Trade Pairs, Sessions and Participants
In FX trading, currencies are traded in pairs.
Major Currency Pairs:
These are the most frequently traded and most liquid pairs. They involve the U.S. dollar (USD) paired with one of the other major currencies (EUR, JPY, GBP, CHF, CAD, AUD, NZD).
Cross Currency Pairs:
These are pairs which do not contain the U.S. dollar. Main crosses are also known as “Minor Currency Pairs” and include pairs between the major currencies.
Exotics consist of one major currency paired with the currency of an emerging economy.
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The FX market is traditionally separated into three sessions, which overlap during the day. These are the Asian session, the European session, and the North American session.
FX market players include major banks (also known as the “interbank market”), governments and central banks, smaller banks, large commercial companies and hedge funds, forex brokers and retail ECNs. The last two act as the intermediary party between buyers and sellers, enabling retail traders to gain access to the liquidity providers.