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Foreign Exchange Market

Foreign Exchange Market

The Foreign Exchange Market is a global, worldwide, decentralized financial market for trading currencies. Financial centers around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of different types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies. Large market players as corporations, central banks, investment management firms, hedge funds and investors participate in Forex trading. The Forex market is considered the largest financial market in the world with daily turnover estimated at 5.3 trillion U.S. Dollars.

BREAKING DOWN Foreign Exchange Market

The foreign exchange market came into being shortly after the gold standard was rejected in 1976. Profits are based on exchange rate differences and are regulated by demand and supply.

Forex is a global online network where traders buy and sell currencies. It has no physical location and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Aside from providing a floor for the buying, selling, exchanging and speculation of currencies, the forex market also enables currency conversion for international trade and investments.

The Forex market has unique characteristics and properties that make it an attractive market for investors who want to optimize their profits. The Internet makes the process quick, convenient and very simple. Forex trading does involve risks, but alternative investments have better returns.

Highly Liquid

The foreign exchange market is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world. It attracts traders worldwide offering great opportunities and promises early profits. One of the evident benefits of Forex trading is enormous trading volume, which covers the largest asset class globally and provides traders with high liquidity.

Open 24 Hours a Day, 5 Days a Week

The foreign exchange market is highly dynamic all day long with price quotes constantly changing. It is the only market that truly operates 24 hours a day and five days a week. Currencies are traded in the largest stock exchanges and marketplaces all over the world: in Zurich, Hong Kong, New York, Tokyo, Frankfurt, London, Sydney, and Paris. This means that across almost every time zone the market is active - when the market closes in the U.S. the trading day starts in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The time flexibility is extremely convenient for traders who have a busy working schedule. They do not need to worry about market opening and closing hours and are free to arrange their trade anytime they want.


Forex leverage is a tool about which every trader should be well-aware of. Most of the Forex investors use this tool to maximize their return on investment in the market. Therefore, traders who would like to maximize their return profit can certainly use this trading tool. However, it involves a certain level of risks where traders may incur a significant amount of loss while trading with leverage.

For example, investors who have a $1,000 Forex market account can trade $100,000 worth of currency with a margin of 1%, with a 100:1 leverage.

The Biggest in the World of Finance

According to the Bank for International Settlements and OTC Derivatives Market Activity, foreign-exchange trading increased to an average of $5.3 trillion a day. To put this into perspective, this averages out to be $220 billion per hour. The foreign exchange market is largely made up of institutional investors, corporations, governments, banks, as well as currency speculators. Roughly 90% of this volume is generated by currency speculators capitalizing on intraday price movements. The break-down of this amount shows that $1.490 trillion was traded in spot transactions, $475 billion in outright forwards, $1.765 trillion in foreign exchange swaps, $43 billion in currency swaps, and $207 billion in options and other forex products.

To sum up, the Forex market size and depth make it the ideal trading environment. Such liquidity makes it easy for traders to sell and buy currencies. That is why more and more traders from all different asset classes are turning to the Forex market on daily basis.


2022-11-23 • Updated

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