Buying and selling currency pair

Forex trading is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling another.

Currencies are traded through a broker or dealer and are traded in pairs. Currencies are quoted in relation to another currency.

For example, the euro and the U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) or the British pound and the Japanese yen (GBP/JPY).

When you trade in the forex market, you buy or sell in currency pairs.Major currency pair in forex trade: buying and selling

Imagine each currency pair constantly in a “tug of war” with each currency on its own side of the rope.

An exchange rate is the relative price of two currencies from two different countries.

Exchange rates fluctuate based on which currency is stronger at the moment.

There are three categories of currency pairs:

  1. The “majors“
  2. The “crosses“
  3. The “exotics“

The major currency pairs always include the U.S. dollar.

Read also: Similarities between Margin and Leverage in trading

Cross-currency pairs do NOT include the U.S. dollar. Crosses that involve any of the major currencies are also known as ” minors”.

Exotic currency pairs consist of one major currency and one currency from an emerging market (EM).

Major Currency PairsMajor currency pair in forex trade: buying and selling

The currency pairs listed below are considered the “majors.”

Interested in learning the basis of forex trading, and correct signals, write a mail to exchangertx@dollarmind.com.ng at affordable price

These pairs all contain the U.S. dollar (USD) on one side and are the most frequently traded.

Compared to the crosses and exotics, price moves more frequently with the majors, which provide more trading opportunities.

CURRENCY PAIR. COUNTRIES. FX GEEK-SPEAK

EUR/USD. Euro/USA. “euro dollar”

USD/JPY. USA/ Japan. “dollar yen”

GBP/USD. U.K./ USA. “pound dollar”

USD/CHF. USA/Switzerland “dollar swissy”

USD/CAD. USA /Canada. “dollar loonie”

AUD/USD Australia /USA “aussie dollar”

NZD/USD. New Zealand /USA “kiwi dollar”

The majors are the most liquid in the world.

Liquidity is used to describe the level of activity in the financial market.

In forex, it’s based on the number of active traders buying and selling a specific currency pair and the volume being traded.

The more frequently traded something is, the higher its liquidity.

For example, more people trade the EUR/USD currency pair and at higher volumes, than the AUD/USD currency pair.

This means that EUR/USD is more liquid than AUD/USD.

Major Cross-Currency Pairs or Minor Currency Pairs

Currency pairs that don’t contain the U.S. dollar (USD) are known as cross-currency pairs or simply as the “crosses.”

Major crosses are also known as “minors.”

While not as frequently traded as the majors, the crosses are still pretty liquid and still provide plenty of trading opportunities.

The most actively traded crosses are derived from the three major non-USD currencies: EUR, JPY, and GBP.

Euro Crosses

CURRENCY PAIR. COUNTRIES. FX GEEK SPEAK

EUR/CHF. Euro/swim land. “euroswissy”

EUR/GBP. Euro /U.K. “euro pound”

EUR/CAD. Euro /Canada. “euro loonie”

EUR/AUD. Euro/ Australia. “euro aussie”

EUR/NZD. Euro /New Zealand. “euro kiwi”

EUR/SEK. Euro /Sweden. “euro stockie”

EUR/NOK. Euro/Norway. “euro nockie”

Yen Crosses

CURRENCY PAIR. COUNTRIES. FX GEEK SPEAK

EUR/JPY. Euro/Japan. “euro yen”

GBP/JPY. U.K./Japan “pound yen”

CHF/JPY. Switzland / Japan. “swissy yen”

CAD/JPY. Canada /Japan “loonie yen”

AUD/JPY. Australia / Japan. “aussie yen”

NZD/JPY. New Zealand /Japan. “kiwi yen”

Pound Crosses

PAIR. COUNTRIES FX GEEK SPEAK

GBP/CHF. U.K. / Switzland. “pound swissy”

GBP/AUD. U.K./Australia. “pound aussie”

GBP/CAD. U.K. / Canada “pound loonie”

GBP/NZD. U.K. / New Zealand “pound kiwi”

Other Crosses

PAIR. COUNTRIES. FX GEEK SPEAK

AUD/CHF. Aus/Switzland. “aussie swissy”

AUD/CAD. Aus/Canada. “aussie loonie”

AUD/NZD. Aus /New Zealand. “aussie kiwi”

CAD/CHF. Canada /Switzland. “loonie swissy”

NZD/CHF. Zealand /Switzland. “kiwis wissy”

NZD/CAD. Zealand /Canada. “kiwi loonie”

Exotic Currency Pairs

No, exotic pairs are not exotic belly dancers who happen to be twins.

Exotic currency pairs are made up of one major currency paired with the currency of an emerging economy, such as Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Turkey, or Hungary.

The chart below contains a few examples of exotic currency pairs.

Read also: What a Pip mean in Forex and How to Calculate the Value of a Pip

Wanna take a shot at guessing what those other currency symbols stand for?

Depending on your forex broker, you may see the following exotic currency pairs so it’s good to know what they are.

Interested in learning the basis of forex trading, and correct signals, write a mail to exchangertx@dollarmind.com.ng at affordable price

Keep in mind that these pairs aren’t as heavily traded as the “majors” or “crosses,” so the transaction costs associated with trading these pairs are usually bigger.

CURRENCY PAIR. COUNTRIES. FX GEEK SPEAK

USD/BRL. USA/ Brazil. “dollar real”

USD/HKD. USA/ Hong Kong

USD/SAR. USA /Saudi Arabia. “dollar riyal”

USD/SGD. USA /Singapore. “dollar sing”

USD/ZAR. USA/ South Africa. “dollar rand”

USD/THB. USA / Thailand. “dollar baht”

USD/MXN. USA /Mexico. “dollar mex”

USD/RUB. USA /Russia. “dollar ruble”

USD/PLN. USA /Poland. “dollar zloty”

USD/CLP. USA /Chile

It’s not unusual to see spreads that are two or three times bigger than that of EUR/USD or USD/JPY.

Due to the overall lower degree of liquidity, exotic currency pairs tend to be far more sensitive to economic and geopolitical events.

For example, a political scandal or unexpected election results can cause an exotic pair’s exchange rate to swing violently.

So if you want to trade exotics currency pairs, remember to factor this in your decision.

For those of y’all who are really mesmerized by exotics, here’s a more comprehensive list.

Currency C. Country. Currency C. Country

AED. UAE Dirham. ARS. Argentinean Peso

AFN. Afghanistan Afghani. GEL. Georgian Lari

MYR. Malaysian Ringgit. AMD. Armenian Dram

GYD. Guyanese Dollar. MZN. Mozambique new Metical

AWG. BAruban Florin. IDR. Indonesian Rupiah

OMR. Omani Rial. AZN. Azerbaijan New Manat

IQD. Iraqi Dinar. QAR. Qatari Rial

BHD. Bahraini Dinar. IRR. Iranian Rial

SLL. Sierra Leone Leone. BWP. Botswana Pula

JOD. Jordanian Dinar. TJS. Tajikistani Somoni

BYR. Belarusian Ruble. KGS. Kyrgyzstanian Som

TMT. Turkmenistan new Manat. CDF. Congolese Franc

LBP. Lebanese Pound. TZS. Tanzanian Schilling

DZD. Algerian Dinar. LRD. Liberian Dollar

UZS. Uzbekistan Som. EGP. Egyptian Pound

MAD. Moroccan Dirham. WST. Samoan Tala

EEK. Estonian Kroon. MNT. Mongolian Tugrik

MWK. Malawi Kwacha. ETB. Ethiopian Birr

THB. Thai Baht. TRY. New Turkish Lira

ZAR. South African Rand. ZWD. Zimbabwe Dollar

BRL. Brazilian Real. CLP. Chilean Peso

CNY. Chinese Yuan Renminbi. CZK. Czech Koruna

HKD. Hong Kong Dollar. HUF. Hungarian Forint

ILS. Israeli Shekel. INR. Indian Rupee

ISK. Icelandic Krona. KRW. South Korean Won

KWD. Kuwaiti Dinar. MXN. Mexican Peso

PHP. Philippine Peso. PKR. Pakistani Rupee

PLN. Polish Zloty. RUB. Russian Ruble

SAR. Saudi Arabian Riyal. SGD. Singaporean Dollar

TWD. Taiwanese Dollar

DID YOU KNOW? There are 180 legal currencies in the world, as recognized by the United Nations.  That’s a lot of potential currency pairs! Unfortunately, not all of them are readable. Forex brokers tend to offer traders up to 70 currency pairs.

Aside from the three main categories of currency pairs, there are other “groups” of currencies that are thrown around in the FX world which you should be aware of.

G10 Currencies

The G10 currencies are ten of the most heavily traded currencies in the world, which are also ten of the world’s most liquid currencies.

Traders regularly buy and sell them in an open market with minimal impact on their own international exchange rates.

COUNTRY. CURRENCY N . CURRENCY C

United States. dollar. USD

European Union. euro. EUR

United Kingdom. pound. GBP

Japan. yen. JPY

Australia. dollar. AUD

New Zealand. dollar. NZD

Canada. dollar. CAD

Switzerland. franc. CHF

Norway. krone. NOK

Sweden. krona. SEK

Denmark. krone. DKK

The Scandies

Scandinavia is a subregion in Northern Europe, with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties.

The term “Scandinavia” in local usage covers the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Together, their currencies are known as the “Scandies“.

Back in the day, Denmark and Sweden established the Scandinavian Monetary Union to merge their currencies to a gold standard. Norway joined later.

This meant that these countries now had one currency, with the same monetary value, with the exception that each of these countries minted their own coins.

But then World War I happened, and the gold standard was abandoned and the Scandinavian Monetary Union disbanded.  These countries decided to keep the currency, even if the values were separate from one another. And this remains the state of things.

If you notice their currency names, they all look similar. That’s because the word “krone or krona” literally means “crown”, and the differences in spelling of the name represent the differences between the North Germanic languages.

Crown currencies. What a cool name huh?

I don’t know about you, but saying “Hook me up with some crowns yo.” sounds way cooler than “Hook me up with some dollahs yo.”

COUNTRY. CURRENCY N. CURRENCY C

Denmark. krone. DKK

Sweden. krona. SEK

Norway. krone. NOK

SEK and NOK also have cool nicknames, “Stockie” and “Nokie“.

So when paired with the U.S. dollar,  USD/SEK is read “dollar stockie”  and USD/NOK is read “dollar nockie”.

CEE Currencies

“CEE” stands for Central and Eastern Europe.

Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe,  the Baltics, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Europe (the Balkans), usually meaning former communist states from the Eastern Bloc (Warsaw Pact) in Europe.

Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) is an OECD term for the group of countries comprising Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and the three Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Regarding the FX market, there are four main CEE currencies to be aware of.

COUNTRY. CURRENCY N. CURRENCY C

Hungary. forint. HUF

Czech Republic. koruna. CZK

Poland. zloty. PLN

Romania. leu. RON

BRIICS

BRIICS is the acronym coined for the association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China, and South Africa.

Originally the first four were grouped as “BRIC” (or “the BRICs”). BRICs was a term created by Goldman Sachs to name today’s new high-growth emerging economies.

BRIICS is the term created by the OECD, when it added Indonesia and South Africa.

COUNTRY. CURRENCY N. CURRENCY C

Brazil. real. BRL

Russia. ruble. RUB

India. rupee. INR

Indonesia. rupiah. IDR

China. yuan. CNY

South Africa. rand. ZAR

Summary

Whew! That was a lot of information on currencies but you just raised your FX IQ points! 

Let’s summarize what you’ve learned in a series of questions:

What is a currency pair in forex?

A currency pair is a pairing of currencies where the value of one is relative to the other. For example, GBP/USD is the value of the British pound relative to the U.S. dollar.

What are the major currency pairs?

Major currency pairs (“majors”) are those that include the U.S. dollar and the most frequently traded. There are seven of them: EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBPUSD, USD/CAD, USD/CHF, AUD/USD, and NZD/USD.

Interested in learning the basis of forex trading, and correct signals, write a mail to exchangertx@dollarmind.com.ng at affordable price

What are the currency crosses?

Currency crosses (“crosses”) are the more frequently traded currencies that do NOT include the U.S. dollar in their pairing. Crosses include EUR/GBP, EUR/CAD, GBP/JPY, EUR/CHF, EUR/JPY, etc.

How many currency pairs exist?

There are HUNDREDS of currency pairs in existence but not all can be traded in the FX market. The United Nations currently recognizes 180 currencies. If you were to pair each currency up with another, it’s a lot.

Bukason

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