Thursday, September 27, 2007


FOREX (Foreign Exchange market) is an international foreign exchange market, where money is sold and bought freely. In its present condition FOREX was launched in the 1970s, when free exchange rates were introduced, and only the participants of the market determine the price of one currency against the other proceeding from supply and demand.

As far as the freedom from any external control and free competition are concerned, FOREX is a perfect market. It is also the biggest liquid financial market. According to various assessments, money masses in the market constitute from 1 to 1.5 trillion US dollars a day. (It is impossible to determine an absolutely exact number because trading is not centralized on an exchange.) Transactions are conducted all over the world via telecommunications 24 hours a day from 00:00 GMT on Monday to 10:00 pm GMT on Friday. Practically in every time zone (that is, in Frankfurt-on-Main, London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc.) there are dealers who will quote currencies.

FOREX is a more objective market, because if some of its participants would like to change prices, for some manipulative purpose, they would have to operate with tens of billions dollars. That is why any influence by a single participants in the market is practically out of the question. The superior liquidity allows the traders to open and/or close positions within a few seconds. The time of keeping a position is arbitrary and has no limits: from several seconds to many years. It depends only on your trading strategies. Although the daily fluctuations of currencies are rather insignificant, you may use the credit lines, that are accessible even to currency speculators with small capitals ($ 1,000 - 5,000), where the profit may be impressive.

The idea of marginal trading stems from the fact that in FOREX speculative interests can be satisfied without a real money supply. This decreases overhead expenses for transferring money and gives an opportunity to open positions with a small account in US dollars, buying and selling a lot of other currencies. That is, on can conduct transactions very quickly, getting a big profit, when the exchange rates go up or down. Many speculative transactions in the international financial markets are made on the principles of marginal trading.
Margin trading is trading with a borrowed capital. Marginal trading in an exchange market uses lots. 1 lot equals approximately $100,000, but to open it it is necessary to have only from 0.5% to 4% of the sum.

For example, you have analyzed the situation in the market and come to the conclusion that the pound will go up against the dollar. You open 1 lot for buying the pound (GBP) with the margin 1% (1:1000 leverage) at the price of 1.49889 and wait for the exchange rate to go up. Some time later your expectations become true. You close the position at 1.5050 and earn 61 pips (about $ 405). For the calculation of 1 pip

Everyday fluctuations of currencies constitute about 100 to 150 pips, giving FX traders an opportunity to make money on these changes.
In FOREX, it's not obligatory to buy some currency first in order to sell it later. It's possible to open positions for buying and selling any currency without actually having it. Usually Internet-brokers establish the minimum deposit such as $ 2000, for working in the FOREX market, and grant a leverage of 1:100. That is, opening the position at $100,000, a trader invests $1,000 and receives $99.000 as a credit. The major currencies traded in FOREX, are Euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY), British Pound (GBP), and Swiss Franc (CHF). All of them are traded against the US dollar (USD).

In order to assess the situation in the market a trader has to be able to use fundamental and/or technical analysis, as well as to make decisions in the constantly changing current of information about political and economic character. Most small and medium players in financial markets use technical analysis. Technical analysis presupposes that all the information about the market and its further fluctuations is contained in the price chain. Any factor, that has some influence on the price, be it economic, political or psychological, has already been considered by the market and included in the price. The initial data for a technical analysis are prices: the highest and the lowest prices, the price of opening and closing within a certain period of time, and the volume of transactions.A technical analysis is founded on three suppositions:

Movement of the market considers everything;
Movement of prices is purposeful;
History repeats itself. That is, technical analysis is a statistical and mathematical analysis of previous quotes and a prognosis of coming prices.

A number of technical indicators have been installed into the PRO-CHARTS trading system. Analyzing the indicators one can come to the conclusion about further movements of the quoted currencies. For a more detailed description of the indicators, analyzing price charts and volumes of trading,

Fundamental analysis is an analysis of current situations in the country of the currency, such as its economy, political events, and rumors. The country's economy depends on the rate of inflation and unemployment, on the interest rate of its Central Bank, and on tax policy. Political stability also influences the exchange rate. Policy of the Central Bank has a special role, as concentrated interventions or refusal from them greatly influence the exchange rate.
At the same time one should not consider fundamental analysis just as an analysis of the economic situation in the country itself. A far bigger role in the FOREX market belongs to the expectations of the market participants and their assessment of these expectations. Various prognoses and bulletins, issued by the participants, have a strong influence on the expectations. Very often an effect of the so-called self-filfilling prophecy occurs when market players raise or lower the exchange rates according to the prognosis. But a deep and thorough fundamental analysis is available only for big banks with a staff of professional analysts and constant access to a wide field of information.

In spite of these different approaches, both forms of analyses complement one another. Traders who act on the basis of a fundamental analysis, have to consider some technical characteristics of the market (the main rates of support, such as resistance and resale), and supporters of the technical approach to the market must track the main news (interest rates, important political events).The main merits of the FOREX market are:
The biggest number of participants and the largest volumes of transactions;
Superior liquidity and speed of the market: transactions are conducted within a few seconds according to online quotes;

The market works 24 hours a day, every working days;
A trader can open a position for any period of time he wants;
No fees, except for the difference between buying and selling prices;
An opportunity to get a bigger profit that the invested sum;
Qualified work in the FOREX market can become your main professional activity;
You can make deals any time you like.

Investment Products

The Foreign Exchange Market, better known as FOREX, is a worldwide market for buying and selling currencies.
It handles a huge volume of transactions 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Daily exchanges are worth approximately $1.5 trillion (US dollars).

In comparison, the United States Treasury Bond market averages $300 billion a day, and American stock markets exchange about $100 billion a day.

The Foreign Exchange Market was established in 1971 when fixed currency exchanges were abolished. Currencies became valued at 'floating' rates determined by supply and demand.

The FOREX grew steadily throughout the 1970's, but with the technological advances of the 80's FOREX expanded from trading levels of $70 billion a day to the current level of $1.5 trillion.

Who Trades in FOREX?

The FOREX is made up of about 5,000 trading institutions such as international banks, central government banks (such as the US Federal Reserve), and commercial companies and brokers for all types of foreign currency. There is no centralized location of FOREX; major trading centers are located in New York, Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, and Frankfurt. All trading is done by telephone or Internet. Businesses use the market to buy and sell their products in other countries, but most of the activity on the FOREX is from currency traders who use it to generate profits from small movements in the market.

Even though there are many huge players in FOREX, it is accessible to the small investor thanks to recent changes in the regulations. Previously, there was a minimum transaction size and traders were required to meet strict financial requirements.

With the advent of Internet trading, regulations have been changed to allow large interbank units to be broken down into smaller lots. Each lot is worth about $100,000 and is accessible to the individual investor through 'leverage' loans extended for trading. Typically, lots can be controlled with a leverage of 100:1 meaning that US$1,000 will allow you to control a $100,000 currency exchange.

Advantages to Trading in Forex

Liquidity - Because of the size of the Foreign Exchange Market, investments are extremely liquid. International banks are continuously providing bid and ask offers and the high number of transactions each day ensures there is always a buyer or a seller for any currency.

Accessibility - The market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. The market opens Monday morning Australian time and closes Friday afternoon New York time. Trades can be done on the Internet from your home or office.

Open Market - Currency fluctuations are usually caused by changes in national economies. News about these changes is accessible to everyone at the same time--there can be no 'insider trading' in FOREX.

No Commission - Brokers earn money by setting a 'spread'--the difference between what a currency can be bought at and what it can be sold at.

How does it work?

Currencies are always traded in pairs: the US dollar against the Japanese yen, or the English pound against the euro. Every transaction involves selling one currency and buying another, so if an investor believes the euro will gain against the dollar, he will sell dollars and buy euros.
The potential for profit exists because there is always movement between currencies. Even small changes can result in substantial profits because of the large amount of money involved in each transaction. At the same time, it can be a relatively safe market for the individual investor. There are safeguards built in to protect both the broker and the investor, and a number of software tools exist to minimize loss.


The five broad categories of participants are: consumers, businesses, investors, speculators, commercial banks, investment banks and central banks.

Consumers, including visitors of countries, tourists and immigrants, do need to exchange currencies when they travel so that they can buy local goods and services. These participants do not have the power to set prices. They just buy and sell according to the prevailing exchange rate. They make up a significant proportion of the volume being traded in the market.
Businesses that import and export goods and services need to exchange currencies to receive or make payments for goods they may have bought or services they may have rendered.
Investors and speculators require currencies to buy and sell investment instruments such as shares, bonds, bank deposits or real estate.

Large commercial and investment banks are the 'price makers'. They are the ones who buy and sell currencies at the bid-and-offer exchange rates that they declare through their foreign exchange dealers.

Commercial banks deal with customers on one hand, and with the Interbank or other banks, on the other hand. They profit by utilizing the bid-and-offer spread. The bid price is the exchange rate that the buyer is willing to buy and the offer price is the exchange rate at which the seller is willing to sell. The difference is called the bid-offer spread. They also make profits from speculating about whether the exchange rate will rise or fall.

Central banks participate in the foreign exchange market in their effective duty as banks for their particular government. They trade currencies not for the intention of making profits but rather to facilitate government monetary policies and to help smoothen out the fluctuation of the value of their economy's currency.