What is the Foreign Exchange Market?

30 March 2011 - Which Way To Pay

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What is the Foreign Exchange Market?

The foreign exchange market – more often known as the ‘forex’ market – is the world’s biggest financial marketplace. 

People can access the forex market from all over the world, day and night, and is open from 5pm EST on Sundays until 4pm EST on Fridays. 

Each trading day begins in Sydney /Australasia and ends in New York / North America, having travelled through Europe and the rest of the world on its way.  Due to the difference in time zones, the market is therefore open 24 hours a day.  As one region’s trading closes, a new region’s opens. 

Currently, the market trades around US$1.5 trillion each day.  There is no one central trading place for the market; instead, trading takes place electronically (on computers, over the phone) between market participants.

Not just big banks and corporations access the forex market – individual investors can also partake in currency trading.  Not surprisingly due to the high volume of daily trade, the market is known to fluctuate frequently.  This means that the element of risk is high; market participants spend a considerable amount of their efforts in managing their risk levels.



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