Whenever people travel outside their home country, there is good chance that they have performed currency transactions. Travelers, in many cases, are required to exchange their home country’s currency for the currency of the country they are visiting. Much like the forex market, there are two currencies involved in such occasions but only one exchange rate.
The U.S. Dollar and the Canadian Dollar
Back in the year 2002, travelers would have received an estimated C$1.60 in Canadian currency for every U.S. dollar. It is safe to say that the exchange rate during that year for the U.S. dollar and Canadian dollar was about 1.60 Canadian dollars for each U.S. dollar.
Years that followed resulted in a dramatic change in the exchange rate and by the year 2006, the rate had fallen to 1.10. This only means that a traveler from the United States would only receive about C$1.10 in Canadian currency for every U.S. dollar exchanged. The measurement of very small changes in this exchange rate can be expressed using 1.1000. If so, the U.S. dollar significantly depreciated against the Canadian dollar during the early part of the twenty-first century.
Eventually, the rate of the Canadian dollar approached parity with the U.S. dollar. U.S. citizens were also less likely to visit Canada, because if they did, they were more likely to spend more than they would have in the past, when the exchange rate was more favorable. On the other hand, travelers from Canada were more likely to visit the United States, since their currency bought more U.S. products than it had previously.
The U.S. dollar and the Euro
The rise of the Euro also created a similar situation that of the Canadian dollar. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the Euro created dramatic gains against the U.S. dollar. Additionally during those years, the value of the Euro rose from US$0.85 to above US$1.35. Because of this movement in the exchange rates, citizens from the United States found that vacationing in Europe became much expensive. This kind of change caused a huge influx of shoppers from Europe traveling the United States, especially during the Christmas season.
There is no doubt that fortunes were made and lost on huge movements, such as those mentioned. However, it is important to remember that even the tiniest shift in the exchange rates can also result in substantial gains and losses.
Understanding the Exchange Rate
An easy way to understand the exchange rate is to think of the base currency as the number one. For instance, assume that the exchange rate for the EUR/USD pair is 1.2904. Since the base currency is Euro, that is also the first member of the pair. Thinking of Euro as the number one will only mean that one Euro would be worth approximately $1.29 U.S. dollars.
But how do these movements in the exchange rates translate to the forex traders bottom line? With trading a pair, like the EUR/USD, the U.S.-based trader will note that the pair has a fixed value of $10 per pip. This is also true for all pairs that have USD as the second currency. Hence, in any currency pair containing USD as the second currency, a flattering movement in the exchange rate of 10 pips will make a gain of $100; unfavorable movement of 10 pips would cause a loss of $100. In the case of the EUR/USD pair, a gain or loss of 10 pips can happen easily since the pair moves about 100 pips each day on average.
Terminologies in Trading
A non-trader or a beginner can get easily confused around traders, since they mostly use their own language. This kind of language is easily synonymous to a secret handshake, which would let others know that they are a member of the group.
First trading terminology is going long. Whenever you hear this come out of a traders mouth, it only means that he or she is placing a trade that will only be profitable if there is an evident rise in the exchange rate. selling short, on the other hand, means that the trader will be placing a trade that will only be profitable if the exchange rate falls. flat means that the trade is neither long nor short. More so, the trader saying this has no open positions in the market.
Another trading term is the pip. By definition, the pip is the smallest increment of price in forex markets. It is also an acronym for the phrase percentage in point. An example for this term would be when supposing the exchange rate for a pair rises from 1.1000 to 1.1001. It is safe to say that the rate rose by one pip.
Included within the trading terminologies are the major currencies, such as: EUR for Euro, GBP for Great Britain pound, JPY for Japanese yen, USD for U.S. dollar, CAD for Canadian dollar, CHF for Swiss franc, AUD for Australian dollar and NZD for New Zealand dollar.
Nicknames are also used in trading. These are slang terms that several traders like to use. Several examples of these nicknames are: cable or sterling for the British pound, greenback or buck for the U.S. dollar, single currency for the Euro, Swissy for the Swiss franc, kiwi for the New Zealand dollar, loonie for the Canadian dollar, and Aussie for the Australian dollar.