.
Another advantage of forex software is that many programs do analysis, too -- that is, they'll look at the data over a specified period of time and identify trends and patterns. Have certain nations currencies been steadily declining lately? Does one currency habitually grow stronger at a particular time every year? Will the U.S. dollar be stronger or weaker right around the time of a national election?
All of this data can aid you, the investor, in deciding which currencies to buy and sell. Nothing is certain in speculative markets like forex, because there are simply too many factors and variables that determine exchange rates from day to day. But forex software can help you make informed decisions, which is invaluable to an investor in a tumultuous marketplace.