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0.88281 0.88294

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1.93446 1.93467

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1.70782 1.70804

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1.13723 1.13737

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191.061 191.087

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2.10992 2.11013

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40.99551 41.01312

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1.26256 1.26266

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0.58789 0.588

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98.775 98.792

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1.09074 1.09089

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0.65268 0.65275

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167.997 168.031

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111.879 111.896

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0.66589 0.66601

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1.65325 1.65338

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1.45959 1.45974

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0.97199 0.97209

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0.85456 0.85465

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163.31 163.325

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11.6878 11.6922

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1.80314 1.8034

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11.5161 11.5201

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35.03743 35.05579

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1.07909 1.07916

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0.80935 0.8095

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0.53894 0.53908

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90.553 90.575

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0.59836 0.59845

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1.35263 1.35275

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0.90069 0.90077

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7.2498 7.25

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6.9107 6.9134

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3.66 3.66

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151.333 151.345

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16.5593 16.5633

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10.8327 10.837

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3.9761 3.9779

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91.833 93.1671

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10.6707 10.6747

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32.42333 32.45084

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18.8094 18.8194

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23.408 23.4127

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25.2492 25.2621

The most popular parities involve major global currencies and experience the highest trading volumes, and liquidity.

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MetaTrader 5

What is Forex?

Forex (FX) refers to the global electronic market for trading international currencies and currency derivatives. Although there is no central physical location, the forex market is the world's largest and most liquid market in terms of trading volume, with trillions of dollars traded daily. Most transactions are made through banks, brokers, and financial institutions.

The foreign exchange market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, excluding public holidays. The Forex market is open on many public holidays when the stock market is closed, but trading volumes may be lower. Its name, Forex, is a portmanteau of Foreign and Exchange. It is often abbreviated as fx.

In the free market economy, each country’s currency is measured according to supply and demand factors. The need for people, governments, and institutions to exchange currencies every day is the reason why the forex market is the largest and most liquid financial market in the world. In fact, according to the Bank for International Settlements Triennial Central Bank Survey of foreign exchange and OTC derivatives markets in 2016, trading in forex markets averaged $5.1 trillion per day in April 2016. One of the main advantages of forex trading is that there is no need for a central market place and currency trading is conducted electronically “over-the-counter”. The market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week from the open in south-east Asia on Monday to the close in New York on Friday afternoon.

Trading currencies can be risky and complicated. Due to the huge trading flow within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the currency's price. Without a physical location, the forex market is one of the most important financial markets in the world. Their role is paramount in the international payment system. In order to be able to fulfill its role efficiently, it is necessary that its operation and business be reliable. Trustworthy is concerned that contractual obligations are being met. For example, if two parties enter into a futures contract on a currency pair (meaning one is buying and the other is selling), both must be prepared to honor their side of the contract if necessary.

There are many contracts available in the Forex market depending on the needs you want to be covered. The products listed below are representative of this market.
- Spot Markets
- Forward Markets
- Future Markets
- Option Markets
- Swaps Markets

Forex FAQs

Here are our answers to your frequently asked questions about:

Foreign exchange, or forex, is the conversion of one country's currency into another. In a free economy, a country's currency is valued according to the laws of supply and demand. In other words, a currency's value can be pegged to another country's currency, such as the U.S. dollar, or even to a basket of currencies. 

A country's currency value may also be set by the country's government. However, most countries float their currencies freely against those of other countries, which keeps them in constant fluctuation. The value of any particular currency is determined by market forces based on trade, investment, tourism, and geopolitical risk. Every time a tourist visits a country, for example, they must pay for goods and services using the currency of the host country. Therefore, a tourist must exchange the currency of his or her home country for the local currency. Currency exchange of this kind is one of the demand factors for a currency.

The foreign exchange market is the "place" where currencies are traded. The need to exchange currencies is the primary reason why the forex market is the largest, most liquid financial market in the world with over $5 trillion volume per day. 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.

The foreign exchange market (forex or FX for short) is one of the most exciting, fast-paced markets around. Until recently, forex trading in the currency market had been the domain of large financial institutions, corporations, central banks, hedge funds, and extremely wealthy individuals. The emergence of the internet has changed all of this, and now average investors can buy and sell currencies easily with the click of a mouse through online brokerage accounts.

Daily currency fluctuations are usually very small. Most currency pairs move less than one cent per day, representing a less than 1% change in the value of the currency. This makes foreign exchange one of the least volatile financial markets around. Therefore, many currency speculators rely on the availability of enormous leverage to increase the value of potential movements. Higher leverage can be extremely risky, but because of round-the-clock trading and deep liquidity, foreign exchange brokers have been able to make high leverage an industry standard to make the movements meaningful for currency traders.

There are two ways how the forex market can be traded. It's either through fundamental analysis or technical analysis. Fundamental analysis involves assessing the economic well-being of a country and by extension, the currency. It does not take into account currency price movements. Rather, fundamental forex traders will use data points to determine the strength of a particular currency.


A fundamental forex trader will analyse the country’s inflation, trade balance, gross domestic product, growth in jobs, and even their central bank's benchmark interest rate.

Technical analysis involves pattern recognition on a price chart. Technical traders look for price patterns such as triangles, flags, and double bottoms. Based on the pattern, a trader will determine the entry and exit points. Unlike fundamental traders, a technical trader is not as concerned about why something is moving because the trends and patterns on the charts are their signals.

Line Charts: A simple line chart draws a line from one closing price to the next closing price. When strung together with a line, we can see the general price movement of a currency pair over some time.

Bar Charts: A bar chart is a little more complex. It shows the opening and closing prices, as well as the highs and lows. The bottom of the vertical bar indicates the lowest traded price for that period, while the top of the bar indicates the highest price paid. The vertical bar itself indicates the currency pair’s trading range as a whole. The horizontal hash on the left side of the bar is the opening price, and the right-side horizontal hash is the closing price.

Candlestick Charts: Candlestick charts show the same price information as a bar chart, but in a prettier, graphic format. Candlestick bars still indicate the high-to-low range with a vertical line. However, in candlestick charting, the larger block (or body) in the middle indicates the range between the opening and closing prices. Traditionally, if the block in the middle is filled or coloured in, then the currency pair closed lower than it opened. In the following example, the ‘filled colour’ is black. For our ‘filled’ blocks, the top of the block is the opening price, and the bottom of the block is the closing price. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, then the block in the middle will be “white” or hollow or unfilled.

To effectively answer this question, it will depend on the individual’s time zone. Applying a time converter will give you the equivalent of the starting time for each session in your country or region and it will also provide a breakdown of how the forex sessions overlap. The session typically begins with the Sydney open which then overlaps with the Tokyo session. Afterwards the European session begins, which over laps with the New York session. A visual is provided below.

-  Sydney 5pm to 2am EST       ( 10pm to 7am UTC )
-  Tokyo 7pm to 4am EST        ( 12am to 9am UTC )
-  London 3am to 12 noon EST   ( 8pm to 5pm UTC )
-  New York 8am to 5pm EST     ( 1pm to 10pm UTC )
-  In our case, our time zone is CET, hence the forex market is open from Sunday 23:00pm until Friday 22:59CET.

There are three ways that institutions, corporations, and individuals trade forex: the spot market, the forwards market, and the futures market. The forex trading in the spot market always has 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 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, reflects a myriad of 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 counterparty 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 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 customised. 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 for 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 to hedge against future exchange rate fluctuations, but speculators take part in these markets as well.

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

Leverage is defined as the ratio of the amount of capital used in a transaction to the required margin. In other words, leverage gives you the ability to control much larger amounts in a trade with a relatively small deposit (your margin). For example, if the EUR/USD rate moves up 100 pips from 1.1200 to 1.1300 and you had invested $1000, you would have made $10 on that trade. However, by using a leverage of 1:100, every $1 you invest is worth $100, so with your $1000 margin, you can open a $100,000 deal. As a result, your $10 profit is magnified to $1000.


Another way to think about leverage is to think of it as a loan. If you have $1000 and take a ‘loan’ that equates to $100 for every one of your dollars, you have $100,000 to trade with. Once your trade has been concluded, you return the ‘loan’ amount and keep the resulting profit.

It's important to note that leverage is often considered a double-edged sword since large price swings on accounts with higher leverage increase their chances of experiencing losses, especially when the account is not adequately capitalised and the individual or entity lacks a full understanding of the proper use of leverage. As a result, novice traders are encouraged to use minimal leverage whilst they increase their knowledge and experience but also as an exercise on how to make use of leverage properly which will translate into better risk management. The more seasoned professionals can use leverage as a tool to accelerate their returns and grow their initial investment.

Both types of contracts are binding and are typically settled for cash for 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 to hedge against future exchange rate fluctuations, but speculators take part in these markets as well.

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

A currency swap sometimes referred to as a cross-currency swap, involves the exchange of interest – and sometimes of principal – in one currency for the same in another currency. Interest payments are exchanged at fixed dates throughout the life of the contract. It is considered to be a foreign exchange transaction. In a currency swap, the parties agree in advance whether or not they will exchange the principal amounts of the two currencies at the beginning of the transaction. The two principal amounts create an implied exchange rate. For example, if a swap involves exchanging €10 million versus $12.5 million, that creates an implied EUR/USD exchange rate of 1.25. At maturity, the same two principal amounts must be exchanged, which creates exchange rate risk as the market may have moved far from 1.25 in the intervening years.

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RISK PROBABILITY: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 64.99% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with ALB Limited. These products may not be suitable for all investors. Please make sure that you fully understand the risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. The value of your investment may go down as well as up.

NEGATIVE BALANCE PROTECTION: Please see your rights here as a retail client.