What currency pairs to trade in Forex?
Although there is lots of currency pairs offered to Forex traders, if you are a beginner it is easier to start with major currency pairs:
There are several good reasons for that:
1. These currency crosses are widely traded, thus providing liquidity which is needed in order to benefit from price changes.
2. They have tight spreads, except may be for GBP/USD, which most of the time receives higher spread quotation from Forex brokers as it is more volatile (e.g. has wider price ranges than other pairs).
3. They all are traded against US dollar, which automatically suggest that the most active trading hours would be during New York trading session – the session with the highest volume of trades.
4. And finally, there are many Forex trading systems that are developed for trading those pairs and can be found online.
What currency pairs to avoid?
Exotic and uncommon currency pairs should be avoided by novice Forex traders as some further knowledge is needed to trade such pairs successfully.
Here is the list of major currencies beginner traders should focus on:
US Dollar (USD)
British Pound (GBP)
Swiss Franc (CHF)
Japanese Yen (JPY)
Australian Dollar (AUD)
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Also novice Forex traders should try to avoid currency pairs which have high spreads. Spreads vary from broker to broker. The information about spreads can be found at brokers’ websites, or at the special column called “Spread” on the trading platform itself, or from the Ask/Bid table (found also on the trading platform) by subtracting Bid price from the Ask.
Here is an example:
On the screenshot we have USD/CHF spread = 3 (Ask – Bid = 0.9992-0.9989 = 3)
GBP/USD spread = 3
EUR/USD spread = 2
USD/JPY spread = 2
Currencies that have high spreads are more volatile, e.g. have wide price ranges and longer price spikes, which unprepared traders may find difficult to trade.
Also a common mistake done by many beginner traders is that they try to monitor too many currency pairs at once. Not only it makes trading hectic and more difficult to manage, it also prevents deeper analysis of the currency pairs and actually learning their “behavior” over the time.
Currency pairs do have their unique ways to move, react to economical events, form trends etc.
By studying one currency pair at the time, Forex traders have the ability to observe its behavior and learn the ways to trade the pair even more effectively.