How to Decipher Forex Market Quotes

If you are a beginner to the world of Forex trading, you need to quickly develop the skill of understanding foreign exchange market information. One very important skill that you need to acquire is the ability to interpret a foreign exchange quotation, something that may appear rather obscure to the average layman. But once you have developed this kind of ability, then you can move forward in trying out the other areas of trading in the Forex market, which is the largest trade market in the world.

A beginning Forex investor should keep in mind two significant pieces of information regarding Forex quotes. The primary thing to know is that a Forex quote always places the base currency in the first currency position. The second thing to know is that the value of the base currency is always one. To help you understand this, let us take a look at a sample Forex quote, a listing for USD/JPY 120.85. This is an abbreviated means of providing the information that the base currency, the US Dollar in this case, is equivalent to 120.85 Japanese Yen.

In the majority of Forex quotes, the US Dollar is listed as the base currency and is the denomination that is placed in the first position. However, this is not always the case. In many banks and markets around the world, other denominations than the US Dollar may be used as the base currency. Common base currency alternatives you may encounter include the Euro, the Australian Pound, and the British Pound. It is not unusual to see these denominations used as base currencies in Forex quotes so always be careful when checking a listing to make sure you have understood it correctly. Otherwise you may end up performing a currency trade based of faulty information, and that could cost you.

You should also realize that the Forex quote does not guarantee that you can get the amount specified if you perform a currency exchange. Most of the time, you will have to settle for getting less than the full equivalent amount to the base currency, as a result of having to go through middlemen like banks and Forex dealers required to perform the currency trade. A Forex quote is best used as a basis for determining if the trend of a particular currency is to be rising or falling, and allow you to discern whether it would be a good investment or not.