Forex: Margin Call

When you deal in the forex market, you deal in currency pairs. You cannot buy an individual currency. Instead you buy units of currency pairs.

Currency Pairs in Detail

If you go to any forex trading site, say you will see currency pairs like GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/JPY and so on. In a currency pair, the first currency is the base currency, and the second currency is the quote currency. Let's try and understand the concept with some more examples.

Currency PairBase CurrencyQuote Currency

On the trading sites, you will see an exchange rate or price listed against each currency pair.

Currency PairExchange Rate

* Prices as of November 2014

The exchange rates indicate the amount of quote currency needed to buy the base currency. So to buy 1 USD, you need 0.6329 GBP or 1.1337 CAD or 0.8086 EUR or 1.1698 AUD.

When you purchase a currency pair, you are buying the base currency and selling the quote currency. So if you are buying 1 unit of USD/GBP you are buying 1 USD by giving 0.6329 GBP. Similarly, if you are buying 1 unit of the USD/CAD pair you are buying 1 USD by giving 1.1337 CAD.

Think of it like any other transaction where you are paying some money to buy a product or a commodity. Here you are paying GBP or CAD or EUR to buy USD.

Currency pairs in Action

Example 1: You have 10 units of USD/GBP at an exchange rate of 0.6329. If tomorrow there's some positive news in the US market and USD becomes stronger in compared to GBP. The price of the USD/GBP pair will increase. That's because now you will need more GBP to buy 1 USD as USD is more in demand due to the positive news. Suppose the exchange rate increases to 0.6454, you can sell off your 10 units at a profit.

Example 2: You have 15 units of USD/CAD at an exchange rate of 1.1337 each. If Canada reports positive economic growth and the demand for CAD goes up, your USD is now less valuable against the CAD. If the price of this pair comes down to 1.1245 each, you will be at a loss.

If you are an active forex trader, use our Forex margin calculator to calculate the used margin for forex trades.

Forex: Supporting guides and articles

Use our Multi-Currency Forex Margin Calculator which is updated daily to calculate the best forex rate and manipulate forex margin ratio metrics for bespoke Forex Investment results. A popular and powerful free Forex tool.

  • Forex Exchange Rate: Exchange rate is the price of one currency in another currency. Exchange rate is also known as the rate of exchange
  • Forex Currency Pair: When you deal in the forex market, you deal in currency pairs. You cannot buy an individual currency. Instead you buy units of currency pairs.
  • Forex Leverage: Forex leverage refers to investing in the forex market on a credit basis or by using debt.
  • Forex Market: Forex or the foreign exchange market is used by people for buying and selling of currencies. The forex market is also known as the currency market.
  • Forex Trading: Forex trading refers to the buying and selling of currencies to take advantage of the price movements and volatility of the forex market.
  • Forex Margin Call: Margin call is a call from your forex broker when your account balance goes below the maintenance margin.
  • Forex Margin Ratio: Forex Trading: Margin ratio is used for expressing the forex leverage in a ratio format.
  • Forex Margin Used: Margin used indicates the amount you have actually used in a Forex trade, excluding any leverage.
  • Forex Maintenance Margin: Maintenance margin refers to the minimum amount you need to maintain in your forex trading account.
  • Forex: Price Interest Points (PIPs): PIPs or Price Interest Points are commonly used by forex traders to indicate profits or losses.