Thursday, January 17, 2008

Forex - Trading Terminology Explained

Whenever a new discipline is undertaken, one of the most basic factors for success is familiarity with the terms utilized by those practicing in that area. Trading in the foreign exchange (FOREX) market is no exception. This article will help new traders understand some of the terminology common in the FOREX market. While this is not intended to serve as a complete glossary for all the various terms to be encountered in the world of FOREX, the selected terms below commonly recur in the trading sector. In the process of studying them, one should commit the concepts and their meaning to memory so that efficiency will increase as trading activities increase. Although not difficult to comprehend, the terms must become thoroughly familiar so as to help developed a strong foundation for a never-ending education in trading the FOREX. Pips In a previous article, this author explained in depth the term “pip”. Without reiterating here the full explanation, suffice it to say that a pip is the unit of measurement representing the smallest movement in the price of a currency. Gaining pips is the goal of every FOREX traders, as these units inherently indicate value. Spike Important news releases, such as the U.S. Non-farm Payroll Report (NFP), typically cause the price in the affected currency pairs to suddenly increase or decrease. Referred to as a “spike”, this rapid price movement can take place in a split second and span a range of 50 to 100 pips in one direction. The occurrence of the spike gives traders a quick and rather unique opportunity to make substantial investment returns in a very short period of time when properly approached. Retracement There is a tremendous tendency for volatility in the FOREX. Retracement is the change in the direction of currency price against an established trend. It is often, but not necessarily, associated with rapid movements in the price, such as that which occurs during a news release, where the price first spikes in one direction and then retreats. This change can occur without even a moment’s notice. Conversely, the reversal could be gradual, taking place over minutes or even hours. Stopped Out As a matter of proper risk management, a trader will utilize a stop loss to limit losses in the event the price moves unfavorably against the trader’s position. The position is said to be “stopped out” and, consequently, closed down if the stop loss trigger is hit, as previously determined by the trader. Slippage After submitting a limit order to be filled at a future price level, a trader may experience “slippage”, which occurs when the broker cannot fill the order at the requested price, but instead at the first available price. Most of the time, this works to the trader’s disadvantage by reducing the number of potential pips a trader might gain if the order had been filled at the price requested. Slippage is most likely to occur during a news trading event where the market tends to move rapidly. A few brokers will allow the trader to limit or avoid slippage by manipulating certain user preferences in the controls of the trading platform prior to attempting the trade. If you are ready to change your future by stepping into the exciting world of trading FOREX, go to for more information. Author Sandy Robinson, J.D. is part of the Winning Traders Association, an educational organization founded by John Beiler, President. The organization consists of a network of committed trainers and motivated traders willing to provide support to those interested in trading foreign exchange. Many of the members work from home. Sandy Robinson, J.D., Copyright 2007

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