Forex & CFD trading tutorial

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
    Get Your Sing-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Broker. Only For Experienced Traders!

Forex Trading: A Beginner’s Guide

Forex is a portmanteau of foreign currency and exchange. Foreign exchange is the process of changing one currency into another currency for a variety of reasons, usually for commerce, trading, or tourism. According to a recent triennial report from the Bank for International Settlements (a global bank for national central banks), the average was more than $5.1 trillion in daily forex trading volume. 

Key Takeaways

  • The foreign exchange (also known as FX or forex) market is a global marketplace for exchanging national currencies against one another.
  • Because of the worldwide reach of trade, commerce, and finance, forex markets tend to be the largest and most liquid asset markets in the world.
  • Currencies trade against each other as exchange rate pairs. For example, EUR/USD.
  • Forex markets exist as spot (cash) markets as well as derivatives markets offering forwards, futures, options, and currency swaps.
  • Market participants use forex to hedge against international currency and interest rate risk, to speculate on geopolitical events, and to diversify portfolios, among several other reasons.

What Is the Forex Market?

The foreign exchange market is where currencies are traded. Currencies are important to most people around the world, whether they realize it or not, because currencies need to be exchanged in order to conduct foreign trade and business. If you are living in the U.S. and want to buy cheese from France, either you or the company that you buy the cheese from has to pay the French for the cheese in euros (EUR). This means that the U.S. importer would have to exchange the equivalent value of U.S. dollars (USD) into euros. The same goes for traveling. A French tourist in Egypt can’t pay in euros to see the pyramids because it’s not the locally accepted currency. As such, the tourist has to exchange the euros for the local currency, in this case the Egyptian pound, at the current exchange rate.

One unique aspect of this international market is that there is no central marketplace for foreign exchange. Rather, currency trading is conducted electronically over-the-counter (OTC), which means that all transactions occur via computer networks between traders around the world, rather than on one centralized exchange. The market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week, and currencies are traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney—across almost every time zone. This means that when the trading day in the U.S. ends, the forex market begins anew in Tokyo and Hong Kong. As such, the forex market can be extremely active any time of the day, with price quotes changing constantly.

A Brief History of Forex

Unlike stock markets, which can trace their roots back centuries, the forex market as we understand it today is a truly new market. Of course, in its most basic sense—that of people converting one currency to another for financial advantage—forex has been around since nations began minting currencies. But the modern forex markets are a modern invention. After the accord at Bretton Woods in 1971, more major currencies were allowed to float freely against one another. The values of individual currencies vary, which has given rise to the need for foreign exchange services and trading.

Commercial and investment banks conduct most of the trading in the forex markets on behalf of their clients, but there are also speculative opportunities for trading one currency against another for professional and individual investors.

Spot Market and the Forwards & Futures Markets

There are actually three ways that institutions, corporations and individuals trade forex: the spot market, the forwards market, and the futures market. Forex trading in the spot market has always been the largest market because it is the “underlying” real asset that the forwards and futures markets are based on. In the past, the futures market was the most popular venue for traders because it was available to individual investors for a longer period of time. However, with the advent of electronic trading and numerous forex brokers, the spot market has witnessed a huge surge in activity and now surpasses the futures market as the preferred trading market for individual investors and speculators. When people refer to the forex market, they usually are referring to the spot market. The forwards and futures markets tend to be more popular with companies that need to hedge their foreign exchange risks out to a specific date in the future.

More specifically, the spot market is where currencies are bought and sold according to the current price. That price, determined by supply and demand, is a reflection of many things, including current interest rates, economic performance, sentiment towards ongoing political situations (both locally and internationally), as well as the perception of the future performance of one currency against another. When a deal is finalized, this is known as a “spot deal.” It is a bilateral transaction by which one party delivers an agreed-upon currency amount to the counter party and receives a specified amount of another currency at the agreed-upon exchange rate value. After a position is closed, the settlement is in cash. Although the spot market is commonly known as one that deals with transactions in the present (rather than the future), these trades actually take two days for settlement.

Unlike the spot market, the forwards and futures markets do not trade actual currencies. Instead they deal in contracts that represent claims to a certain currency type, a specific price per unit and a future date for settlement.

In the forwards market, contracts are bought and sold OTC between two parties, who determine the terms of the agreement between themselves.

In the futures market, futures contracts are bought and sold based upon a standard size and settlement date on public commodities markets, such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In the U.S., the National Futures Association regulates the futures market. Futures contracts have specific details, including the number of units being traded, delivery and settlement dates, and minimum price increments that cannot be customized. The exchange acts as a counterpart to the trader, providing clearance and settlement.

Both types of contracts are binding and are typically settled for cash at the exchange in question upon expiry, although contracts can also be bought and sold before they expire. The forwards and futures markets can offer protection against risk when trading currencies. Usually, big international corporations use these markets in order to hedge against future exchange rate fluctuations, but speculators take part in these markets as well.

Note that you’ll often see the terms: FX, forex, foreign-exchange market, and currency market. These terms are synonymous and all refer to the forex market.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
    Get Your Sing-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Broker. Only For Experienced Traders!

Forex for Hedging

Companies doing business in foreign countries are at risk due to fluctuations in currency values when they buy or sell goods and services outside of their domestic market. Foreign exchange markets provide a way to hedge currency risk by fixing a rate at which the transaction will be completed.

To accomplish this, a trader can buy or sell currencies in the forward or swap markets in advance, which locks in an exchange rate. For example, imagine that a company plans to sell U.S.-made blenders in Europe when the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar (EUR/USD) is €1 to $1 at parity.

The blender costs $100 to manufacture, and the U.S. firm plans to sell it for €150—which is competitive with other blenders that were made in Europe. If this plan is successful, the company will make $50 in profit because the EUR/USD exchange rate is even. Unfortunately, the USD begins to rise in value versus the euro until the EUR/USD exchange rate is 0.80, which means it now costs $0.80 to buy €1.00.

The problem the company faces is that while it still costs $100 to make the blender, the company can only sell the product at the competitive price of €150, which when translated back into dollars is only $120 (€150 X 0.80 = $120). A stronger dollar resulted in a much smaller profit than expected.

The blender company could have reduced this risk by shorting the euro and buying the USD when they were at parity. That way, if the dollar rose in value, the profits from the trade would offset the reduced profit from the sale of blenders. If the USD fell in value, the more favorable exchange rate will increase the profit from the sale of blenders, which offsets the losses in the trade.

Hedging of this kind can be done in the currency futures market. The advantage for the trader is that futures contracts are standardized and cleared by a central authority. However, currency futures may be less liquid than the forward markets, which are decentralized and exist within the interbank system throughout the world.

Forex for Speculation

Factors like interest rates, trade flows, tourism, economic strength, and geopolitical risk affect supply and demand for currencies, which creates daily volatility in the forex markets. An opportunity exists to profit from changes that may increase or reduce one currency’s value compared to another. A forecast that one currency will weaken is essentially the same as assuming that the other currency in the pair will strengthen because currencies are traded as pairs.

Imagine a trader who expects interest rates to rise in the U.S. compared to Australia while the exchange rate between the two currencies (AUD/USD) is 0.71 (it takes $0.71 USD to buy $1.00 AUD). The trader believes higher interest rates in the U.S. will increase demand for USD, and therefore the AUD/USD exchange rate will fall because it will require fewer, stronger USD to buy an AUD.

Assume that the trader is correct and interest rates rise, which decreases the AUD/USD exchange rate to 0.50. This means that it requires $0.50 USD to buy $1.00 AUD. If the investor had shorted the AUD and went long the USD, he or she would have profited from the change in value.

Currency as an Asset Class

There are two distinct features to currencies as an asset class:

  • You can earn the interest rate differential between two currencies.
  • You can profit from changes in the exchange rate.

An investor can profit from the difference between two interest rates in two different economies by buying the currency with the higher interest rate and shorting the currency with the lower interest rate. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, it was very common to short the Japanese yen (JPY) and buy British pounds (GBP) because the interest rate differential was very large. This strategy is sometimes referred to as a “carry trade.”

Why We Can Trade Currencies

Currency trading was very difficult for individual investors prior to the internet. Most currency traders were large multinational corporations, hedge funds or high-net-worth individuals because forex trading required a lot of capital. With help from the internet, a retail market aimed at individual traders has emerged, providing easy access to the foreign exchange markets, either through the banks themselves or brokers making a secondary market. Most online brokers or dealers offer very high leverage to individual traders who can control a large trade with a small account balance.

Forex Trading: A Beginner’s Guide

Forex Trading Risks

Trading currencies can be risky and complex. The interbank market has varying degrees of regulation, and forex instruments are not standardized. In some parts of the world, forex trading is almost completely unregulated.

The interbank market is made up of banks trading with each other around the world. The banks themselves have to determine and accept sovereign risk and credit risk, and they have established internal processes to keep themselves as safe as possible. Regulations like this are industry-imposed for the protection of each participating bank.

Since the market is made by each of the participating banks providing offers and bids for a particular currency, the market pricing mechanism is based on supply and demand. Because there are such large trade flows within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the price of a currency. This system helps create transparency in the market for investors with access to interbank dealing.

Most small retail traders trade with relatively small and semi-unregulated forex brokers/dealers, which can (and sometimes do) re-quote prices and even trade against their own customers. Depending on where the dealer exists, there may be some government and industry regulation, but those safeguards are inconsistent around the globe.

Most retail investors should spend time investigating a forex dealer to find out whether it is regulated in the U.S. or the U.K. (dealers in the U.S. and U.K. have more oversight) or in a country with lax rules and oversight. It is also a good idea to find out what kind of account protections are available in case of a market crisis, or if a dealer becomes insolvent.

Pros and Challenges of Trading Forex

Pro: The forex markets are the largest in terms of daily trading volume in the world and therefore offer the most liquidity.   This makes it easy to enter and exit a position in any of the major currencies within a fraction of a second for a small spread in most market conditions.

Challenge: Banks, brokers, and dealers in the forex markets allow a high amount of leverage, which means that traders can control large positions with relatively little money of their own. Leverage in the range of 100:1 is a high ratio but not uncommon in forex. A trader must understand the use of leverage and the risks that leverage introduces in an account. Extreme amounts of leverage have led to many dealers becoming insolvent unexpectedly.

Pro: The forex market is traded 24 hours a day, five days a week—starting each day in Australia and ending in New York. The major centers are Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and New York.

Challenge: Trading currencies productively requires an understanding of economic fundamentals and indicators. A currency trader needs to have a big-picture understanding of the economies of the various countries and their inter-connectedness to grasp the fundamentals that drive currency values.

The Bottom Line

For traders—especially those with limited funds—day trading or swing trading in small amounts is easier in the forex market than other markets. For those with longer-term horizons and larger funds, long-term fundamentals-based trading or a carry trade can be profitable. A focus on understanding the macroeconomic fundamentals driving currency values and experience with technical analysis may help new forex traders to become more profitable.

Video Tutorials on Forex and CFD Trading

Instruments of world financial markets

From this video tutorial you will learn what are the instruments of world financial markets

On Instruments Specification section you can check what assets are available for trading.

Forex Market Analysis

From the following video tutorial you will learn what are the types of analysis of financial markets behavior

More information can be found in the Market Forecastаsection.

What is Pip (Percentage in Point)

In this video tutorial you will learn what pip is and how to calculate pip value

More detailed information you can find in the What is Pip page.

Forex market participants

In this video tutorial you will learn about the main participants of the Forex market.

For more detailed information about the main players of the currency market visit Forex Players section.

What is Bitcoin Futures?

In this video tutorial you will learn what Bitcoin is and how it works.

For more detailed information visit the following page about Bitcoin

Advantages of Forex trading

In this video tutorial you will learn about the main advantages of trading in the Forex market.

Discover the benefits of currency trading by visiting Why trade Forex section.

What is CFD?

In this video you will find out some important features of CFDs and about CFD trading with IFC Markets.

Learn more about CFDs and the advantages of CFD trading on the page How to trade CFDs.

What is leverage?

In this video tutorial you may learn how to make large investments with a small deposit.

Learn about the advantages of trading with leverage by visiting “What is leverage?” page.

How to open a trading account?

In this video tutorial you will learn how to open a trading account with Forex and CFD broker IFC Markets.

In order to open a trading account, go to the “Open Forex & CFD Trading Account” page.

What are Spread and Swap?

In this video tutorial, you will learn what floating and fixed spreads are, as well as what Swap is.

Find out more detailed information in “Spread” and “Swap” sections.

Start trading with IFC Markets

Subscribe for Free Educational Materials

  • Online Training Course
  • Video Tutorials
  • Forex Books
  • Daily Analytics

Please select how you would like to be contacted:

IFCMARKETS. CORP. is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands under registration number 669838 and is licensed by the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) to carry out investment business, Certificate No. SIBA/L/14/1073

IFC Markets Ltd is registered under No. LL16237 in the Federal Territory of Labuan (Malaysia) and is licensed by the Labuan Financial Services Authority (license number MB / 20/0049).

Risk Warning Notice: Your capital is at risk. Leveraged products may not be suitable for everyone.

CALDOW LIMITED is an authorised payment agent of IFCMARKETS. CORP. incorporated in the Republic of Cyprus under registration number HE 335779.

IFCMARKETS. CORP. does not provide services for United States, Japan and Russian residents.

Cookie Policy: We use cookies to provide you with a personalised browsing experienceClose

TRADING EDUCATION

Are you new to forex and CFD trading? Or are you an experienced trader who needs to test your strategies under real market conditions? Use any one of OANDA’s award-winning trading platforms, desktop, MT4, or mobile apps, with your free demo account.

EXPLORE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Choose any of the topics below, or visit our webinars and events schedule instructed by our professional traders.

GETTING STARTED

New to CFD and forex trading, or to OANDA? Learn all the basics here.

TOOLS AND STRATEGIES

Develop your trading strategy and learn how to use trading tools for market analysis.

CAPITAL MANAGEMENT

Learn to apply risk management tools to preserve your capital.

WEBINARS AND EVENTS

Improve your trading strategy with the guidance and experience of our professional instructors. Select from a vast array of trading webinars and events.

FOREX AND CFD MARKETS

Trade on over 100 instruments, including currency pairs, indices, commodities, bonds and metals †.

TRADE YOUR WAY

DESKTOP TRADING PLATFORM

Powerful, advanced charting

Easy to use, customizable platform

MOBILE TRADING PLATFORM

Rich charting and technical analysis

Up to date news and push notifications

METATRADER 4

Automated trading and full EA support

Customizable indicators and chart trading

WHY OANDA?

We are a different kind of broker founded on the premise that forex and CFD trading should be accessible to all traders based on fair and transparent business practices.

This page is for general information purposes only: examples are not investment advice or an inducement to trade. Past history is not an indication of future performance.

Execution speed and numbers are based on the median round trip latency from receipt to response for all Market Order and Trade Close requests executed between January 1st and May 1st 2020 on the OANDA execution platform.

Contracts for Difference (CFDs) or Precious Metals are NOT available to residents of the United States.

MT4 hedging capabilities are NOT available to residents of the United States.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) limits leverage available to retail forex traders in the United States to 50:1 on major currency pairs and 20:1 for all others. OANDA Asia Pacific offers maximum leverage of 50:1 on FX products and limits to leverage offered on CFDs apply. Maximum leverage for OANDA Canada clients is determined by IIROC and is subject to change. For more information refer to our regulatory and financial compliance section.

© 1996 – 2020 OANDA Corporation. All rights reserved. “OANDA”, “fxTrade” and OANDA’s “fx” family of trademarks are owned by OANDA Corporation. All other trademarks appearing on this Website are the property of their respective owners.

Leveraged trading in foreign currency contracts or other off-exchange products on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. You may lose more than you invest (except for OANDA Europe Ltd customers who have negative balance protection). Information on this website is general in nature. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Trading through an online platform carries additional risks. Refer to our legal section here.

Financial spread betting is only available to OANDA Europe Ltd customers who reside in the UK or Republic of Ireland. CFDs, MT4 hedging capabilities and leverage ratios exceeding 50:1 are not available to US residents. The information on this site is not directed at residents of countries where its distribution, or use by any person, would be contrary to local law or regulation.

OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC accounts are available to anyone with a Canadian bank account. OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), which includes IIROC’s online advisor check database (IIROC AdvisorReport), and customer accounts are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund within specified limits. A brochure describing the nature and limits of coverage is available upon request or at www.cipf.ca.

OANDA Australia Pty Ltd is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ASIC (ABN 26 152 088 349, AFSL No. 412981) and is the issuer of the products and/or services on this website. It’s important for you to consider the current Financial Service Guide (FSG), Product Disclosure Statement (‘PDS’), Account Terms and any other relevant OANDA documents before making any financial investment decisions. These documents can be found here.

OANDA Corporation is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association. No: 0325821. Please refer to the NFA’s FOREX INVESTOR ALERT where appropriate.

OANDA Europe Limited is a company registered in England number 7110087, and has its registered office at Floor 3, 18 St. Swithin’s Lane, London EC4N 8AD. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, No: 542574.

OANDA Japan Co., Ltd. First Type I Financial Instruments Business Director of the Kanto Local Financial Bureau (Kin-sho) No. 2137 Institute Financial Futures Association subscriber number 1571.

OANDA Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (Co. Reg. No 200704926K) holds a Capital Markets Services Licence issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    The Best Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Perfect For Beginners!
    Free Trading Education, Free Demo Account!
    Get Your Sing-Up Bonus Now!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good Broker. Only For Experienced Traders!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Binary Options Guide For Beginners
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: