Close this search box.

Understanding the Basics of Forex Trading

What Is the Concept of “Forex”?

The term “Forex” is commonly used in the present day to refer to the exchange rate of one currency against another. In other words, when discussing Forex, it is always about a pair of currencies.

The words “Forex” and “FX” are widely used interchangeably and both essentially refer to the same concept of foreign exchange. While the term “FX” is more popularly used in the US, the term “Forex” was the more accepted term in the UK. Professional traders in banks and brokers in the US tend to refer to this concept as “FX”, while the general public, influenced by British terminology, usually refers to it as “Forex”. The word “currency” is also used in this context, such as in sentences like “I trade currencies” or “something happened in the currency market.”

The term foreign exchange is used to refer to money, or more specifically, to money in two distinct denominations. The exchange in the term alludes to a trade in which both sides are prepared to part with a certain amount of monetary value in return for an equal amount denominated in the second currency. The rate of exchange is known as the exchange rate.

The exchange rate is the name given to the cost of one currency in terms of another. The word “rate” appears to be more valid than “price” in this context, likely because of its use in the Middle Ages to refer to levies, taxes or tariffs. This is because converting one currency to another involves applying a ratio or proportion to one relative to the other. The Latin phrase “pro rata parte” meaning “in proportion” is often used and the English word “rate” originates from the Latin “rata”.

What Is Being Exchanged?

At an airport kiosk, foreign exchange can be done by trading one basket of money for another. In this case, it would be exchanging 165 US dollars for £100 in British pound sterling, at a rate of $1.65 per pound.

The explanation for why the exchange rate isn’t £0.6061 per dollar is due to the long-standing custom of pricing other currencies in terms of the pound sterling. This was the norm for a lengthy period until the period immediately following World War II. It’s essentially the same rate, though expressed in its reciprocal form (1 divided by 1.65).

Following World War II, the US dollar was used as the standard currency and the cost of other currencies was determined by how many units of that foreign currency could be obtained with a single dollar.

Generally, any currency other than what is issued by one’s own country is deemed “foreign”. From the perspective of a tourist or importer, foreign exchange is typically thought of as “how many units of foreign currency can I get for a fixed amount of my home currency?”. As the dollar is the benchmark currency against which almost all others are priced, it is often the first currency in the name of many currency pairs. Though not all, the primary currency name is typically the more important one and the other is seen as subordinate.

When calculating a foreign exchange rate, the first currency is considered to be the base. This means that the fixed amount is denominated in that currency and the variable amount becomes the other currency. As an example, when the European Monetary Union chose to quote the euro in the format “Euro/USD” and “Euro/JPY,” the euro was established as the more significant currency of the two.

The general rule is that when the number ascends in a quote, the currency at the beginning is becoming stronger while the one at the end is getting weaker. For example, if the pound rate goes from 1.6000 to 1.6500, the pound is gaining strength and the dollar is consequently becoming weaker; the full quote should be GBP/USD and could be accurately expressed as $1.6000 to $1.6500, signifying that the pound used to cost $1.6000, but now it costs $1.6500. Reporters typically apply the practice of prefixing the price quote with a dollar sign, while traders and analysts usually do not.

The euro’s value (EUR/USD) is increased when the number is higher. So, we can say that the EUR/USD went from 1.3200 to 1.3900, and this represents it becoming more expensive in terms of the dollar. If you are inexperienced with Forex trading, you can add the dollar sign to the first currency mentioned in the quote, turning the quote into $1.3200 to $1.3900.

The pound, euro, Australian dollar, and New Zealand dollar are the most prevalent currencies which do not put the dollar in the lead position due to traditional practice. Every other currency is stated in terms of dollars, for example, USD/CHF = US dollar against the Swiss franc.


Not long ago, any exchange rate that did not contain one’s currency was considered a cross-rate. For instance, the US dollar/Japanese yen rate would be a cross-rate for someone from the United Kingdom or Europe.

The contemporary interpretation of a cross-rate is any currency pair not containing the dollar. For example, the USD/JPY rate is seen as a major exchange rate in the UK and Europe, whereas the AUD/CAD rate is regarded as a cross-rate globally, even though it includes both Australian and Canadian currencies.

It is not universally accepted to define a cross-rate in this way, and you may find different listings of them in newspapers and websites. With the US dollar accounting for 70% of global government money reserves and world trade, it makes sense to include this currency in major exchange rates. There are more US dollars in circulation outside the US than within, so one could argue that it is the most used currency in some places, despite not being the native money. Nonetheless, when referring to the euro, it is always EUR/USD and the second currency needs to be identified.

Evolving Practices

The practices in the industry are constantly changing and developing, necessitating the need for people to adjust their methods to keep up with the evolving trends. This means that the strategies and tactics used must be continuously updated and modified to be effective. This is why it is important to stay aware of the latest advancements and incorporate adaptive techniques into your work.


Engaging in the exchange of goods has been a part of life for many centuries. Trading is the process of exchanging commodities, services, and other valuable items. It can be done on a global scale or a local level. Through trading, people can buy and sell products and services, as well as gain access to new markets and opportunities.

At the airport kiosk, when you are exchanging your domestic currency for another, you are not engaging in a trade. Instead, you are a price-taker. The kiosk’s sign will indicate the exchange rate that will be applied and you either accept it or reject it.

Engaging in trading does not mean blindly exchanging goods for currency. Rather, it is a process of bargaining, which can involve strategies, manipulation, and even deception. Both parties must come to an understanding of the price that leaves them the least dissatisfied. Eventually, when a mutual agreement is reached, a contract is formed that states that one party will provide a certain quantity of currency to the other, and vice versa. Generally, this exchange is conducted by an electronic transfer from one bank account to another in each of the two countries of origin.



Send Us A Message