What is Forex? A Basic Guide to Best Pairs to Trade Forex

Forex or FX is a foreign exchange that allows traders to exchange one currency for another. The exchange works 24/7 and five days a week, which makes it unique. The traders enjoy deep liquidity and but it’s a highly volatile marketplace. The market constantly stays in flux as the exchange rate changes instantly. The currency exchange occurs mostly in trading as well as in businesses and tourism.

The forex market connects traders, investors, hedge funds, and brokers. The central banks are also a part of this market, where they try to bring the value of their local currency high by selling or buying other currencies. The exchange rate depicts the value of the currency in the open market. Here is a basic guide to the best pairs to trade forex.

Forex Currency Pair – Best Pairs to Trade Forex

The forex is always traded in pairs. There are over 170 currencies worldwide. The pairs are denoted by three alphabetical letter codes or the ISO currency code. These forex pairs consist of one base currency and one quote currency. The base currency is listed first and is the currency you are buying while trading. The quote currency comes after the base currency and is the currency you are selling while trading. For example, if you are trading USD/CAD, the USD is the base currency, while the CAD is the quote currency.

Types of Forex Currency Pairs

The three types of forex currency pairs that traders can choose from are as follows.

  • Majors: The most traded currencies are classified as Majors. They are highly liquid and must involve USD. The high liquidity offers tighter spreads. The major pairs are EUR/USD, USD/JPY, CHF/USD, AUD/USD, and GBP/USD. Almost 75% of the trading involves the major currency pairs.
  • Minors: The Minors contain all other major non-USD currencies. They sometimes experience crazy swings as compared to majors. They are less liquid. Some of them are EUR/GBP, GBP/JPY, and EUR/CHF.
  • Exotics: The Exotics are the pairs that contain a minor and a major currency. The minor currencies are the less popular and hardly traded on any exchange. A few of them are EUR/TRY, USD/PLN, USD/SGD, and EUR/CZK.

Forex Trading

All of the forex tradings occurs on the foreign exchange market. The traders trade currency pairs in lots. Lot is the number of units of a currency. There are standard, mini, micro, and nano lots that consist of 100,000, 10,000, 1,000, and 100 units, respectively. Since there is no physical exchange of currencies, the trade is over the counter (OTC). The market is overseen by a group of financial institutions. Most trades are made by people who are related to banks or those who manage funds.

Traders either hedge or speculate in forex trading while exchanging currencies. They don’t possess physical currencies, so they either hedge or speculate in forex trading while exchanging currencies. Hedging and speculation occur in the Forward Market and futures market. Exchange rates are mostly determined by demand and supply. This happens in the largest forex market, the Spot Market, where the majority of the trades are executed.

  • Hedging

FX markets provide a way to hedge currency risk by setting the rate at which trades are completed. Businesses operating in foreign countries are more likely to be affected by fluctuations in the exchange rate. When they sell and purchase from the foreign market instead of their local market, they are exposed to risks. The exchange rate risk can be hedged. The traders can lock in exchange rates by selling and purchasing currencies in advance. This type of trading occurs in the forward market.

  • Speculation

The supply and demand of currencies are affected by interest rates and trade flows etc. They create volatility in the market. Traders can benefit from the volatility and high/lows in the currency pairs. They can take advantage of the rising and falling value of a currency relative to another. The prediction of the weakening of one currency also results in the prediction of the strengthening of the other. So, speculation is basically the process that involves the risk of loss but, at the same time, the expectation of potential gain.

How to Start Forex Trading?

There are tons of opportunities in the forex market with high rewards. But it’s important to take everything in a step-by-step manner to not make any mistakes. The following points should be considered before opening a forex trade.

  • Learn and educate yourself about the forex markets, instruments, and strategies. You can find online and offline resources to get substantial knowledge.
  • Open an account with a Forex broker. The broker mostly charges no commissions and offers tight spreads.
  • Develop a trading plan and strategy. It is not always possible to anticipate market movements; a trading strategy can help establish general guidelines and a roadmap for trading. The best trading strategy is mostly based on the situation and financial realities. Take help from risk management tools to minimize your risks associated with forex trade.
  • Be patient while you see the results. It often takes time to find good opportunities, but it still takes patience to navigate market volatility.

Advantages of Forex Trading:

The following are the advantages of trading currency pairs.

  • The FX market is one of the most liquid global markets with huge trading volumes. That is why it offers tight spreads.
  • Forex exchange is open 24/7 and 5 days a week and covers worldwide. The wide time range and coverage give traders multiple opportunities to make profits or cover losses.
  • Forex trading offers high leverage, which means that you can start with a minimum deposit and gain profits.
  • Trade execution and automation are always fast on the foreign market. The traders can open and close a position in seconds.
  • There is no centralized exchange such as NY Stock Exchange that manages the forex market. Financial institutions and banks control the movement of the forex market. The information regarded the stocks and strategies cannot be manipulated.

Disadvantages of Forex Trading:

The following are the disadvantages of forex trading.

  • Despite being the most liquid market in the world, forex trading is much more volatile than the regular market.
  • The maximum leverage offered in forex trading turns the traders to default unexpectedly. The substantial risks followed and require a complete understanding of forex trading.
  • The decentralized nature of the forex market leads to less accountability by regulatory authorities. They are less accountable than other financial markets. This makes it easier to day trade or scalp. The level and type of regulation in the foreign exchange market vary depending on the trading jurisdiction.
  • The forex market is highly volatile, which means that currency rates can fluctuate a lot, and this can be a disadvantage for unprepared traders. Price movements due to high volatility in the forex market are also difficult to predict, which can sometimes lead to losses.


A global exchange market for currencies is the foreign exchange market, commonly referred to as the forex market or FX market. The forex markets typically rank as the biggest and most liquid asset markets in the world due to the global nature of trade, commerce, and finance. Forex trading has both advantages and disadvantages. Focusing on understanding the macroeconomic principles that underpin currency prices and having prior knowledge of technical analysis may enable beginner forex traders to increase their profitability.

Saman Ali

Saman Ali is a Professional Financial Researcher, Quantitative Analyst and an Experienced Writer for more than 5 years. Saman’s main passion is for Cryptocurrencies, Stocks, Forex and Blockchain Technology. She holds an MBA in Finance and has specializations in producing high quality content about Cryptocurrencies, FX, Broker’s review, Price Predictions, Fundamental & Technical Analysis, and Educational Content.

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