Forex Market Structure

The forex market or foreign exchange market is where participants engage in currency trading. International banks, central banks, business organizations, investment management companies, retail foreign exchange traders, and non-bank foreign exchange businesses make up the majority of market players.

It is the world’s largest financial market. On business days, it is active constantly, indicating the market’s high degree of liquidity. The forces of supply and demand have a considerable impact on and control any currency’s foreign exchange rates, just like they do in every other market scenario.

Foreign Exchange Meaning

The term “forex market” refers to the world market where currencies are traded. In general, participants buy and sell currencies.

  • It is the world’s biggest and most liquid financial market.
  • The interbank market and the over-the-counter (OTC) market are the two tiers of the foreign exchange market.
  • New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, and Frankfurt are the key markets
  • International banks, central banks, businesses, investment management firms, etc. are the main forex market participants.

What is the Forex Market?

The environment where businesses buy, trade, speculate on, and exchange foreign currencies is represented by the forex market. When trading forex, the first mentioned currency is often bought, and the second listed currency is typically sold. The foreign exchange rate is then revealed by the cost at which one currency is exchanged for another. According to the 2019 Triennial Central Bank Survey of FX and OTC derivatives markets, the amount of daily transactions is approximately $6.6 trillion. The US dollar is the currency that is most frequently traded, followed by the Euro, Japanese yen, Great Britain pound, and Australian dollar.

Since there are no centralized platforms that represent the FX markets, they are decentralized. Complex trading strategies are characteristics of trading in the currency market, much like in stock markets. Professional traders and investors use sophisticated strategies to profit from fluctuations in the foreign exchange market. The principal markets include New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, and Frankfurt, some of the financial centers of the world. According to the specifications of the Forex market hours, they are closed on Saturday and Sunday but reopen every Sunday at 5 p.m. EST and close on Friday at 4 p.m. EST.

Structure of the Forex Market

The interbank market and over-the-counter (OTC) market are the two tiers into which operations are divided, according to the FX market structure. In the interbank market, banks are the key players engaged in trading with significant transactions. On the other side, an over-the-counter market is where businesses, people, or investors use internet platforms and brokers to deal in foreign currencies. Additionally, the scholars compared the arrangement to a pyramid, which represents the hierarchy of the FX market and places brokers, central banks, exporters, and commercial banks at various levels according to their market impact, importance, and positions.

The real currency consumers are represented by the retail traders at the base of the pyramid, including novice investors, speculators, immigrants, tourists, and exporters. Commercial entities like businesses and hedge funds, which make significant contributions to the functions and analysis of the foreign exchange market, are positioned above them. The third layer of participants, which makes up the interbank market, is located above them. They are crucial in creating a connection between commercial and central banks and have access to important market data. Finally, the central banks of many countries make up the pyramid’s highest level. They have the biggest impact; they are in charge of keeping the foreign exchange reserves, for example.

A Forex Market Example

Let’s use Nigeria as an example to discuss the FX market. In 1995, Nigeria’s foreign exchange market underwent its first liberalization. The development in the field was supported by variables such trends in global trade, changes in the institutional framework of the financial, legal, and social systems, and structural changes in the production process. Before all of these changes, the private sector dominated the foreign exchange market, with agricultural exports accounting for the lion’s share of forex receipts.

The foreign exchange market boomed as a result of the increasing crude oil exports. A thriving alternative foreign exchange market was encouraged by the rising demand for foreign currency at a time when the supply was declining. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was established in 1958, the Exchange Control Act was passed in 1962, the Second-tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM) was established in 1986, the Foreign Exchange Market Bureaux de Change were established in 1989, reforms were made in 1994, the Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (AFEM) was established in 1995, and the Inter-bank Foreign Exchange Market (IFEM) was established in 1999, among other events, all of which had a significant impact on the development of the Nigerian foreign exchange

What is the currency market, and how does it operate?

The foreign exchange market, or FX market, is another name for it. It alludes to the global market where different national currencies are exchanged. It involves buying and selling different currencies, typically in pairs.

Who is in charge of the currency market?

The FX markets are open and decentralized. They are not governed or coordinated by a single entity. International banks, central banks, business organizations, investment management companies, retail foreign exchange traders, and non-bank foreign exchange businesses make up the majority of market players. New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, and Frankfurt are the principal marketplaces.

When are the foreign exchange markets open?

Every Sunday from 5 p.m. EST (the opening hour of the FX market) through 4 p.m. EST on Friday, the FX market is active or open. It only operates five days a week, with Saturdays and Sundays off. However, during those five working days, FX operations and transactions are carried out continuously.

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