Which currencies can I trade?

You should know these currency Baskets (Majors, Minors and Crosses) .

Forex is the most widely traded market in the world, with more than $5.3 trillion* being bought and sold every single day. Traders will speculate on the future direction of currencies by taking either a long or short position, depending on whether you think the currency’s value will go up or down.

Typically referred to as “The Majors”, these seven currency pairs make up almost 80% of total daily trading volume*. As you’ll see in the table below, the major currency pairs all include the U.S. Dollar (USD).

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Major Currency Pairs

Major currency pairs are to the Forex market what Apple and Amazon are to the stock market.

They are by far the most popular and therefore the most liquid.

Currency Pair Countries Currency Name
EUR/USD Eurozone / United States Euro / US dollar
USD/JPY United States / Japan US dollar / Japanese yen
GBP/USD United Kingdom / United States British pound (sterling) / US dollar
USD/CHF United States / Switzerland US dollar / Swiss franc
USD/CAD United States / Canada US dollar / Canadian dollar
AUD/USD Australia / United States Australia dollar / US dollar
NZD/USD New Zealand / United States New Zealand dollar / US dollar

It’s important to remember that there are dozens of pairs at your disposal.

While it is true that these are the most traded and are therefore the most liquid, popularity doesn’t pay the bills, favorable setups do. And unless your trading account is the size of Warren Buffett’s bank account, you don’t need the majors.

What in the heck am I talking about, you ask?

I’m referring to the well-known fact that everyone wants to trade the major currency pairs regardless of what the price action looks like at any given time.

For example, if the EURUSD has been choppy for weeks and isn’t producing anything favorable, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

But instead what I see quite often are folks trying to force trades on the EURUSD, GBPUSD, etc. simply because it’s what everyone else is doing.

This is one reason why I’m not an advocate of mastering one or two currency pairs at a time. In fact, making this mistake can quickly lead to forcing trades and overtrading.

I’ll expand on this idea shortly.

Minor currency pairs

When a currency pair doesn’t include the US dollar, it’s called a minor currency pair or a cross-currency pair.

Here are a few minor currency pairs:

  • EUR/GBP — Euro/British pound
  • EUR/AUD — Euro/Australian dollar
  • GBP/JPY — British pound/Japanese yen
  • CHF/JPY — Swiss franc/Japanese yen
  • NZD/JPY — New Zealand dollar/Japanese yen
  • GBP/CAD — British pound/Canadian dollar

The most widely traded minor pairs consist of the euro, yen or British pound.

Euro Crosses

Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
EUR/GBPEurozone / United KingdomEuro / British pound (sterling)
EUR/AUDEurozone / AustraliaEuro / Australian dollar
EUR/NZDEurozone / New ZealandEuro / New Zealand dollar
EUR/CADEurozone / CanadaEuro / Canadian dollar
EUR/CHFEurozone / SwitzerlandEuro / Swiss franc

Japanese Yen Crosses

Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
EUR/JPYEurozone / JapanEuro / Japanese yen
GBP/JPYUnited Kingdom / JapanBritish pound (sterling) / Japanese yen
AUD/JPYAustralia / JapanAustralian dollar / Japanese yen
NZD/JPYNew Zealand / JapanNew Zealand dollar / Japanese yen
CAD/JPYCanada / JapanCanadian dollar / Japanese yen
CHF/JPYSwitzerland / JapanSwiss franc / Japanese yen

British Pound Crosses

Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
GBP/AUDUnited Kingdom / AustraliaBritish pound (sterling) / Australian dollar
GBP/NZDUnited Kingdom / New ZealandBritish pound (sterling) / New Zealand dollar
GBP/CADUnited Kingdom / CanadaBritish pound (sterling) / Canadian dollar
GBP/CHFUnited Kingdom / SwitzerlandBritish pound (sterling) / Swiss franc

Other Crosses

Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
AUD/NZDAustralia / New ZealandAustralian dollar / New Zealand dollar
AUD/CADAustralia / CanadaAustralian dollar / Canadian dollar
AUD/CHFAustralia / SwitzerlandAustralian dollar / Swiss franc
NZD/CADNew Zealand / CanadaNew Zealand dollar / Canadian dollar
NZD/CHFNew Zealand / SwitzerlandNew Zealand dollar / Swiss franc
CAD/CHFCanada / SwitzerlandCanadian dollar / Swiss franc

The Exotics

The exotic currency pairs are the least traded in the Forex market and are therefore less liquid than even the crosses we just discussed.

AbbreviationCountryAbbreviationCountry
AEDUAE DirhamARSArgentinean Peso
AFNAfghanistan AfghaniGELGeorgian Lari
MYRMalaysian RinggitAMDArmenian Dram
GYDGuyanese DollarMZNMozambique new Metical
AWGAruban FlorinIDRIndonesian Rupiah
OMROmani RialAZNAzerbaijan New Manat
IQDIraqi DinarQARQatari Rial
BHDBahraini DinarIRRIranian Rial
SLLSierra Leone LeoneBWPBotswana Pula
JODJordanian DinarTJSTajikistani Somoni
BYRBelarusian RubleKGSKyrgyzstanian Som
TMTTurkmenistan new ManatCDFCongolese Franc
LBPLebanese PoundTZSTanzanian Schilling
DZDAlgerian DinarLRDLiberian Dollar
UZSUzbekistan SomEGPEgyptian Pound
MADMoroccan DirhamWSTSamoan Tala
EEKEstonian KroonMNTMongolian Tugrik
MWKMalawi KwachaETBEthiopian Birr
THBThai BahtTRYNew Turkish Lira
ZARSouth African RandZWDZimbabwe Dollar
BRLBrazilian RealCLPChilean Peso
CNYChinese Yuan RenminbiCZKCzech Koruna
HKDHong Kong DollarHUFHungarian Forint
ILSIsraeli ShekelINRIndian Rupee
ISKIcelandic KronaKRWSouth Korean Won
KWDKuwaiti DinarMXNMexican Peso
PHPPhilippine PesoPKRPakistani Rupee
PLNPolish ZlotyRUBRussian Ruble
SARSaudi Arabian RiyalSGDSingaporean Dollar
TWDTaiwanese Dollar  

General FAQ

What is a currency pair in Forex?

A currency pair is a pairing of currencies where the value of one is relative to the other. For instance, EURUSD is the value of the euro relative to the U.S. dollar.

How many currency pairs exist?

There are hundreds of currency pairs in existence. The exact number is difficult to come by as some exotic pairs come and go each year.

What are the major currency pairs?

Major currency pairs (or just majors) are those that include the U.S. dollar. EURUSD, USDJPY, GBPUSD, USDCHF, USDCAD, AUDUSD, and NZDUSD are all majors.

What are the currency crosses?

Currency crosses (or cross currencies) are the more liquid currencies that do not include the U.S. dollar in their pairing. Note that these are NOT exotics like the Iraqi Dinar (IQD). Crosses include EURGBP, EURCAD, GBPJPY, CADJPY, GBPAUD, etc.