Currency trading is the most liquid and robust market in the world. In fact, no other market can compare to the sheer value of this massively traded market. Estimates peg the value of currency trading at around $5 trillion per day, a figure that far outstrips the value of all stock market trading in the world.
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The Basics of Currency Trading
When you’re trading currency pairs, you’re effectively buying one currency and selling the other currency. Let’s take a simple example to illustrate how this works: the EUR/USD is a commonly traded currency pair. The EUR is the symbol for the Euro and the USD is the symbol for the US Dollar. In the above currency pair, the EUR is referred to as the base currency and the USD is referred to as the quote currency.
The ratio is actually viewed as a single unit, even though it refers to 2 individual currencies. In other words, you trade the EUR/USD currency pair – not the EUR or the USD.
Let us further clarify this basic currency trading example by adding in a few figures. If we assume that the EUR/USD is trading at 1.25345, this means that every €1 = $1.25. In other words the Euro is stronger than the dollar, or conversely you would need more dollars to buy euros
A Few Basic Terms in Currency Trading
Major Currency Pair
When you trade currency pairs, you will encounter six major currency pairs in your daily trades. These include the GBP/USD, USD/CHF, USD/JPY, USD/CAD, AUD/USD and EUR/USD. Major currency pairs include one major currency against the US dollar. Simply put, these are the most actively traded currency pairs in the world, and they offer the greatest liquidity. Their volatility is consequently lower, since – given the large number of traders involved – the consensus on a given price is much stronger and harder to disrupt
Minor Currency Pair
Minor Pairs by contrast are those currency pairs that are less traded than the major currency pairs. They are less liquid than the major currency pairs and they often have wider spreads. As a general rule, minor currency pairs are any pairs other than the six major currency pairs listed above. Here at AvaTrade, we’ve got a wide selection of minor currency pairs for you to trade.
Exotic Currency Pair
Exotic currency pairs typically include a currency from an emerging market country. The reason that they are called exotic currency pairs has nothing to do with the location of the country, but rather the additional challenges involved in trading these currency pairs. Exotic currency pairs are generally illiquid, with wider spreads and fewer market-makers. Examples of exotic currency pairs include the South African Rand (ZAR), the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) and the Mexican Peso (MXN).
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