Forex definition

Forex is the abbreviation for foreign exchange – the market in which one currency is converted into another. The forex market can also be referred to as the FX market or currency market. It is the world’s biggest financial market and one of the most liquid, with trillions of dollars in currencies traded every single day.

The vast majority of activity on the forex market is from traders who are attempting to make a profit by speculating on the market price – known as forex trading. Other market activity includes central banks and businesses, who trade forex in order to maintain money supply or facilitate international trade.

Forex is traded directly between the buyer and the seller in what is referred to as an over-the-counter (OTC) market. This means that forex is traded 24 hours a day, with few barriers to making trades.

Learn more about forex

Find out more about forex trading, including what the spread is and how leverage in forex works.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms

Contact us

24 hours a day from 10am Saturday to Friday night at midnight.

010 344 0053

You can also email helpdesk.za@ig.com

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.
You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.