In our last lesson we continued our course on the basics of Forex Trading with a look at the differences between an exchange traded market like the stock market and an over the counter market like the forex market. In today's lesson we are going to continue this discussion with a look at the structure of the forex market so we can learn who exactly controls the market and how the forex broker and individual trader fit into this picture.
As we discussed in our last lesson the forex market is an over the counter market meaning that there is no centralized exchange where all trades are made. Because of this, the price that someone receives when trading forex has traditionally differed depending on the size of the transaction and the sophistication of the person or entity that is making that transaction.
At the center or first level of the market is something known as the Interbank market. While technically any bank is part of the Interbank market, when an FX Trader speaks of the interbank market he or she is really talking about the 10 or so largest banks that make markets in FX. These institutions make up over 75% of the over $3 Trillion dollars in FX Traded on any given day.
There are two primary factors which separate institutions with direct interbank access from everyone else which are:
1. Access to the tightest prices. We will learn more about transaction costs in later lessons however for now simply understand that for every 1 Million in currency traded those who have direct access to the Interbank market save approximately $100 per trade or more over the next level of participants.
2. Access to the best liquidity. As with any other market there is a certain amount of liquidity or amount that can be traded at any one price. If more than what is available at the current price is traded, then the price adjusts until additional liquidity enters the market. As the forex market is over the counter, liquidity is spread out among different providers, with the banks comprising the interbank market having access to the greatest amount of liquidity and then declining levels of liquidity available at different levels moving away from the Interbank market.
In contrast to individuals who make a deposit into their account to trade, institutions trading in the interbank market trade via credit lines. In order to get a credit line from a top bank to trade foreign exchange you must be a very large and very financially stable institution, as bankruptcy would mean the firm that gave you the credit line gets stuck with your trades.
The next level of participants are the hedge funds, brokerage firms, and smaller banks who are not quite large enough to have direct access to the Interbank market. As we just discussed the difference here is that the transaction costs for the trade are a bit higher and the liquidity available is a bit lower than at the Interbank level.
The next level of participants has traditionally been corporations and smaller financial institutions who do make foreign exchange trades, but not enough to warrant the better pricing
As you can see here, traditionally as the market participant got smaller and less sophisticated the transaction costs they paid to trade became larger and the liquidity that was available to them got smaller and smaller. In a lot of cases this is still true today, as anyone who has ever exchanged currencies at the airport when traveling knows.
To give you an idea of just how large a difference there is between participants in the Interbank market and an individual trading currencies for travel, Interbank market participants pay approximately $.0001 to exchange Euros for Dollars where Individuals in the airport can pay $.05 or more. This may not seem like much of a difference but think about it this way: On $10,000 that is $1 that the Interbank participant pays and $500 that the individual pays.
The landscape for the individual trader has changed drastically since the internet has gone mainstream however, in many ways leveling the playing field and putting the individual trader along side large financial institutions in terms of access to pricing and liquidity. This will be the topic of our next lesson.
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The Global-View Forex Forum is the hub for currency trading on the web. Founded in 1996, it was the original forex forum and is still the place where forex traders around the globe come 24/7 looking for currency trading ideas, breaking forex news, fx trading rumors, fx flows and more. This is where you can find a full suite of forex trading tools, including a complete fx database, forex chart points, live currency rates, and live fx charts. In addition, there is a forex brokers directory where you can compare forex brokers. There is also a forex brokers hotline where you can ask for help choosing a forex broker that meets your individual fx trading needs. Interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading.
The forex forum is where traders come to discuss the forex market. It is one of the few places where forex traders of all levels of experience, from novice to professionals, interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading. There is also the GVI Forex, which is a private subscription service where professional and experienced currency traders meet in a private forex forum. it is like a virtual forex trading room. This is open to forex traders of all levels of experience to view but only experienced currency tradingprofessionals can post.
Currency trading charts are updated daily using the forex trading ranges posted in the Global-View forex database. You will also find technical indicators on the fx trading charts, e.g. moving averages for currencies such as the EURUSD. This is another forex trading tool provided by Global-View.com.
The forex database can be used to access high, low, close daily forex ranges for key currency pairs, such as the EURUSD, USDJPY, USDCHF, GBPUSD, USDCAD, AUD, NZD and major crosses, including EURJPY, EURGBP, EURCHF, GBPJPY, GBPCHF and CHFJPY. Data for these currency trading pairs dating back to January 1, 1999 can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet.
Forex chart points are in a currency trading table that includes; latest fx tradinghigh-low-close range, Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci retracement levels, daily forex pivot points support and resistance levels, average daily forex range, MACD for the different currency trading pairs. You can look on the forex forum for updates when one of the fx trading tools is updated.
Global-View also offers a full fx trading chart gallery that includes fx pairs, such as the EURUSD, commodities, stocks and bonds. In a fx trading world where markets are integrated, the chart gallery is a valuable trading tool. Look for updates on the Forex Forum when the chart gallery is updated.
Global-View.com also offers a forex blog, where articles of interest for currency trading are posted throughout the day. The forex blog articles come from outside sources, including forex brokers research as well as from the professionals at Global-View.com. This forex blog includes the Daily Forex View, Market Chatter and technical forex blog updates. In additional to its real time forex forum, there are also Member Forums available for more in depth forex trading discussions.
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