EURUSD 1.1736 USDJPY 112.00 USDCAD 1.2788 EURCZK 25.544 USDCZK 21.760 EURPLN 4.2291 USDPLN 3.6032
EURUSD 1.1736 USDJPY 112.00 USDCAD 1.2788 EURCZK 25.544 USDCZK 21.760 EURPLN 4.2291 USDPLN 3.6032

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Learn the basics of financial markets

How does the foreign exchange market trading differ from operating on the stock market markets?

The FOREX market is open 24 hrs a day for almost 6 days a week, and has no central geographical location. Typically, it also offers leverage as a standard built into the financial instruments used, which gives an investor the possibility to undertake a higher risk and seek higher profits than in the case of the stock market.

What are the most popular currencies traded on the FOREX market?

The most popular currencies traded include the US dollar (USD), the euro (EUR), the Japanese yen (JPY), the British pound (GBP) and the Swiss franc (CHF). The currency pairs of EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF and USDJPY and called “majors”, as those markets are in the centre of the interest of international traders.

Where is the FOREX central location?

There is no one central location for the foreign exchange market. Forex is considered to be an “over-the-counter” market (OTC) and is decentralised, as trades are conducted between two counterparts directly in many different financial locations, and/or financial centres.

Who are the FOREX market participants?

The main participants are central banks, commercial and investment banks as well as other investment related companies and international corporations.

Why occasionally when there are crises and the prices of major assets fall, are there a few that actually rise?

This is related with the confidence investors have in certain assets. For example, gold has always been treated as a substitute for money - it is a material asset and, one which has intrinsic value. This is why when there are crises in general, investors will show an increased interest in gold. Another example is the Swiss Franc (CHF). This currency has been treated for many years as a safe (stable) currency. So, as well as with gold, when a world crisis is observed, investors start investing in Swiss investments appreciating the value of the CHF. You can find more information on these relationships in the general market mechanics section of our website or in the macroeconomic data.

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