A Guide to Forex Currency Pairs

In case you didn’t know, Forex is the most traded product in online trading today;

In this article we are going to briefly discuss the main Forex pair categories. We will explain what are the Major, Minor, Crosses and Exotic currency pairs. After reading this article you will be able to understand the difference between all categories and how to approach them when an opportunity arises.

Forex Majors

Forex majors are USD denominated currency pairs, high value global currencies such as EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD, NZD where USD is at one side as a base or a quote currency. This pair is known as a major currency pair.

As these currencies are from highly stable world economies, they are more liquid than any other pairs. An estimated trade value of these major currency pairs make up almost 80% of the total global Forex trade.

MAJOR PAIRS COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
EUR/USD Euro-Zone / United States EURO High (European & US Session)
GBP/USD United Kingdom / United States CABLE High (London and US Session)
USD/JPY United States / Japan YEN High (Asian and US Session)
USD/CAD United States / Canada LOONIE          High (US Session)
USD/CHF United States/ Switzerland SWISSY Medium (European and US Session)
AUD/USD Australia / United States AUSSIE Medium (Asian and US Session)
NZD/USD New Zealand / United States KIWI Medium (Asian and US Session)

Minor or Cross Currency Pairs

In simple terms, currency pairs that don’t contain USD as a base or quote currency but have one of the high valued currencies such as EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD, CHF, AUD, NZD, are known as a minor or cross currency pair.

While majors make up the most of the Forex market, do not ignore the minor currency pairs as they make up the rest of the market. Some minor currency pairs such as EURGBP, EURJPY and GBPJPY are among the favorites for many traders and highly liquid as majors.

EURO CROSSES COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
EUR/CHF Euro-Zone / Switzerland Euro Swissy Medium
EUR/GBP Euro-Zone / United Kingdom Euro Pound Medium
EUR/CAD Euro-Zone / Canada Euro Loonie Medium-High
EUR/AUD Euro-Zone / Australia Euro Aussie High
EUR/NZD Euro-Zone / New Zealand Euro Kiwi Medium
EUR/JPY Euro-Zone / Japan Euro Yen or Yuppy High
POUND CROSSES COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
EUR/GBP Euro-Zone / United Kingdom Euro Pound Medium
GBP/JPY United Kingdom / Japan Pound Yen” or “Guppy High
GBP/CHF United Kingdom / Switzerland Pound Swissy Medium
GBP/AUD United Kingdom / Australia Pound Aussie Medium-High
GBP/CAD United Kingdom / Canada Pound Loonie Medium
GBP/NZD United Kingdom / New Zealand Pound Kiwi Medium-High
YEN CROSSES COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
EUR/JPY Euro-Zone / Japan Euro Yen or “Yuppy High
GBP/JPY United Kingdom / Japan Pound Yen or Guppy High
CHF/JPY Switzerland / Japan Swissy Yen Medium
CAD/JPY Canada / Japan Loonie Yen High
AUD/JPY Australia / Japan Aussie Yen Medium-High
NZD/JPY New Zealand / Japan Kiwi Yen Medium
OTHER CROSSES COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
AUD/CHF Australia / Switzerland Aussie Swissy Medium-High
AUD/CAD Australia / Canada Aussie Loonie Medium-High
AUD/NZD Australia / New Zealand Aussie Kiwi Medium-Low
CAD/CHF Canada / Switzerland Loonie Swissy Medium-Low
NZD/CHF New Zealand / Switzerland Kiwi Swissy Medium-Low
NZD/CAD New Zealand / Canada Kiwi Loonie Medium-Low

Exotic Currency Pairs

Exotic currency pairs refer to those from emerging economies such as Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, India, Pakistan etc. Exotic currency pairs are comprised of one major currency paired with the currency of a developing nation. These pairs are less liquid and are always traded with caution.

EXOTIC PAIRS COUNTRIES NICKNAME VOLATILITY
USD/HKD United States / Hong Kong Dollar HKD Low
USD/SGD United States / Singapore Dollar Sing Low
USD/ZAR United States / South Africa Dollar Rand Low
USD/THB United States / Thailand Dollar Baht Low
USD/MXN United States / Mexico Dollar Peso Medium-Low
USD/DKK United States / Denmark Dollar Krone Low
USD/SEK United States / Sweden Dollar Swedish Krone Low
USD/NOK United States / Norway Dollar Norwegian Krone Low
USD/INR United States / India Dollar Rupee Very Low
GBP/INR United Kingdom / India Pound Rupee Very Low

To read more articles take a look at our Forex Education section.

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