The forex market is the largest and most liquid financial market globally. It operates 24 hours a day, five days a week, and is open to everyone. Let’s look at how the forex market works and some of the factors that drive prices.
The forex market comprises banks, commercial companies, central banks, investment management firms, hedge funds, and retail traders. Participants in the market can trade currencies for profit by buying and selling them at different prices.
The forex market is decentralized, meaning that any single authority does not regulate it. Prices are determined by supply and demand and are constantly changing. This makes it difficult to predict future movements in the market.
Forex has a high level of liquidity, meaning that forex transactions can be carried out without affecting the price. This is because large amounts of currencies are bought and sold at all times, which keeps costs stable.
How does the forex system work?
The forex system is simple: one currency traded for another. Look at the EUR/USD account, for example. Say you want to buy €1000 worth of US dollars; when there are willing sellers of $1120 per USD, you will receive $1120 / $1 = €1000 worth of US dollars in your bank account. If you sell €1000 US dollars, you will get $1120. So, in this case, the Euro strengthened against the Dollar.
How are forex prices determined?
Like stocks and commodities, FX prices are determined by supply and demand. When more people want to buy a particular currency than sell it, the price increases. When more people want to sell a specific currency than buy it, the price decreases. Currencies are always quoted in pairs: the value of one currency compared to another (the ‘base’ or ‘counter’ currency). The most commonly quoted currencies are the ‘major’ currencies, which include the Pound Sterling (GBP), Euro (EUR), US Dollar (USD 10/JPY.
The impact of news releases
From a retail trader point of view, it is necessary to understand what impact different news releases have on the market. If you have been trading for a while now, chances are you will have heard people talking about different news reports being released throughout the day and their potential effect on price action. This can be unclear for new traders who do not know how to trade during these times, so we take a look at some of the more significant events that drive forex pairs and what they mean for us as traders.
Important news releases that impacted Forex
One of the most important news releases for forex traders is the Non-Farm Payroll (NFP) report. The NFP report measures the number of new jobs created in the US economy during the previous month and is considered a key indicator of economic health. Traders will watch this report closely as it can significantly impact price action, particularly for the USD currency pairs.
Interest Rate Decision
Another essential news release is the Interest Rate Decision (IOR), released by the Bank of England (BOE). It signifies whether or not the BOE has made any changes to interest rates. This release is essential as changes to interest rates can significantly impact currencies, so traders will be watching this event closely to see how it affects the GBP/USD and GBP/EUR pairs.
China and the United States of America are the two biggest economies globally, and one of the most influential economic indicators released by both countries is their monthly Balance of Trade (BOT) report, which measures net exports from the country. A positive reading suggests a trade surplus, while a negative reading suggests a trade deficit. This news release tends to affect Asian currencies such as the Japanese Yen (JPY) more than it does significant currencies like EUR or USD.