Global Currenciez: What Is Forex? – Foreign Exchange, Currency Trading Market Forex is the global decentralized market for trading currencies. This includes buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current, …


Global Currenciez: What Is Forex? - Foreign Exchange, Currency Trading Market Forex is the global decentralized market for trading currencies. This includes buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current, determined or future prices. Forex is by far the largest market in the world. As of 2016, Forex produces a daily trading volume of over $5.4 trillion.

The main participants of the global forex market are larger financial institutions, mostly banks. Financial centers around the world operate as anchors of trading between a wide range of multiple types of buyers and sellers.

Forex is short for foreign exchange. The foreign exchange market does not determine the relative value of different currencies, but sets the current market prices of the value of one currency as demanded against another.nThe foreign exchange market is commonly referred to as forex (pronounced "[ˈfôreks]"), FX, or currency market.

The global currency market works through financial institutions, and it operates on several levels. Behind the scenes banks turn to a smaller number of financial firms known as “dealers,” who are actively involved in large quantities of foreign exchange trading. Most forex dealers are banks, so this market is called the “interbank market”. Trades between forex dealers can be very large, involving hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

The forex market assists international trade and investments by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from European Union member states, and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. It also supports direct speculation and evaluation relative to the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation based on the interest rate differential between two currencies.

The global forex market is so unique because of its huge trading volume representing the largest asset class in the world leading to high liquidity; the variety of factors that affect exchange rates; the low margins of relative profit compared with other markets of fixed income; and the use of leverage to enhance profit and loss margins and with respect to account size. As such, it has been referred to as the market closest to the ideal of perfect competition, notwithstanding currency intervention by central banks.

Forex Market Size and Forex Liquidity
Forex is traded in an over-the-counter market where brokers/dealers negotiate directly with one another, so there is no central exchange or clearing house. The foreign exchange market is the most liquid financial market in the world. Traders include governments and central banks, commercial banks, other institutional investors and financial institutions, currency speculators, other commercial corporations, and individuals. Unlike a stock market, the foreign exchange market is divided into levels of access. At the top is the interbank market, which is made up of the largest commercial banks and securities dealers.

Top 10 currency traders (May 2016)
1. Citi
2. JP Morgan
3. UBS
4. Deutsche Bank
5. Bank of America Merrill Lynch
6. Barclays
7. Goldman Sachs
9. XTX Markets
10. Morgan Stanley

The average daily turnover in the global currency exchange and related markets is growing. Forex trading increased by 20% in less than 3 years, and has more than doubled since 2004. This increase is due to a number of factors: the growing importance of forex as an asset class, the increased trading activity of high-frequency traders, and the emergence of retail investors as an important market segment. Electronic trading via online portals has made it easier for retail forex traders to trade in the currency trading market.

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