Currencies are always quoted in pairs, such as GBP/USD or USD/JPY.
The reason they are quoted in pairs is that, in every foreign exchange transaction, you are simultaneously buying one currency and selling another.
Whenever you have an open position in forex trading, you are exchanging one currency for another.
Currencies are quoted in relation to other currencies.
Here is an example of a foreign exchange rate for the British pound versus the U.S. dollar:
The first listed currency to the left of the slash (“/”) is known as the base currency (in this example, the British pound).
The base currency is the reference element for the exchange rate of the currency pair. It always has a value of one.
The second listed currency on the right is called the counter or quote currency (in this example, the U.S. dollar).
When buying, the exchange rate tells you how much you have to pay in units of the quote currency to buy ONE unit of the base currency.In the example above, you have to pay 1.21228 U.S. dollars to buy 1 British pound.
When selling, the exchange rate tells you how many units of the quote currency you get for selling ONE unit of the base currency.
In the example above, you will receive 1.21228 U.S. dollars when you sell 1 British pound.
The base currency represents how much of the quote currency is needed for you to get one unit of the base currency
If you buy EUR/USD this simply means that you are buying the base currency and simultaneously selling the quote currency.
First, you should determine whether you want to buy or sell.
If you want to buy (which actually means buy the base currency and sell the quote currency), you want the base currency to rise in value and then you would sell it back at a higher price.
In trader talk, this is called “going long” or taking a “long position.” Just remember: long = buy.
If you want to sell (which actually means sell the base currency and buy the quote currency), you want the base currency to fall in value and then you would buy it back at a lower price.
This is called “going short” or taking a “short position”.
Just remember: short = sell.
If you have no open position, then you are said to be “flat” or “square”.
Closing a position is also called “squaring up“.
All forex quotes are quoted with two prices: the bid and ask.
In general, the bid is lower than the ask price.
The bid is the price at which your broker is willing to buy the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.
This means the bid is the best available price at which you (the trader) can sell to the market.
If you want to sell something, the broker will buy it from you at the bid price.
The ask is the price at which your broker will sell the base currency in exchange for the quote currency.
This means the ask price is the best available price at which you can buy from the market.
Another word for ask is the offer price.
If you want to buy something, the broker will sell (or offer) it to you at the ask price.
The difference between the bid and the ask price is known as the SPREAD.
On the EUR/USD quote above, the bid price is 1.34568 and the ask price is 1.34588. Look at how this broker makes it so easy for you to trade away your money.
Here’s an illustration that puts together everything we’ve covered in this lesson:
Reprinted from Babypips，the copyright all reserved by the original author.
Edited 22 Feb 2021, 11:23
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