Base Currency Definition

Categorias: Forex Trading


Knowing from the previous chapter how interbank platforms work, you also understand why cross currency pairs frequently carry a higher transaction cost. To build a cross, interbank dealers have to combine two orders on different platforms. Australia is a big exporter to China and its economy and currency reflect any change in the situation in that country. The prevailing view is that the Australian Dollar offers diversification benefits in a portfolio containing the major world currencies because of its greater exposure to Asian economies. This correlation with the Shanghai stock exchange is to be added to the correlation it has with gold. The pair AUD/USD often rises and falls along with the price of gold.


  • If you trade several pairs simultaneously, don’t get overweight in one currency, unless the risk has been diversified.
  • But the good reputation of the monetary policy of Great Britain and a high interest rate for a long time contributed to the popularity of this currency in the financial world.
  • 70% of the U.S economy depends on domestic consumption, making its currency very susceptible to data on employment and consumption.
  • A currency pair is a price quote of the exchange rate for two different currencies traded in the foreign exchange market.
  • The base currency is also considered to be the currency used by a business entity to report its financial statements.
  • Despite the Bank of Japan avoided raising interest rates to prevent capital flows from increasing for a prolonged period, the Yen had a tendency to appreciate.

For example, when a buyer purchases EUR/USD, it basically means that he is buying euro and selling U.S. dollars at the same time. Investors buy the pair if they think that the base currency will gain value in contrast with the quote currency. On the other hand, they sell the pair if they think that the base currency will lose value in contrast with the quote currency.

How a Base Currency Works

A forex trader would purchase a EUR/USD pair if they believed in the increase in the euro over the U.S dollar – this is called going long on a pair. If they were to sell this pair, it would be called going short on a pair. This would happen if they thought the value of the euro would go down in proportion to the U.S dollar. A currency pair is always shown one way, as opposed to both, for the purpose of the trade. You would purchase a pair if the first position was bullish and sell if the first position was bearish. Given exchange rates for two currency pairs—A/B and A/C—we can compute the cross-rate (B/C) between currencies B and C.


The majors are EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD, and USD/CAD. The base currency and quote currency in Forex are used to arrive at the exchange rates. The counter currency is usually the foreign currency, and in the latter, it is the domestic currency. A base currency as used in the forex market indicates how much of the quote currency is needed to purchase one unit of the base currency.

What is CFD trading?

On other markets like stocks, a trader has to buy the stock first and then exchange it back to the currency; the trading process involves two different assets here. Therefore, Forex trading is considerably easier than other types of trading. There are several differences between these pairs, including different currency groups, liquidity levels, and the amount of spread. Since Forex uses currencies for trading, it is considered the most liquid market because currencies are bought and sold all the time, be it for shopping, paying for utilities, making bank transactions, etc.

In order to move the trade balance toward surplus , a change in the exchange rate must decrease domestic expenditure relative to income. Equivalently, it must increase domestic saving relative to domestic investment. It’s the first currency before the slash, while the second one is called the quote currency. And when someone says they want to buy a Forex pair, they want to buy the base currency using the quote currency.

Trading currency pairs are often conducted in the foreign exchange market. The forex market enables buying and selling, and conversion of currencies for international trade and investing. Generally speaking, the forex market is open 5 days per week, 24 hours a day.


When you trade in the forex market, you buy or sell in currency pairs. The market maker earns the spread, or difference between the two prices. The currency pair is spelled out as the three-letter abbreviation for the base currency, then the abbreviation for the counter currency. There are several “major” currency pairs that are traded most often; foremost among those is USD/EUR. Currency pairs are used because you are always selling one currency and buying the other. In a currency trade—assuming it is an investment or speculation and not being done for a simple transaction—when you take a long position, you are betting that the base currency will go up in terms of the counter currency.

Also much of the debt from Eastern economies is denominated in Swiss Francs. Japan is one of the world’s largest exporters, which has resulted in a consistent trade surplus. A surplus occurs when a country’s exports exceed its imports, therefore an inherent demand for Japanese Yen derives from that surplus situation. Japan is also a large importer and consumer of raw materials such as oil.

Currently, the index includes Euros , Japanese Yen , British Pounds , Canadian Dollars , Swedish kronas and Swiss francs . Visit the Exotic Currencies section to see their relative value to major currencies at a glance. Before that it was pegged to a group of currencies called the trade weighted index .

Among the most actively traded and therefore liquid currencies are the NZD, the AUD and the CAD. «Commodity Dollars» or «Comdolls» is another term to describe these currencies. If Canada is one of the world’s largest producers of oil and is such a big part of the US economy, rising oil prices tend to have a negative effect on the USD and a positive effect on the CAD. Several factors such as a lengthy history of political neutrality and a financial system known for protecting the confidentiality of its investors, have created a save heaven reputation for Switzerland and its currency. Even though the economic unit using the Pound Sterling is technically the United Kingdom rather than Great Britain, the ISO currency code is GBP and not UKP as sometimes abbreviated.


The vast of retail client accounts lose money when trading in CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss in excess of your deposited funds even if a stop loss is used and therefore, you should not speculate with capital that you cannot afford to lose and be aware of trading risks. Credit Financier Invest International Limited provides general information that does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The content of this website must not be interpreted as personal advice.

The quote or counter currency compares and determines the base currency’s value by taking it as a standard 1 unit. The term «base currency» in the foreign exchange field is also used as the accounting currency by banks, and is usually the domestic currency. Currencies from developing or emerging market economies that are paired with a major currency are called exotic currency pairs. These pairings are known to be more illiquid and come with wider spreads; thus, making them riskier. Forex trading is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling another.

For example, if a quote is stated as GBP/USD, the quote states the number of U.S. dollars that will be required to purchase one British pound. The second currency stated in the quote is called the quote currency. When you think about buying or selling a cross currency pair, don’t forget that the US Dollar, despite not being a member within the pair, is still influencing the price behavior of the cross. Buying EUR/JPY is equivalent to buying the EUR/USD currency pair and simultaneously buying the USD/JPY.

japanese yen

The second currency is the quote currency, which states how much of the quote currency is required to buy one unit of the base currency. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts.

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The policy framework that each central bank adopts is called an exchange rate regime. These regimes range from using another country’s currency , to letting the market determine the exchange rate . The type of exchange rate regime used varies widely among countries and over time. Individual currencies are usually referred to by standardized three-character codes. There are a variety of exchange rate quoting conventions commonly used. pairs use these codes made of three letters to represent a particular currency. Currencies constituting a currency pair are sometimes separated with a slash character. The slash may be omitted or replaced by a period, a dash or nothing.

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