Ask Price

Also referred to as the offer price. The price at which the market is willing to sell.

Base Currency

The first currency in a currency pair; it shows how much the base currency is worth against a second currency. For example, if the USD/EUR rate equals 1.1299 then one US dollar is worth 1.1299 EUR.

Bid Price

The opposite of an ask price; the price at which the market is willing to pay.

Cable

Nickname for the GBP/USD currency pair.

Central Bank

A government organization that manages a country’s monetary policy.

Commodity Currencies

Currencies which depend heavily on the export of certain raw materials i.e. oil, timber, iron, coal and aluminum.

Cross Rate

An exchange rate between two currencies, in which neither is the currency of the country where the pair is quoted. For example, in the US, a EUR/JPY quote is considered a cross rate.

Currency Risk

Unpredictable profits or losses associated with the change in price of one currency in relation to another; can be reduced by hedging, which offsets currency fluctuations.

Currency Symbols

Three letter symbol that represents a specific currency; for example, USD (U.S. Dollar).

Dovish

Refers to policymakers who support lower interest rates.

Drawdown

To pull from a total amount either in part of in full.

Exchange Rate

The value of one currency for the purpose of conversion to another.

Foreign Exchange

The global marketplace where participants can buy, sell or exchange currencies.

Forward Contract

Agreement to buy/ sell currency at a pre-specified exchange rate, with added forward points, at a future date.

Forward Points

Pips, based on interest rate differentials, added to or subtracted from the current exchange rate in order to calculate a forward price.

G7

Group of seven nations, which include: United States, Canada, Japan, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

G8

Same member countries as G7, plus Russia.

Hawkish

Opposite of Dovish; refers policy makers who support higher interest rates.

Hedge

An investment to reduce currency risk, normally through products like standing orders or forward contracts.

Inflation

Increase in consumer good prices and decrease in purchasing power.

Interbank Rates

Foreign exchange rates that large international banks quote each other.

ISM Manufacturing Index

Monthly index released by the Institute of Supply Management that evaluates the US manufacturing sector by tracking the amount of manufacturing activity for the previous month. Value over 50 indicates economic growth – values are in between 0 to 100.

ISM Non-Manufacturing Index

Monthly index based on more than 400 surveys of non-manufacturing firms by the Institute of Supply Management. Values over 50 indicate growth in the non-manufacturing sector.

Long Position

Purchasing currency with the expectation that the value of the asset will rise; for example, when the base currency is bought the position is long.

Loonie

Nickname for the USD/CAD currency pair.

Margin Call

Request for additional funds on a position that has moved against the customer.

Pip

The smallest incremental move an exchange rate can make; one hundredth of a percent (0.0001).

Premium

The amount by which the forward price exceeds the spot price.

Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)

Economic indicator of the manufacturing industry, based on five areas: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and employment environment.

Quantitative Easing

When a central bank injects money into an economy with the hope of stimulating growth.

Quote

Indicative market price used for information purposes.

Rally

A recovery in price after a period of decline.

Resistance Level

The price level where a currency has difficulty strengthening thus may begin weakening as a result.

Retail Sales

A monthly economic indicator complied and released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Commerce. Measures sales of all goods and services sold by retailers for the previous month.

Risk

Exposure to uncertain change in the market.

Risk Management

Utilization of analysis and products to reduce/ control exposure to risk.

Safe-Haven Currencies

Currency that is viewed as stable enough to keep its value relative to other currencies in times of economic uncertainty.

Short Position

Investment positions that benefits from a decline in market price; for example, when the base currency is sold the position is short.

Spot Rate

The current exchange rate that a currency pair can be bought or sold at.

Spot Trade

Purchase/ sale of currency for immediate delivery, as opposed to sometime in the future.

Standing Order

Risk management tool used to place a buy/ sell order once the spot rate reaches a pre-defined level.

Sterling

Nickname for the GBP/USD currency pair.

Stop Loss

Order to buy/ sell at a pre-defined level in order to limit a loss.

Support Level

Opposite of a resistance level; price level where a currency has, historically, had difficulty falling past.

Take Profit

Order to buy/ sell a pre-defined level in order to secure a profit.

Technical Analysis

Process of reviewing past price patterns for clues as to the direction of future price movements.

Unemployment Rate

Measure of the total workforce that is unemployed and actively seeking employment.

Value Date

Also referred to as the maturity date. The delivery date of funds traded; for spot trades it is normally two days after the transaction date.

Volatility

Degree of change in the value of a currency over time. For example, high volatility is associated with a high degree of risk.

 

Yield

Percentage return from an investment.