The Foreign Exchange market, also referred to as the "Forex" or "FX" market, is the largest financial market in the world, with a daily average turnover of approximately US$1.5 trillion. Foreign Exchange is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another. The world's currencies are on a floating exchange rate and are always traded in pairs, for example Euro/Dollar or Dollar/Yen.
Where is the central location of the FX Market?
FX Trading is not centralized on an exchange, as with the stock and futures markets. The FX market is considered an Over the Counter (OTC) or 'Interbank' market, due to the fact that transactions are conducted between two counterparts over the telephone or via an electronic network.
The Forex market is called an 'Interbank' market due to the fact that historically it has been dominated by banks, including central banks, commercial banks, and investment banks. However, the percentage of other market participants is rapidly growing, and now includes large multinational corporations, global money managers, registered dealers, international money brokers, futures and options traders, and private speculators.
When is the FX market open for trading?
A true 24-hour market, Forex trading begins each day in Sydney, and moves around the globe as the business day begins in each financial center, first to Tokyo, then London, and New York. Unlike any other financial market, investors can respond to currency fluctuations caused by economic, social and political events at the time they occur - day or night.