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Nobody talks about the forex exchange market being up or down, because whenever a currency is losing, another is winning. So you have to be careful which way you are trading, that is which currency you think is strong and whose value will grow against the other. So the way to profit from foreign exchange rate movements is to short the market and bet that one particular currency will keep falling, or rising against another currency.
When trading euro-dollar for instance, your first currency is referred to as your base currency. For example in the euro-dollar cross, when we mention that the pair is trading at 1. Currency trades are denoted as pairs of three-letter codes with each currency traded in the market being represented by a three letter code. If you sold it, you would be backing the dollar to strengthen against the pound the number would go down as less dollars would be needed to buy a pound.
Spread betting produces profits from the changes in currency pairs by making use of margin without actually owning the currency contract. When you spread bet, you bet a certain amount per point and the fact that you are dealing in foreign currencies does make any difference. The typical minimum bet is 50p a point with the initial margin in the region of 40 times the stake. A point is the last quoted digit, usually the fourth decimal place, of the exchange rate.
If this changed to 1. There is a number of forex pairs to trade although most of the volume is concentrated to dollar crosses , including the Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, yen, Swiss franc, pound sterling and euro. The risk is high because of the high volatility which is why it is so important to control the exposure through stops and diversification.
Also, keep in mind that for every winner in forex, there is a corresponding counter-party loser. What is important is that you make sure that your winning trades are 3 or 4 times the amount of your losses on the top side. A reader of this column asked me: What is the best time of day to enter trading on the forex market, I am lead to believe 9. Sounds about right. Busier when the London and NY sessions coincide. UK morning and afternoon tend to have a different pattern, probably because of NY coming on board.
You might want to be watching earlier than Forex trading is offered by virtually all spread betting providers these days. Private investors typically trade on margin accounts, meaning that they put up a small amount of cash and get leveraged exposure to a currency market movements. The natural advantage of this is that it provides for investors to make sizable bets on the market for a fraction of the real market exposure they are taking on. The foreign exchange market is probably the most important of all the financial markets.
Being the biggest, the amount of business carried out each day is incredible. Also known as the Forex, or FX market, it provides a vital service for people and businesses that need or want to swap currencies. The most common users are exporters who need to convert foreign earnings into pounds sterling, tourists when travelling abroad and on a greater scale, investment managers who buy and sell currencies as they move assets around the world.
Although millions of pounds, dollars etc. Minor currency pairs to be highly volatile due to their low liquidity which creates both opportunities and extra risk. Most exotic currency crosses are traded against the USA dollar although sometimes a few are paired against the Euro particularly for those countries that are looking into joining the euro like the Polish zloty or the Hungarian forint. But what drives the currency markets?
The main drivers include interest rates, economic expectations, trade balances and geopolitical risks. Currencies are particularly sensitive to interest rates, so the markets are prone to move sharply following the release of release of interest rate opinions or decisions. Over the long term, economic forces control currency rates.
But over the short term, speculative activity can have a major say in things. One notable occasion was back in when sterling crashed out of the ERM. The Bank of England threw billions of pounds at the market in a desperate attempt to fight off speculators. The end result was a devalued pound and millions of public money transferring to mostly foreign speculators such as George Soros.
So how can the smaller investor make money from the currency markets? Well, the smaller investor has the freedom to take a much longer-term view of the markets — and in these situations it pays to wait for a major key level to be reached before getting involved.
City traders on the other hand are constantly under pressure to make profits. Most traders however tend to take a short-term view. Charts play a particularly important role in currency trading. You can obtain charts from many of the spread betting firms, or you can view them on many internet sites. One very good site is www. Another is www. Similar to other markets made available by spread betting providers, forex pairs have spreads and different margin rates with the narrower spreads being a quality of the more liquid currencies, i.
This means the USA economic releases tend to have the most striking impact on the foreign exchange market. For the more popular traded currency pairings, such as Euro-Dollar or Pound-Dollar crosses, the price range tends to be relatively small. The high trading volumes however help to keep both spreads and fluctuations minimal in much the same way as with a blue chip stock.
However, spread betting firms quote fractional changes to the forex rate with more to the right of the decimal point which accentuates the movements. Other popular traded currencies are the Canadian dollar and the Australian dollar, which dependent to a large scale by the prices of the vast natural resources riches largely present in both countries. When the prices of commodities and minerals are going up, their currencies tend to perform strongly against the currencies of other countries.
Similarly, their currencies tend to underperform when commodities prices decline. The Norwegian krona is another currency that sees a lot of activity; this currency is affected to a large extent by the oil price, as Norway is one of the bigger oil and gas exporters. This is because Switzerland as a country is traditionally considered as politically stable and fiscally prudent.
Recent months have seen currency markets extremely volatile and interventions from the Swiss and Japanese central bank only serve to highlight the volatility. The fact that the foreign exchange can be highly volatile is often considered to be a desired quality as far as spread betters are concerned as this provides plenty of trading opportunities to take positions on whether their chosen currency will rise or fall.
More clients tend to lose money trading Forex markets than winning and for most of them it is due to a lack of discipline. Having said that, the fact that the markets are traded 24 hours a day means that you do not get the same sort of huge gaps as can happen with individual shares between the close and the open and spread betting is a great way to access these markets as a private trader. The two basic tools used by most forex traders to study the foreign exchange markets are fundamental analysis and technical analysis.
Fundamental analysis is about the macroeconomic factors behind the currency markets ranging from USA unemployment figures to the Bank of England interest rate policies. Technical analysis on the other hand studies price movements and in particular repeated patterns in the financial markets and the first step here is to find out whether a currency is currently trending up or down.
For foreign exchange and forex trading in particular, technical analysis is incredibly important, with so many forex traders following the same numbers and triggers and basing their strategies on what they see in the charts, technical analysis can have a self-fulfilling prodigy element that is stronger than in other markets.
Some investment banks even make use of quant trading strategies that are based mostly on technicals due to the historical price movements. When trading you also have to keep a constant balance between profit potential versus risk for each possible trade you are considering and charts are good tools to gauge this particularly for working out where to place stops and take profit orders.
In fact fundamental analysis is often too slow to alert you when market dynamics are changing. Technical analysis also helps to eliminate emotional attachments as it pushes you to take a more disciplined approach to your trading. Most traders prefer to use a mix of fundamentals and technicals; using technicals mainly to find out suitable entry and exit points for trades or to determine trends. Nevertheless, it is worth keeping in mind that nobody can control the forex market and the currency markets can be quite volatile so its important to utilise stop losses.
A stop loss will help to limit the downside — it will will close the trade if markets have moved too far, too quickly. Central bank intervention can and does move the forex markets — the difficulty here being that such events are very hard to predict and trade. Currency markets are also very responsive to interest rate expectations, and with interest rates in the major markets being so low, currency speculators are pouncing at the first hint that one of the major central banks will decide to implement an interest rate hike.
Apart from interest rates and government borrowing, other variables that are important include unemployment and inflation figures which can lead to sharp currency movements. For instance, in even though the European Central Bank kept euro interest rates steady, the Greek crisis and the fears surrounding a number of eurozone economies put the currency under pressure. With a spread betting account, you would have been able to get access to a number of currency pairs allowing you to trade the euro against another currency, such as the USA dollar, pound sterling, Japanese yen, or even the Swiss franc or New Zealand dollar.
The idea here is to cross-match the euro, while it was weakening, against a currency that was performing better in relative terms like the yen, for instance. Spread betting forex is one of the most common methods for forex trading , along with the use of contracts for difference CFDs , which are both financial derivatives.
The foreign exchange market is the largest and most liquid in the world, meaning that currency trading is popular with both beginner and professional traders. This article discusses the best tips and strategies for currency spread betting, along with the differences between spread betting vs CFDs. It is important to find a suitable trading method for you in order to trade forex successfully.
Traders are able to speculate on the price movements of currency pairs by opening a position based on whether they think the currency will appreciate or depreciate. With a spread betting account, you never own the underlying asset.
If the market moves in your favour, this will lead to capital profits, but equally, if the market moves against your position, this will result in losses. When trading currency pairs, there are usually two quotes given: the bid price and the ask price. The difference between the bid sell price and ask buy price of a currency pair is referred to as a spread in forex. In general, traders prefer currency pairs with tighter spreads, as this allows them to enter and exit trades more quickly with lower transaction costs.
Whereas spread betting is a product or method that allows traders access to the financial markets to speculate on price movements, forex trading is simply the market involved. Many independent spot forex brokers charge tax on profits, as there will be some sort of ownership involved. No physical purchase takes place in forex spread betting; therefore, traders do not need to pay stamp duty or capital gains tax with a forex spread betting account.
There is also no commission to pay when spread betting forex. There is a wide range of forex spread betting strategies that can be applied to the market, and some that are particularly effective when trading in the short-term, as linked above. These include trend following, news trading, forex scalping and hedging forex , of which the latter is a method of protecting against currency risk. Spread betting is the most popular product on our platform in the UK, closely followed by CFD trading.
With CFDs, you can trade on the forex market in a similar way to spread betting, by speculating on currency pair price movements. You also do not have ownership of the underlying asset. Contracts for difference are derivative products that require a trader to exchange the difference in value of a currency pair between the time that the position opens and closes.
Likewise, if the market moves in your favour, you may experience profits, but if the market moves in an opposing direction, you may experience losses. Read our CFD definition article for more information. Both products use leverage to gain better exposure to the FX market. CFDs are most commonly used for share dealing, and they also provide access to exchange-traded funds, another type of stock investment, whereas spread betting forex is thought to be the most popular method of currency trading.
The main difference between spread betting and CFDs is the way that they are treated for taxation: spread betting is exempt from stamp duty, capital gains tax and commission charges, whereas CFD traders are required to pay both capital gains tax and commission on their profits. Spread betting is only available in the UK and Ireland, so if you are planning on opening trades within another region, you may want to consider forex CFDs.
As mentioned in this article, spread betting the forex markets involves the use of leverage, also called trading on margin. When opening a position, forex spread betters are only required to place a fraction of the full trade value as their deposit. This provides them with better exposure to the markets.
However, forex leverage comes with many risks that all traders should prepare for beforehand. Spread betting forex on leveraged positions will calculate losses at full trade value, meaning that while profits can be magnified if the markets move in your favour, there is the chance of losing all your capital if the markets move in the opposite direction. You may also have to pay spread betting holding costs, depending on the assets and how long your positions last. In some cases, these costs can even succeed the profits made on your account; therefore, it is important that you deposit a sufficient amount of funds in your account to cover any holding costs.
Seamlessly open and close trades, track your progress and set up alerts. At CMC Markets, our forex traders often choose to practise with virtual funds on a demo account before depositing live funds, in order to familiarise themselves with the market. It is important to find a forex spread betting platform that is suitable for your trading plan. Our online trading platform , Next Generation, is an award-winning system that caters for traders of all experience levels.
If you are a remote trader, our platform is available when trading from home , thanks to our advanced mobile technology. Our forex spread betting platform is also suitable for traders on-the-go, whether you prefer to trade on a mobile or tablet device.
Learn more about mobile trading apps here. Forex spread betting forums can be useful for sharing trading strategies and market news and analysis with other traders. This is a form of social trading and can be especially useful for beginner traders in order to learn about financial trends and patterns from our key market analysts.
See why serious traders choose CMC. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Personal Institutional Group Pro. United Kingdom. Start trading. What is ethereum? What are the risks? Cryptocurrency trading examples What are cryptocurrencies?
Spread Betting the Forex. Markets. An expert guide to making money spread betting To order a copy of the print or ebook edition go to. Read "Spread Betting the Forex Markets An expert guide to spread betting the foreign exchange markets" by David Jones available from Rakuten Kobo. Seven strategies are presented covering all types of market; up, down and sideways. Key ingredients for each strategy include overall market direction, entry.