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A currency appreciates when it strengthens in price.
Asset Allocation
Investment practice that divides funds among different markets to achieve diversification for risk management purposes.
Balance of Trade
The value of a country's exports minus its imports.
Base Currency
The currency which is the base for quotes. For example, the euro is the base currency for EURUSD quotes, while the US dollar is the base currency for USDJPY.
Bear Market
A market that is characterized by declining prices.
Bid Rate
The rate at which traders can currently sell a particular currency.
Bid/Offer (Ask) Spread
The difference between the bid and the ask (offer) price.
An individual or a company that acts as an intermediary, handling investors' orders to buy and sell currencies. Some brokers charge commission for this service.
Slang for the GBPUSD dollars exchange rate.
Central Bank
A government or quasi-governmental organization that manages a country's monetary policy. An example is the Federal Reserve, which is the US Central Bank.
A transaction fee charged by a broker.
Cross Rate
An exchange rate between two currencies that does not involve the US dollar, such as EURJPY.
Currency Risk
The probability of an adverse change in exchange rates.
Day Trading
Refers to positions that have been opened and closed on the same day.
A negative balance of trade or payments.
Economic Indicator
A government issued statistic that indicates current economic growth and stability. Common indicators include employment rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), CPI (inflation) and retail sales.
European Central Bank (ECB)
The Central Bank of the European Monetary Union.
Federal Reserve (Fed)
The Central Bank of the United States.
Foreign Exchange/ Forex or FX market
A market where currencies are bought and sold against each other.
Fundamental analysis
Analysis of economic and political information with the objective of determining future movements in a financial market.
Futures Contract
An obligation to exchange a good or an instrument at a set price on a future date. The main difference between a future and a forward is that futures are typically traded on an exchange to a fixed settlement date. Forwards are over-the-counter (OTC) contracts and the maturity date can be defined on a bespoke basis.
A position or a combination of positions that reduces the risk of the trader's primary position.
An economic condition whereby prices for consumer goods rise, eroding purchasing power.
Limit order
An order to buy at or below a specific price or to sell at or above a specific price.
The ability of a market to accept large transaction with minimal or no impact on price stability.
Long position
A market position where the client has bought a currency he did not previously have. Normally expressed in base currency terms, e.g. long Dollars (short Swiss Franc)
The required equity that an investor must deposit to collateralize a position.
Margin call
A request from a broker or a dealer for additional funds or other collateral to guarantee performance on a position that has moved against the customer. Alternatively the client can choose to close one or more positions.
Market Maker
A dealer who supplies prices and is prepared to buy or sell at those stated bid and ask prices.
The price or rate that a trader is prepared to sell at.
Open position
A deal that has not been settled by physical payment or reversed by an equal and opposite deal for the same value.
Over the Counter (OTC)
Used to describe any transaction that is not conducted over a regulated exchange.
The term used in the currency market to characterize the smallest incremental move an exchange rate can make. The value of a pip depends on the currency pair. One pip/basis point equals for instance 0.0001 for EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CHF, and 0.01 for USD/JPY.
Resistance level
A price level at which you would expect selling to take place.
Short Position
An investment position that benefits from a decline in market price.
Spot Price
The current market price. Settlement of spot transactions usually occurs within two business days.
The difference between the bid and the offer (ask) price.
Stop order
An order to sell at or below a specific price or to buy at or above a specific price.
Stop loss
An order to close a position when a particular price is reached in order to minimize loss.
Support Level
A price level at which you would expect buying to take place.
Take profit
An order to close a position when a particular price is reached to ensure a profit.
Technical Analysis
An effort to forecast future market activity by analyzing market data through the use of charts, price trends, and volume.