How to trade Forex

Currency prices are constantly fluctuating against each other, offering multiple trading opportunities daily.

Trading Forex

Unlike most financial markets, the OTC (over-the-counter) foreign exchange market has no physical location or central exchange and trades 24-hours a day through a global network of businesses, banks and individuals. This means that currency prices are constantly fluctuating in value against each other, offering multiple trading opportunities.

FX Trading steps

1. Choose a currency pair

Decide which currency pair you wish to trade. With over 65 currency pairs to choose from, picking a trading opportunity that’s right for you is important. 
City Index’s technical and fundamental research tools can help you spot currency trading opportunities to suit your trading style. We recommend that you take your time to understand the amount of price volatility associated with the currency pair to help manage your risk.

FX pair explained

2. Decide on the type of FX trade 

There are two ways to trade forex with City Index CFD or Forex Trading. Each has its particular stake size:

  • In CFD trading you trade a quantity of CFDs in the unit of the base currency (currency on the left). For example if you trade AUD / USD your stake would be in Australian dollars, while in USD / JPY your stake would be in US Dollars
  • In Forex trading you buy lots, in the unit of the base currency (currency on the left)
  • For example if you trade AUD / USD your stake would be in Australian dollars, while in USD / JPY your stake would be in US Dollars (the minimum stake size is 1000)

FX trade types

4. Adding orders

An order is an instruction to automatically trade at a point in the future when prices reach a specific level predetermined by you. You can utilise stop and limit orders to help ensure that you lock in any profits and minimise your risk when your respective profit or loss risk targets are reached.

While not compulsory, given the volatility in FX markets using and understanding risk management tools such as stop loss orders is essential.

A stop loss order is an instruction to close out a trade at a price worse than the current market level and, as the name suggests, is used to help minimise losses.  

Stop and limit orders

A standard stop loss order, once triggered, closes the trade at the best available price. There is a risk therefore that the closing price could be different from the order level if market prices gap.

A limit order is an instruction to close out a trade at a price that is better than the current market level and is used to help lock in price targets.

Standard stop losses and limit orders are free to place and can be implemented in the dealing ticket when you first place your trade, and you can also attach orders to existing open positions. 

Learn more about risk management here.

5. Monitor and close your trade

Once open, your trade’s profit and loss will now fluctuate with each move in the market price. 

You can track market prices, see your unrealised profit/loss update in real time, attach orders to open positions and add new trades or close existing trades from your computer or app on your smartphone and tablet. 

6. Closing your trade

When you are ready to close your trade, you simply need to do the opposite to the opening trade. Supposing you bought 3 CFDs to open, you would sell 3 CFDs to close. By closing the trade, your net open profit and loss will be realised and immediately reflected in your account cash balance. 

Please note that City Index CFD accounts are FIFO - to read more about this please visit our help and support section.

This will be done for you if your stop loss or limit order is automatically triggered.

Forex trading examples 

Carefully look through the Forex trading examples here to ensure you understand how forex trading works.

Next chapter Forex examples
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