forex glossary

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Check our forex glossary in order to understand common words, phrases and terms used by forex traders.

Forex glossary

Administration software to monitor your account, trades, positions etc.

The value of a country's exports minus its imports.

A type of chart which consists of four significant points: the high and the low prices, which form the vertical bar, the opening price, which is marked with a little horizontal line to the left of the bar and the closing price, which is marked with a little horizontal line to the right of the bar.

A certain price of great importance included in the structure of a Barrier Option. If a Barrier Level price is reached, the terms of a specific Barrier Option call for a series of events to occur.

Any number of different option structures (such as knock-in, knock-out, no touch, double-no-touch-DNT) that attaches great importance to a specific price trading. In a no-touch barrier, a large defined payout is awarded to the buyer of the option by the seller if the strike price is not 'touched' before expiry. This creates an incentive for the option seller to drive prices through the strike level and creates an incentive for the option buyer to defend the strike level.

The first currency in a currency pair. It shows how much the base currency is worth as measured against the second currency. For example, if the USD/CHF rate equals 1.6215 then one USD is worth CHF 1.6215. In the FX market, the US Dollar is normally considered the 'base' currency for quotes, meaning that quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the other currency quoted in the pair. The primary exceptions to this rule are the British Pound, the Euro and the Australian Dollar.

The lending rate of the central bank of a given country.

A method used in technical analysis – a chart pattern that shows when demand and supply of a product are almost equal. It results in a narrow trading range and the merging of support and resistance levels.

A unit of measurement used to describe the minimum change in the price of a product.

A market in which the prices are in general decline.

Negative for price direction; favoring a declining market. For example, "We are bearish EUR/USD" means that we think the Euro will weaken against the dollar.

Traders who expect prices to decline and may be holding short positions.

The difference between the bid price and the offer price.

The price at which the market is prepared to buy a product. Prices are quoted two-way as Bid/Ask.

In FX trading, the Bid represents the price at which a trader can sell the base currency, shown to the left in a currency pair. For example, in the quote USD/CHF 1.4527/32, the base currency is USD, and the Bid price is 1.4527, meaning you can sell one US Dollar for 1.4527 Swiss francs.

In CFD trading, the Bid also represents the price at which a trader can sell the product. For example, in the quote for UK OIL 111.13/111.16, the Bid price is £111.13 for one unit of the underlying market.*

Refers to the first 3 digits of a currency quote, such as 117 USD/JPY or 1.26 in EUR/USD. If the price moves by 1.5 big figures, it has moved 150 pips.

The Bank for International Settlements located in Basel, Switzerland, is the central bank for central banks. The BIS frequently acts as the market intermediary between national central banks and the market. The BIS has become increasingly active as central banks have increased their currency reserve management. When the BIS is reported to be buying or selling at a level, it is usually for a central bank and thus the amounts can be large. The BIS is used to avoid markets mistaking buying or selling interest for official government intervention.

The term used for systematic, model-based or technical traders.

The upside equivalent of capitulation. When shorts throw in the towel and cover any remaining short positions.

Bank of Canada, the central bank of Canada.

Bank of England, the central bank of the UK.

Bank of Japan, the central bank of Japan.

A tool used by technical analysts. A band plotted two standard deviations on either side of a simple moving average, which often indicates support and resistance levels.

A name for debt which is issued for a specified period of time.

In a professional trading environment, a 'book' is the summary of a trader's or desk's total positions.

A British measure of the rate of inflation at various surveyed retailers. This index only looks at price changes in goods purchased in retail outlets.

An individual or firm that acts as an intermediary, bringing buyers and sellers together for a fee or commission. In contrast, a 'dealer' commits capital and takes one side of a position, hoping to earn a spread (profit) by closing out the position in a subsequent trade with another party.

Market slang for 1 million units of a dollar-based currency pair or for the US dollar in general.

A market in which the prices are in generally rising.

Favoring a strengthening market and rising prices. For example, "We are bullish EUR/USD” means that we think the Euro will strengthen against the dollar.

Traders who expect prices to rise and who may be holding long positions.

Germany's central bank.

When you BUY when you believe a market will rise or when you want to close a position that you have previously SOLD.

Looking to buy 20-30-pip/point pullbacks in the course of an intra-day trend.

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