What does rollover mean in the context of the forex market?

In the forex (FX) market, rollover is the process of extending the settlement date of an open position. In most currency trades, a trader is required to take delivery of the currency two days after the transaction date. However, by rolling over the position — simultaneously closing the existing position at the daily close rate and re-entering at the new opening rate the next trading day — the trader artificially extends the settlement period by one day.

Often referred to as tomorrow next, rollover is useful in FX because many traders have no intention of taking delivery of the currency they buy; rather, they want to profit from changes in the exchange rates. Since every forex trade involves borrowing one country's currency to buy another, receiving and paying interest is a regular occurrence. At the close of every trading day, a trader who took a long position in a high-yielding currency relative to the currency that they borrowed will receive an amount of interest in their account. Conversely, a trader will need to pay interest if the currency they borrowed has a higher interest rate relative to the currency that they purchased. Traders who do not want to collect or pay interest should close out of their positions by 5 p.m. ET.

Note that interest received or paid by a currency trader in the course of these forex trades is regarded by the IRS as ordinary interest income or expense. For tax purposes, the currency trader should keep track of interest received or paid, separate from regular trading gains and losses.

To learn more, see A Primer on the Forex Market, Getting Started In Forex and Top 6 questions about currency trading .