Forex trading is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling another. Currencies are traded through a Broker or Market Maker, and are traded in pairs; for example the euro and the U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) or the British pound and the Japanese yen (GBP/JPY).

Major Currency Pairs

The currency pairs listed below are considered the “majors”. These pairs all contain the U.S. dollar (USD) on one side and are the most frequently traded. The majors are the most liquid and widely traded currency pairs.

Pair

AKA

EUR/USD

euro dollar

USD/JPY

dollar yen

GBP/USD

cable

USD/CHF

swissy

USD/CAD

loonie

AUD/USD

aussie

NZD/USD

kiwi

Major Cross-Currency Pairs or Minor Currency Pairs

Currency pairs that don’t contain the U.S. dollar (USD) are known as cross-currency pairs or simply as  “crosses.” Major crosses are also known as “minors.” The most actively traded crosses are derived from the three major non-USD currencies: EUR, JPY, and GBP.

Euro Crosses

Pair

EUR/CHF

EUR/GBP

EUR/CAD

EUR/AUD

EUR/NZD

Yen Crosses

Pair

AKA

EUR/JPY

yuppy

GBP/JPY

guppy

CHF/JPY

swissy yen

CAD/JPY

loonie yen

AUD/JPY

aussie yen

NZD/JPY

kiwi yen

Pound Crosses

Pair

AKA

GBP/CHF

pound swissy

GBP/AUD

pound aussie

GBP/CAD

pound loonie

GBP/NZD

pound kiwi

Other Crosses

Pair

AKA

AUD/CHF

aussie swissy

AUD/CAD

aussie loonie

AUD/NZD

aussie kiwi

CAD/CHF

loonie swissy

NZD/CHF

kiwi swissy

NZD/CAD

kiwi loonie

Exotic Pairs

Exotic pairs are made up of one major currency paired with the currency of an emerging economy, such as Brazil, Mexico, or Hungary.

Pair

AKA

USD/HKD

USD/SGD

USD/ZAR

dollar rand

USD/THB

dollar baht

USD/MXN

dollar peso

USD/DKK

dollar krone

USD/SEK

USD/NOK

Depending on your broker, you may see the exotic pairs above.

Consider that these pairs aren’t as heavily traded as the “majors” or “crosses,” so the transaction costs associated with trading these pairs are usually bigger. Usually spreads will be considerably higher than that of  the majors EUR/USD or USD/JPY and liquidity could also be restricted depending on when and where you are trading.