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Which currencies can be traded?

The forex market has the largest trading volume in the world. Daily trading volume exceeds USD5.3 trillion*. Traders take either a long or short position based on their speculation of the currencies’ future trend – whether the value will go up or down.

7 major currency pairs (The Majors) make up almost 80% of total daily trading volume* in the forex market. As shown in the table below, the major currency pairs all include the U.S. Dollar (USD).

Major Currency Pairs

DESCRIPTION SYMBOL NICKNAME
Euro/U.S. Dollar EUR/USD Euro
Great British Pound/U.S. Dollar GBP/USD CABLE
U.S. Dollar/Japanese Yen USD/JPY YEN
U.S. Dollar/Swiss Franc USD/CHF SWISSY
U.S. Dollar/Canadian Dollar USD/CAD LOONIE
Australian Dollar/U.S. Dollar AUD/USD AUSSIE
New Zealand Dollar/U.S. Dollar NZD/USD KIWI


Minor Currency Pairs

While major currency pairs dominate the market, you shouldn’t ignore the minors – also known as Cross Currency Pairs. All currency pairs other than the major ones are considered to be minors; e.g. EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF and GBP/JPY.

The options are many. But which currencies should you trade? Traders new to the market should follow the golden rule of focusing on only one or two currency pairs.

In general, traders will opt for EUR/USD or USD/JPY as there are plenty of information and resources available about the relevant economies. Unsurprisingly, these two pairs account for the majority of the market’s global daily volume.