Forex trading is the act of buying or selling currencies. Banks, central banks, corporations, institutional investors, and individual traders exchange foreign currency for a variety of reasons, including balancing the markets, facilitating international trade and tourism, or making a profit. There are three different types of forex market:
Spot forex market: the physical exchange of a currency pair, which takes place at the exact point the trade is settled – ie ‘on the spot’ – or within a short period of time
Forward forex market: a contract is agreed to buy or sell a set amount of a currency at a specified price, to be settled at a set date in the future or within a range of future dates
Future forex market: a contract is agreed to buy or sell a set amount of a given currency at a set price and date in the future. Unlike forwards, a futures contract is a legally binding gold quote. Most traders speculating on forex prices will not plan to take delivery of the currency itself; instead, they make exchange rate predictions to take advantage of price movements in the market.