What is Forex Trading?
Forex or foreign exchange trading is trading in currencies e.g. buying US dollars by paying Indian rupees. We need foreign currency in order to pay for imports and the foreign currency we get by selling exports also needs to be channelised efficiently. In order to have enough currency to pay for necessary imports) governments, central banks, commercial banks, firms, brokers, forex dealers and individuals participate in buying and selling as well as loaning, hedging and swapping of currencies.
Factors Affecting Exchange Rates in Forex Trade:
Currencies are always traded in pairs in India e.g.: USD-INR. The relationship between the currencies is given by the formula:
Base currency / Quotation Currency = Value
For example, if base currency is USD and quotation currency is INR then the value would be roughly around 79 as the rupee is trading at around INR 79 per USD. Exchange rates are determined by various factors depending on whether the currencies in question have “free float” or “fixed float”.
1. Free floating currencies are those whose value depends solely on the demand and supply of the currency relative to other currencies. Increasing supply of foreign currency will reduce its price ie. less units of domestic currency will be needed to buy the same quantity of that foreign currency. Similarly, increasing demand for a foreign currency will increase its price in terms of domestic currency. The demand and supply of currencies see fluctuations due to:
a. Central Bank actions – e.g. increasing interest rates may increase inflow of foreign currency, causing appreciation of home currency
b. Exports/Imports – if exports increase or imports decrease then domestic currency will appreciate
c. Credit ratings – if the credit ratings of firms of a country improve (e.g. due to high GDP growth, efficient regulatory environment etc.) then more foreign investment will enter the country, thus appreciating the domestic currency
d. Economic/Political instability – may cause investors to leave the country, causing domestic currency to depreciate.
2. Fixed floating currencies are those whose value is fixed by the government or the central bank, sometimes by pegging it to a standard. For example, the Russian Ruble was recently pegged to gold at 5000 rubles per gram of gold.
How does Forex Trading Work?
The forex (FX) trading market stands out as the sole trading market that operates continuously without any breaks worldwide. Traditionally, big banks and institutional firms controlled the FX trading market as intermediaries for their clients. However, the market has become more accessible to retail traders and investors of all magnitudes in recent times.
In essence, forex trading involves the purchase and sale of currency pairs, such as EUR/USD or JPY/GBP, as opposed to other securities like stocks. The distinguishing feature of forex trading is that it involves the exchange of one currency for another. To make a profit, you would sell one currency with the expectation that its value will decrease relative to the currency you plan to buy, which you anticipate will increase in value.
Basic Forex Trading Strategies
The fundamental types of forex trades are known as long and short trades. When a trader engages in a long trade, they are wagering on the rise in the value of a currency pair in order to make a profit. Conversely, in a short trade, the trader is speculating that the price of the currency pair will drop and thus gain profit from it.
Traders can also utilise trading techniques that are based on technical analysis, such as breakout and moving averages, to adjust and improve their trading approach. Trading strategies can be further classified into four types based on the number and duration of trades made. These types include:
- Scalp trades are characterised by holding positions for seconds or minutes, with profit amounts limited by the number of pips.
- Day trades involve short-term positions held and liquidated within the same day, lasting for hours or minutes.
- Swing trades involve holding positions for a longer duration than a day, such as days or weeks.
- Position trades involve holding a currency for a long period, which may last for months or even years.
How to make Profits in Forex Trading?
Suppose the USD is trading today at ₹79/$. You expect the rupee to depreciate and therefore, buy 100 USD (or assets worth 100 USD) with ₹7900. Tomorrow, the USD appreciates relative to the rupee upto ₹80/$, which means your USD assets are valued at ₹8000. So if you sell your USD assets, you make a profit of ₹100 in one day. Therefore, the objective is to correctly predict the movements in exchange rates and buy/sell assets accordingly.
Derivatives such as futures and options can be used to reduce the risk exposure of traders in the forex market. For example, a person buying a call option with a strike price of ₹78/USD can choose to buy USD at that rate if the USD appreciates to ₹80/USD, but also choose to not exercise the option at all if the USD depreciates to ₹76/USD.
Bid, Ask and Spread
The currency price quoted by the potential buyers is called the bid price while the one quoted by potential sellers is called the ask price. For example, if USD/INR is quoted as 79.0563/79.5224 then sellers can sell USD at 79.0563 while a buyer will have to buy at 79.5224. The difference between the bid and ask prices is called the spread. Due to the spread here of INR 0.4661 per USD, the kiosk dealer will make a profit of 4661 for every 10,000 USD traded.
Forex Trading in India
In 1993, India moved to the free-floating exchange rate system. As per the RBI, OTC and spot markets are dominant in currency trading in India where around USD 33 billion was traded daily in 2019. Online currency trading is done regularly in forex trading platforms. In order to start trading, you need the demat account, trading account and bank a/c linked. Only SEBI-registered brokers are allowed to trade currencies on exchanges such as NSE, BSE, MCX-SX. In India, the INR or Indian Rupee can be exchanged for four currencies viz. US Dollars (USD), Euro (EUR), Japanese Yen (JPY) and Great Britain Pound (GBP). Cross Currency trades, Futures & Options contracts on EUR-USD, USD-JPY and GBP-USD are also available. The currency market is regulated jointly by the SEBI and the RBI.
How to Open a Forex Trading Account?
With the right knowledge and steps, you can begin trading currency like a pro. But first, you need a forex trading account to start. Open your Forex trading account with Angel One in 4 easy steps:
Step 1: Open a Currency Trading Account
Opening a currency trading account is your gateway to the forex market, allowing you to buy and sell currency futures and options. Angel One offers two-in-one accounts, including a trading account and a demat account. While a demat account isn’t mandatory for currency trading, it can be beneficial if you plan to pledge shares for margins.
You can easily initiate your online currency trading journey on the Angel One website at no cost, enabling you to start trading immediately.
Step 2: Submit Documents for KYC
Next, you have to complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) process. You’ll need to provide the following essential documents:
- Photo Identification Proof: Submit a valid photo ID, which can be your PAN card, voter’s ID card, passport, driving license, or your Aadhaar card.
- Address Proof: Furnish a document verifying your residential address. Options include telephone bills, electricity bills, bank statements, ration cards, passports, voter’s ID, registered lease/sale agreements, or driving licenses.
- Financial/Income Proof: Provide documentation to establish your financial status. This can be your current income tax return (ITR) acknowledgement, annual accounts, Form 16 (for salary income), net worth certificate, latest salary slips, or bank account statements.
- Bank Account Details: Share your bank account details, including account number, IFSC Code, bank name, branch address, and account type, to link with your trading account.
Submitting these documents is crucial for verification, and they ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. Verification of these documents might take a few working days, depending on the broker’s capacity.
Step 3: Fund Your Trading Account
Before you start trading, you’ll need to deposit funds into your trading account. This is a regulatory requirement in India, as a portion of your margin must be held in cash. Brokers typically offer multiple methods for funding your trading account, including net banking or digital payment platforms like Google Pay.
Step 4: Start Trading Forex Pairs
Now that your trading account is funded and verified, you’re ready to dive into the world of forex trading. In India, you can trade currency futures and options on recognised exchanges like NSE, BSE, and MSE for seven major currency pairs:
These currency pairs allow you to engage in synthetic positions, such as futures and options. Familiarise yourself with the basics of currency pairs, understanding how exchange rates work and how pips (four decimal places) play a crucial role in forex trading.
Remember that forex trading involves various strategies, so take the time to explore different approaches that suit your trading style and goals.
Pros and Cons of Trading Forex
- High liquidity: The forex market is one of the most liquid markets in the world, with trillions of dollars exchanged every day. The significant liquidity ensures that traders can execute currency trades effortlessly without being concerned about price volatility or a dearth of buyers or sellers.
- 24-hour market: Another notable advantage of forex trading is that the market operates 24 hours a day, five days a week, enabling traders to participate in trading at any time, irrespective of their geographical location or time zone.
- High leverage: Additionally, forex trading offers high leverage, allowing traders to open positions that exceed their account balance. Although this can lead to more substantial profits, it also exposes traders to higher risks.
- Limited regulations: While forex trading online is legal in India, it is not as heavily regulated as in some other countries. This can make it more difficult for traders to find reliable brokers and protect their investments.
- Lack of transparency: The forex market is decentralised, meaning there is no single exchange where all trades are conducted. This can make it difficult to determine the true market price of a currency pair and to know whether a broker is providing fair prices.
- High risk: FX trading is inherently risky, and traders can lose all of their invested capital if they do not manage their risk properly. This risk is amplified by the high leverage offered by forex brokers.
It is important to have a reliable broker in order to start forex investing who can give you informed guidance. Check out Angel One in order to start forex trading online.
What is forex trade and how does it work?
Forex (foreign exchange) trading involves buying and selling currencies in the market around the world. It works by traders buying one currency with another currency in the hope of making a profit as the exchange rate between the two currencies changes over time.
Is forex trading legal in India?
Yes, forex trading is legal in India, but it is subject to certain regulations and restrictions. Indian residents are allowed to trade in currency pairs that include the Indian Rupee (INR), but they are not allowed to trade in any other currency pairs like USD/EUR, GBP/USD, etc.
Which is the best platform for forex trading?
Angel One, Fusion Markets, Capital.com, Tickmill, and CMC Market are a few of the best forex trading platforms in India.
What are the risks of FX trading?
Some common risks of forex trading include:
- Currency volatility
- Political and economic instability
- Regulatory risks
- High leverage and margin trading
- Lack of transparency in pricing and execution
- Cybersecurity risks
- Fraudulent activities by brokers and dealers
- Limited legal protections for traders
How do I get started with forex trading?
Forex trading can be a potentially profitable but also risky venture, and it requires some knowledge and skills to get started. Here are some steps you can take to begin your forex trading journey:
- Educate yourself on the basics.
- Choose a reputable forex broker like Angel One and open a demo account with the same to practice trading.
- Research and develop a trading strategy that fits your investment goals and test it on your demo account.
- Start with a small amount of capital and trade.
- Keep learning and adapting your trading strategy as you gain experience.
How to trade currency for beginners?
Here are the basic steps to start trading currency in India:
- Open a trading account with Angel One
- Learn about the basics of currency trading, including the different currency pairs and how to read charts and indicators
- Start with a demo account to practice trading without risking real money
- Decide on a trading strategy and set a risk management plan
- Choose a currency pair to trade and start monitoring its performance
- Place your trades and track them regularly