You are currently viewing How To Read Currency Pairs?

How To Read Currency Pairs?

The world of foreign exchange (forex) trading can be a daunting place, filled with unfamiliar jargon and complex concepts. One of the fundamental aspects of forex trading is understanding currency pairs.

Forex trading is a process in which two currencies are traded against each other, with one currency being purchased while the other is sold. In a forex pair, the initial currency is referred to as the base currency, while the second currency is commonly known as the quote currency. This trading method involves evaluating the worth of one currency in relation to another, specifically measuring the base currency against the quote currency. The exchange rate reveals the quantity of quote currency required to acquire one unit of the base currency.

What Are Currency Pairs?

To start, let’s define what a currency pair is. In forex trading, a currency pair represents the relative value of one currency when compared to another. Currency pairs are typically divided into two categories: major pairs and minor pairs. Major pairs include the most traded currencies globally, such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY, while minor pairs consist of currencies from smaller economies, like AUD/NZD or USD/SGD.

The Structure of a Currency Pair

Every currency pair consists of two currencies, with one being the base currency and the other the quote currency. For example, in the EUR/USD pair, EUR is the base currency, and USD is the quote currency. The base currency’s value is always set at 1, and the quote currency’s value represents how much of it is needed to purchase one unit of the base currency.

Understanding Exchange Rates

Exchange rates are essential in forex trading, as they dictate the value of one currency in terms of another. When you see an exchange rate, it tells you how much of the quote currency is needed to purchase one unit of the base currency. For instance, if the EUR/USD pair has an exchange rate of 1.1500, it means 1 euro is equal to 1.15 US dollars.

Reading Currency Pair Quotes

Currency pair quotes typically consist of two prices: the bid price and the ask price. The bid price is the maximum price a buyer is willing to pay for the base currency, while the ask price is the minimum price a seller is willing to accept. The difference between the two is called the spread, and it represents the cost of the trade.

Pips and Pipettes

In forex trading, price movements are often measured in pips (percentage in point). A pip is typically the smallest price move that a given exchange rate can make. For some currency pairs, smaller price increments are referred to as pipettes, which are a fraction of a pip. Understanding pips is crucial for assessing potential profits and losses in trades.

Currency Pair Notation

Currency pair notation is standardized and consists of three letters for each currency, with the base currency listed first. For instance, the EUR/USD pair consists of the Euro (EUR) and the US Dollar (USD). Understanding this notation is crucial for quickly identifying the currencies involved in a pair.

Common Currency Pairs

Some currency pairs are more popular and widely traded than others. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the major pairs and their characteristics. Common major pairs include:

EUR/USD (Euro/US Dollar)
GBP/USD (British Pound/US Dollar)
USD/JPY (US Dollar/Japanese Yen)
AUD/USD (Australian Dollar/US Dollar)


I am currently interested in forex trading and actively seeking to expand my knowledge in this field.

Leave a Reply