Ok, so you know what you need to do to get started in forex. You know the risk and the benefits. You know how leverage can be a double-edged sword for forex traders. Now let's take a look at the currencies that forex traders use to make their profit.There are many official currencies that are used all over the world, but there only a handful of currencies that are actively traded in the forex market. In currency trading, only the most economically and politically stable and liquid currencies are traded in large quantities. For example, due to the size and strength of the U.S. economy, the U.S. dollar is the most actively traded currency in the world.

In general, eight of the most traded currencies are the U.S. dollar (USD), the euro (EUR), the Japanese yen (JPY), the British pound (GBP), the Australian dollar (AUD), the Canadian dollar (CAD),  the Swiss franc (CHF), and the New Zealand dollar (NZD.

As you already have learned, currencies must be traded in pairs. Mathematically, there are 27 different currency pairs that can be traded from those eight currencies alone. However, there are about 18 currency pairs that are most often quoted by forex market makers because of their overall liquidity. These pairs are:

 

EUR/CAD

GBP/CHF

EUR/AUD

GBP/USD

EUR/USD

GBP/JPY

EUR/CHF

AUD/USD

EUR/GBP

AUD/JPY

EUR/JPY

AUD/NZD

USD/CHF

AUD/CAD

USD/CAD

CHF/JPY

USD/JPY

NZD/USD

 

 

The total amount of currency trading involving these 18 pairs represents the vast majority of the trading volume in the overall FX market. This relatively small number of choices makes trading a lot less complicated compared to dealing with stocks, where choices number in the thousands. (For more, see Top 8 Most Tradable Currencies.)

Now that you've learned about the major currencies that are traded on the forex market you might think you're ready to jump in head first and start trading. Well slow down, because you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been. Let's take a look at the history of the forex market and get to know the major players in today's market.

History of Forex Markets

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