What is the forex market? In short, the forex market (FX Market) is the currency pair exchange market you can use to trade various types of currency pairs. It opens and closes just like the stock market, which is around 9AM to 5PM (8 work hours) in each region.
However, thanks to the time zone overlaps for the forex market region open hours, you can access the forex market 24 hours a day, except during the weekends. Here are the important points you need to understand about the forex market today:
Forex Market Has Various Participants
There are various participants in the forex market, which include banks, hedge funds, central banks, commercial companies, individual traders, forex brokers, investment management companies, and so on. These participants make up the forex market we know today, and these are the parties that help keep the forex market moving as it is today. The volumes of transactions made by these parties are in the trillions of dollars range per day.
Without these participants, the forex market won’t be as active and as large as it is today. However, keep in mind that there is no single platform or channel that regulates all the activities of the forex market today. Instead, the forex market comprises the networks of forex brokers and computers connected on a global scale to provide the trading activities for the users around the world.
It’s the Biggest Financial Market in the World
Another thing you need to know about the forex market is that it’s the biggest financial market in the world. Plenty of money gets poured into this market daily to support its trading activities. You can access the forex market 24 hours a day through various forex market regions, which are available during the weekdays. Each region of the forex market will regulate the transactions in their specific major markets, which include Tokyo, Sydney, London, and New York.
Also, each forex market region has the regular work hours in their specific time zones. However, some of the forex market regions’ work hours will overlap when you convert their work hours in GMT, giving the forex traders the opportunity to use the forex market for a full 24 hours in a day.
The Interbank Market and the Over-the-Counter Market
The forex market comprises the interbank market and the over-the-counter market. The interbank market is the backbone of the primary forex market, and this is the market where banks and large financial institutions trade various currencies for different purposes, such as for the adjustments of their balance sheets, long-term investing, and others. Keep in mind that regular traders can’t access the interbank market.
Meanwhile, the over-the-counter (OTC) market is where regular traders trade various currency pairs in the forex market. This is also the market where forex brokers operate. Forex brokers are using the OTC market to provide various forex trading products and services, which might include copy trading, forex options, spot trading, and so on. Also, each forex broker platform has their own trading rules, since forex brokers have their roles as the market makers in the global forex market.
The Role of Forex Brokers
What is the role of forex brokers? The role of forex brokers is to provide the traders with various forex-related products and services, which include facilitating the forex traders in their daily trading activities, offering currency pairs at certain price points, providing the traders with various tools to help them succeed in their trading activities, and so on. Each forex broker will have their own unique products and services, and each of them will offer their own unique benefits.
You will put your investment money on the forex broker platforms, and the forex broker platforms will use your money to trade in the global forex market on your behalf. The forex broker platforms will provide the retail currency pairs for you at the prices that will be profitable for them, and they will also buy the currency pairs from you at the prices that are profitable for them via the bid and ask system.
Also, the forex broker platforms will provide you with additional features that might help boost your overall profit potential, such as leverage, margin account, copy trading, options, hedging, and so on.
Forex Market Types
There are also various forex market types you can use today, and not all forex brokers will provide you with all forex market types. The forex market types include spot forex market, futures forex market, and forward forex market. Some brokers might only provide you with one type of forex market, while other brokers might provide you with various types of forex markets to attract more traders to use their platforms.
The spot market type provides you with the currency pair trades that follow the current exchange rates in the global forex market. You can buy and sell currency pairs at the real exchange rate values when you use the spot forex markets. The futures forex market is the type of forex market that allows you to trade currency pairs at specific prices and at future dates, and it uses the centralized exchanges to prevent any type of risks for both the traders and the forex brokers.
Meanwhile, the forward market is the type of forex market that has certain similarities with the futures market, but it doesn’t use any centralized exchanges. You will deal with the forex brokers when you use the forward market, and it doesn’t use any centralized exchanges to prevent any risks for both parties when you use it. Thus, the liquidity is quite bad when you use the forward forex market.
For forex traders, understanding about the forex market today is essential to help them succeed in their forex trading activities. Without knowing the fundamentals about the forex market, forex traders can’t understand how to trade in the forex market, along with the various elements of the forex market, such as forex brokers, forex market types, interbank vs. OTC market, and so on.
You have learned about the important points you need to understand about the forex market today. You can use this information to learn the basics about forex trading and how it works, as well as to learn about how to succeed in it.