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What is Forex (Foreign Exchange) Trading

by martinchandra

The vast currency market is a foreign concept to the average individual. However, once it is broken down into simple terms, one can begin to easily understand the foreign exchange market and see what a profitable avenue of income participating in the trading of Forex can be.

Whether or not you are aware, you already play a role in the foreign exchange market, also known as the Forex market. The simple fact that you have money in your pocket makes you an investor of currencies, and more particularly, an investor of U.S Dollars!

The cash in your wallet and money in your savings account are in U.S. Dollars. The value of your mortgage, stocks, bonds, and other investments are expressed in U.S. Dollars. In other words, unless you are among the few Americans who have foreign bank accounts or have bought a modest amount of foreign currencies or securities, you are an investor of U.S. Dollars.

By holding U.S. Dollars, you have basically elected not to hold the currencies of other nations. Your purchase of stocks, bonds, and other investments, along with money deposited into your bank account represent investments that rely heavily on the integrity of the value of the currency in which it is denominated the U.S. Dollar.

Due to the constant increasing and decreasing value of the U.S. Dollar and the resultant fluctuation in exchange rates, your investment portfolio may have experienced changes in value, thus affecting your overall financial status.

With this in mind, it should be no surprise that many shrewd investors have taken advantage of the fluctuation in exchange rates using the volatility of the foreign exchange market to trade currencies and put more money in their pockets.

The foreign exchange market has experienced many changes since its inception. For years, as you learned above, the United States and its allies, under the Bretton Woods Agreement, participated in a system in which exchange rates were tied to the amount of gold reserves belonging to the nation. However in the summer of 1971, President Nixon took the United States off the gold standard, and floating exchange rates began to materialize.

Today, supply and demand for a particular currency, or its relative value, is the driving factor in determining exchange rates. There have been many radical global economic changes over the last decade.

Some of these changes have decreased obstacles and increased opportunities in world trade, such as the fall of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the renewed political reform in South America and the continuing liberalization of the Chinese economy have boosted the worldwide economy by opening up new markets and opportunities. These events have lifted traditional trade barriers resulting in a tremendous increase in foreign investment.

With this increase however, all nations are more interrelated and dependent upon one another. Increasing trade and foreign investment have made the economies of all nations more and more interrelated.

Fluctuations in economic activity in one country are reflected in that country 's currency and immediately transmitted to its partners, altering the relative price of products and thus affecting costs and profits, which in turn affect changes in currency values.

Regularly reported economic figures around the world, such as inflation or unemployment levels, as well as unexpected news, such as natural disasters or political instability, alters the desirability of holding a particular currency, thus influencing international supply and demand for that currency.

The U.S. Dollar, therefore, fluctuates constantly against the currencies of the rest of the world. The current web of international trade and the resultant fluctuations in exchange rates have created the world 's largest market the foreign exchange market, a market whose vast size makes it the most efficient, fairest, and liquid of all markets.

The Interbank Foreign Exchange Market is an unregulated, decentralized international forum that deals in the various major currencies of the world, with virtually no direct government regulation or interference.

The Interbank Foreign Exchange Market involves trading one nation s currency for the currency of another nation. Foreign exchange, however, is not a "market" in the traditional sense since there is no centralized location for trading activity. It is an electronically linked world-wide network of currency traders dispersed throughout the leading financial centers of the world.

An international community of approximately 400 banks make the daily currency exchanges for buyers and sellers worldwide who conduct business linked by the Internet, phones, computers, fax machines and other means of instant communication.

Trading occurs over the telephone and through computer terminals at thousands of locations worldwide. The direct Interbank market consists of dealers with currency settlement capabilities trading as principals. It is this dealer segment of the market that is responsible for generating a large portion of the overall foreign exchange volumes.

Trading between dealers creates the largest turnover in the market, making foreign exchange the most liquid of all markets. Trading approximately $1.5 trillion every day, the foreign exchange market is the largest financial market in the world. Traditionally, the foreign exchange market has only been available to banks, money managers, and large financial institutions.

Over the years, these institutions, including the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, have realized large gains via currency trading. This growing market is now linked to a worldwide network of currency traders, including banks, central banks, brokers, and customers, such as importers and exporters.

Today, the foreign exchange market offers opportunities for profit not only to banks and institutions, but to individual investors as well. A great advantage is the size and volume of the Forex Interbank market makes it impossible to manipulate the market for any length of time. Unlike the equity markets, no really effective "insider" interference is possible for any length of time in the Forex market.

As a result Forex is an action based, decentralized international market that allows various major currencies of the world to seek their true value. It operates as the purest form of supply and demand for currencies as a tradable commodity. This is why many analysts refer to it as the most efficient market in the world.

About the Author

Martin Chandra is a full-time investor. Get limited offers at here.
Article Source: Content for Reprint

1 comment:

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