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Forex Terminology [A-G]

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A

Accrual - The apportionment of premiums and discounts on forward exchange transactions that relate directly to deposit swap (Interest Arbitrage) deals , over the period of each deal.

Adjustment - Official action normally by either change in the internal economic policies to correct a payment imbalance or in the official currency rate or. Adjustment - Official action normally by either change in the internal economic policies to correct a payment imbalance or in the official currency rate or.

Appreciation - A currency is said to 'appreciate' when it strengthens in price in response to market demand.

Arbitrage - The purchase or sale of an instrument and simultaneous taking of an equal and opposite position in a related market, in order to take advantage of small price differentials between markets.

Ask (Offer) Price - The price at which the market is prepared to sell a specific Currency in a Foreign Exchange Contract or Cross Currency Contract. At this price, the trader can buy the base currency. In the quotation, it is shown on the right side of the quotation. For example, in the quote USD/CHF 1.4527/32, the ask price is 1.4532; meaning you can buy one US dollar for 1.4532 Swiss francs.

At Best - An instruction given to a dealer to buy or sell at the best rate that can be obtained.

At or Better - An order to deal at a specific rate or better.

B

Balance of Trade - The value of a country's exports minus its imports.

Bar Chart - A type of chart which consists of four significant points: the high and the low prices, which form the vertical bar, the opening price, which is marked with a little horizontal line to the left of the bar, and the closing price, which is marked with a little horizontal line of the right of the bar.

Base Currency - The first currency in a Currency Pair. It shows how much the base currency is worth as measured against the second currency. For example, if the USD/CHF rate equals 1.6215 then one USD is worth CHF 1.6215 In the FX markets, the US Dollar is normally considered the 'base' currency for quotes, meaning that quotes are expressed as a unit of $1 USD per the other currency quoted in the pair. The primary exceptions to this rule are the British Pound, the Euro and the Australian Dollar.

Bear Market - A market distinguished by declining prices.

Bid Price - The bid is the price at which the market is prepared to buy a specific Currency in a Foreign Exchange Contract or Cross Currency Contract. At this price, the trader can sell the base currency. It is shown on the left side of the quotation. For example, in the quote USD/CHF 1.4527/32, the bid price is 1.4527; meaning you can sell one US dollar for 1.4527 Swiss francs.

Bid/Ask Spread - The difference between the bid and offer price.

Big Figure - The first two or three digits of a foreign exchange price or rate. Examples: If the USD/JPY bid/ask is 115.27/32, the big figure is 115. On a EUR/USD price of 1.2855/58 the big figure is 1.28. The big figure is often omitted in dealer quotes. The EUR/USD price of 1.2855/58 would be verbally quoted as "55/58".

Book - In a professional trading environment, a 'book' is the summary of a trader's or desk's total positions.

Broker - An individual or firm that acts as an intermediary, putting together buyers and sellers for a fee or commission. In contrast, a 'dealer' commits capital and takes one side of a position, hoping to earn a spread (profit) by closing out the position in a subsequent trade with another party.

Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 - An agreement that established fixed foreign exchange rates for major currencies, provided for central bank intervention in the currency markets, and pegged the price of gold at US $35 per ounce. The agreement lasted until 1971, when President Nixon overturned the Bretton Woods agreement and established a floating exchange rate for the major currencies.

British Retail Consortium (BRC) Shop Price Index – Measures the rate of inflation at various surveyed retailers. This index only looks at price changes in goods purchased in retail outlets.

Bull Market - A market distinguished by rising prices.

Bundesbank - Germany's Central Bank.

C

Cable - Trader jargon referring to the Sterling/US Dollar exchange rate. So called because the rate was originally transmitted via a transatlantic cable beginning in the mid 1800's.

Canadian Ivey Purchasing Managers (CIPM) Index – A monthly gauge of Canadian business sentiment issued by the Richard Ivey Business School.

Candlestick Chart - A chart that indicates the trading range for the day as well as the opening and closing price. If the open price is higher than the close price, the rectangle between the open and close price is shaded. If the close price is higher than the open price, that area of the chart is not shaded.

Carry Trade – Refers to the simultaneous selling of a currency with a low interest rate, while purchasing currencies with higher interest rates. Examples are the JPY crosses such as GBP/JPY and NZD/JPY.

Cash Market - The market in the actual financial instrument on which a futures or options contract is based.

Central Bank - A government or quasi-governmental organization that manages a country's monetary policy. For example, the US central bank is the Federal Reserve, and the German central bank is the Bundesbank.

Chartist - An individual who uses charts and graphs and interprets historical data to find trends and predict future movements. Also referred to as Technical Trader.

Cleared Funds - Funds that are freely available, sent in to settle a trade.

Closed Position - Exposures in Foreign Currencies that no longer exist. The process to close a position is to sell or buy a certain amount of currency to offset an equal amount of the open position. This will 'square' the postion.

Clearing - The process of settling a trade.

Contagion - The tendency of an economic crisis to spread from one market to another. In 1997, political instability in Indonesia caused high volatility in their domestic currency, the Rupiah. From there, the contagion spread to other Asian emerging currencies, and then to Latin America, and is now referred to as the 'Asian Contagion'.

Collateral - Something given to secure a loan or as a guarantee of performance.

Commission - A transaction fee charged by a broker.

Confirmation - A document exchanged by counterparts to a transaction that states the terms of said transaction.

Construction Spending – Measures the amount of spending towards new construction, released monthly by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau.

Contract - The standard unit of trading.

Counter Currency - The second listed Currency in a Currency Pair.

Counterparty - One of the participants in a financial transaction.

Country Risk - Risk associated with a cross-border transaction, including but not limited to legal and political conditions.

Cross Currency Pairs - A pair of currencies that does not include the U.S. dollar. For example: EUR/JPY or GBP/CHF.

Currency symbols
AUD - Australian Dollar
CAD - Canadian Dollar
EUR - Euro
JPY - Japanese Yen
GBP - British Pound
CHF - Swiss Franc

Currency - Any form of money issued by a government or central bank and used as legal tender and a basis for trade.

Currency Pair - The two currencies that make up a foreign exchange rate. For Example, EUR/USD

Currency Risk - the probability of an adverse change in exchange rates.

Current Account – The sum of the balance of trade (exports minus imports of goods and services), net factor income (such as interest and dividends) and net transfer payments (such as foreign aid). The balance of trade is typically is the key component to the current account.

D

Day Trader - Speculators who take positions in commodities which are then liquidated prior to the close of the same trading day.

Dealer - An individual or firm that acts as a principal or counterpart to a transaction. Principals take one side of a position, hoping to earn a spread (profit) by closing out the position in a subsequent trade with another party. In contrast, a broker is an individual or firm that acts as an intermediary, putting together buyers and sellers for a fee or commission.

Deficit - A negative balance of trade or payments.

Delivery - An FX trade where both sides make and take actual delivery of the currencies traded.

Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) UK House Prices – A monthly survey produced by the DCLG that uses a very large sample of all completed house sales to measure the price trends in the UK real estate market.

Depreciation - A fall in the value of a currency due to market forces.

Derivative - A contract that changes in value in relation to the price movements of a related or underlying security, future or other physical instrument. An Option is the most common derivative instrument.

Devaluation - The deliberate downward adjustment of a currency's price, normally by official announcement.

Discount Rate – Interest rate that an eligible depository institution is charged to borrow short-term funds directly from the Federal Reserve Bank.

E

Economic Indicator - A government issued statistic that indicates current economic growth and stability. Common indicators include employment rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation, retail sales, etc.

End Of Day Order (EOD) - An order to buy or sell at a specified price. This order remains open until the end of the trading day which is typically 5PM ET.

European Monetary Union (EMU) - The principal goal of the EMU is to establish a single European currency called the Euro, which will officially replace the national currencies of the member EU countries in 2002. On Janaury1, 1999 the transitional phase to introduce the Euro began. The Euro now exists as a banking currency and paper financial transactions and foreign exchange are made in Euros. This transition period will last for three years, at which time Euro notes an coins will enter circulation. On July 1,2002, only Euros will be legal tender for EMU participants, the national currencies of the member countries will cease to exist. The current members of the EMU are Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

EURO - the currency of the European Monetary Union (EMU). A replacement for the European Currency Unit (ECU).

European Central Bank (ECB) - the Central Bank for the new European Monetary Union.

Eurozone Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Leading Indicator – A monthly index produced by the OECD. It measures overall economic health by combining ten leading indicators including: average weekly hours, new orders, consumer expectations, housing permits, stock prices, and interest rate spreads.

Eurozone Labor Cost Index – Measures the annualized rate of inflation in the compensation and benefits paid to civilian workers and is seen as a primary driver of overall inflation.

F

Factory Orders – The dollar level of new orders for both durable and nondurable goods. This report is more in depth than the durable goods report which is released earlier in the month.

Federal Reserve (Fed) - The Central Bank for the United States.

First In First Out (FIFO) - Open positions are closed according to the FIFO accounting rule. All positions opened within a particular currency pair are liquidated in the order in which they were originally opened.

Flat/square - Dealer jargon used to describe a position that has been completely reversed, e.g. you bought $500,000 then sold $500,000, thereby creating a neutral (flat) position.

Foreign Exchange - (Forex, FX) - the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling of another.

Forward - The pre-specified exchange rate for a foreign exchange contract settling at some agreed future date, based upon the interest rate differential between the two currencies involved.

Forward Points - The pips added to or subtracted from the current exchange rate to calculate a forward price.

French Central Government Balance – The difference between the central government's monthly income and spending.

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 instrument at a set price on a future date. The primary difference between a Future and a Forward is that Futures are typically traded over an exchange (Exchange- Traded Contacts - ETC), versus forwards, which are considered Over The Counter (OTC) contracts. An OTC is any contract NOT traded on an exchange.

FX - Foreign Exchange.

G

G7 - The seven leading industrial countries, being US , Germany, Japan, France, UK, Canada, Italy.

Going Long - The purchase of a stock, commodity, or currency for investment or speculation.

Going Short - The selling of a currency or instrument not owned by the seller.

Gold Certificate - A certificate of ownership that gold investors use to purchase and sell the commodity instead of dealing with transfer and storage of the physical gold itself.

Gold Contract - The standard unit of trading gold is one contract which is equal to 10 troy ounces.

Gross Domestic Product - Total value of a country's output, income or expenditure produced within the country's physical borders.

Gross National Product - Gross domestic product plus income earned from investment or work abroad.

Good 'Til Cancelled Order (GTC) - An order to buy or sell at a specified price. This order remains open until filled or until the client cancels.

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