FOREX (FOReign EXchange market) is an international foreign exchange market, where money is sold and bought freely. In its present condition FOREX was launched in the 1970s, when free exchange rates were introduced, and only the participants of the market determine the price of one currency against the other proceeding from supply and demand.
As far as the freedom from any external control and free competition are concerned, FOREX is a perfect market. It is also the biggest liquid financial market. According to various assessments, money masses in the market constitute from 1 to 1.5 trillion US dollars a day. (It is impossible to determine an absolutely exact number because trading is not centralized on an exchange.) Transactions are conducted all over the world via telecommunications 24 hours a day from 00:00 GMT on Monday to 10:00 pm GMT on Friday. Practically in every time zone (that is, in Frankfurt-on-Main, London, New York, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc.) there are dealers who will quote currencies.
Foreign Exchange Markets
Participants of a foreign exchange market
The main participants of a foreign exchange market are:
Firms that conduct foreign trade transactions
Commercial banks conduct the main volume of exchange transactions.
The Main Principles of Trading
In contrast to exchange transactions with real supply or real currency the participants of FOREX use trading with a margin deposit; i.e. marginal or leverage trading. In marginal trading, each transaction has two obligatory stages (they can be divided by period of time, which can be as long as you like): buying (selling) of currency at one price, and then selling (buying) it at another (or at the same) price. The first transaction is called opening the position, the second one, closing the position.
Opening a position, a trader furnishes a deposit sum from 0.5 to 4 per cent of the credit line, granted for the transaction. So, in order to buy or sell 100,000 US dollars for Japanese yens, you will not need the whole sum, but only from 500 to 2000 US dollars depending on your policy of controlling risks. When the position is closed, the deposit sum returns, and calculation of profits or losses is done. All the profit or losses caused by the change of currency rates is credited on your account.
Forex trading involves substantial risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors. Read full disclosure