Learn all the vital trading terms
We take you through some of the main terms used in trading and explain what they mean.
A – D
Account Statement – A statement which shows client’s debit and credit activity in an account over a user-specified time period.
Account Value – The current value of a customer’s account, given the amount of money deposited and any changes resulting from profit and loss from existing and closed-out positions. The value also includes credits and debits from daily rollovers, commission, transfer fees or bank-related charges, if applicable.
Aggregate Demand – Total demand for goods and services in the economy.
Aggregate Risk – Amount of exposure of a single customer to a market-related movement.
Aggregate Supply – Total supply of goods and services in the economy from domestic sources (including imports) accessible to meet collective demand.
Appreciation – Describes a security increasing or strengthening in response to a reaction in the market.
Arbitrage – The simultaneous purchase and sale in different markets of the same or equivalent financial instruments to gain from price or currency differences.
Asset Allocation – Distributing funds between different investment alternatives in order to try to achieve diversification or maximum profit.
Ask – The price at which the security or instrument is offered for sale by Access Direct or another counter-party.
Authorised Dealer – A third party to which the client permits trading authority or control over their account. Access Direct does not, validate or approve of the operating methods of the authorised agent. Access Direct shall not be responsible with respect to decisions made by the third party.
Balance of Payments – A record of transactions during a given period for entities in a particular country. They can either be in balance of payment excess or balance of payment deficit. Continued balance of payment deficits could lead to restrictions in capital transfers and/or weakening currency values.
Balance of Trade or Trade Balance – The difference in value between a countries imports and exports. When a country imports more than it exports, it has a balance of trade deficit. When a country exports more than it imports, it has a balance of trade surplus.
Bank Line – Maximum credit granted by a bank to a customer.
Banking Day – Days that commercial banks are open for general business in the financial centre of the country of the currency where a position is taken.
BOJ (Bank of Japan) – The Central Bank of Japan.
Base Currency – The first currency in a currency pair. In the currency pair USD/BGP, the base currency is the USD.
Base Rate – A term used predominantly in the UK, and is the interest rate set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks, and is used as a benchmark.
Basis Point – A unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to one per cent of one per cent, 1/100th of 1%.
Bear Market -period in a market where prices are dropping, encouraging selling.
Bear Squeeze – A sudden change in market conditions that forces traders, trying to profit from price declines, to buy back underlying assets at a higher price than they sold it for.
Bear – An investor who is pessimistic, and believes that price of an investment product is going to decline.
Bid – The price at which a party offers to buy something from a customer.
Big Figure – Refers to the first three digits of a Foreign Exchange price quote.
Break or Break Out – Term used to describe a unexpected or quick drop in instrument pricing away from a consolidated range.
Broker – An individual or firm who is an intermediate between an investor and exchange, that enables traders to buy and sell currencies and related instruments for commission or on a spread.
Brokerage – Commission charged by a broker.
Bull Market – A lengthy period of rising prices for a particular investment product.
Bull – A speculator who believes that prices of particular investment products are going to rise.
Bundesbank – The Central Bank of Germany.
Business Day – A day in which normal business operations are conducted.
Buy Limit – An order to buy an asset at or below a set price, enabling investors to control how much they pay. This guarantees an investor that he or she will pay that price or less. However, there is no guarantee that the order will be filled.
Buy Stop – An order to buy an asset at a price above the current market price, and is not activated until the market price is at, or above the stop price.
Cable – Slang for the exchange market for the USD/GBP rate.
Carry – The return obtained from holding an asset, or the cost of holding it.
Cash Delivery – Settlement taking place one the same day.
Cash – Normally refers to an exchange transaction contracted for settlement on the day that the deal is struck.
Cash on Deposit – Cash on deposit equals the amount of funds deposited in the account, plus or minus the realised closed position P/L and other debits or credits, such as rollovers and commission (if any).
Central Bank – The bank responsible for controlling the country’s and region’s monetary policy.
Central Bank Intervention – The act by which a Central Bank, or Central Banks buy or sell currency in an attempt to influence market conditions and exchange rate movements.
CFTC – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, The federal regulatory agency for futures traded on commodity markets, including financial futures.
Chartist – An individual who analyses graphs and charts of historical data and try to find trends that will help predict the direction and magnitude of a particular asset.
Client or Customer – A person holding an Access Direct Markets account. This can be an individual, money manager, corporate entity, trust account, co-owner or any legal entity that has an interest in the value of the account.
Closed Position – A position that is bought or sold back to the market,
CME – Chicago Mercantile Exchange
Commission – The fee charged by brokers to their clients for dealing on their behalf.
Confirmation – A notice that describes all the significant details of a transaction.
Consumer Price Index – Measure of the changes, over time, in the prices of a defined basket of retail goods, including food, clothing and transport.
Contract – An over-the-counter (OTC) agreement with Access Direct to buy or sell a specified amount of a particular asset in return for a specified amount of another asset for settlement on a specified value date (normally the spot date).
Conversion Rate – The value of one currency versus another currency.
Co-owner – A person who has a co-interest in an Access Direct Account.
Correspondent Bank – An institution that performs services for a bank that has no branch in the relevant centre, e.g. to facilitate the transfer of funds.
Counter-currency – The last currency in a currency pair.
Counter-party – The other entity or party with whom the exchange deal is being transacted.
Country Risk – The risk attached to a deal by virtue of its connection with a particular country. This involves economic, political and geographical factors of a particular country.
Cover – The act of executing a transaction that closes out a position.
Credit Risk – The risk that a borrower will not repay, in other words the risk that the counter-party does not have the asset that it promised to provide.
Cross-currency Contract – A spot contract for a currency pair that does not involve the U.S. dollar.
Currency – A system of money that a particular country uses.
Currency Pair – The two currencies in a Foreign Exchange transaction. The GBP/USD is an example of a currency pair.
Customer Account Application – AN application all clients and customers must fill in and submit for approval by Access Direct before a transaction may take place
Daily Cut-off (or Close of Working Day) – The point in time that indicates the end of that working day. The trade date of any contract entered into after that time should be considered to be executed on the next working day.
Day Order – An order that that is automatically cancelled if not executed on a specified day.
Day Trader – A speculator who takes positions in investment products, and then sells it on the same day as the position was taken.
Deal Blotter – A record of all the deals that were executed over a specified time period, usually the trading day.
Deal Date – The date a transaction is agreed.
Deal Ticket – The main method of recording the fundamental information relating to a deal.
Dealer – A person or firm who purchase and/or sell for their own account and at their own risk.
Dealing Desk – The dealers that facilitates the pricing and execution of customers’ orders.
Default – A breach of contract or agreement.
Depreciation – A decrease in the value of a currency due to market forces.
Depth of Market – A measure of the market’s ability to withstand relatively large market orders without much impacting the values of the security.
Details – All the information necessary to finalise a Foreign Exchange transaction, i.e. name, rate and dates.
Devaluation – The deliberate downward adjustment of a currency versus its fixed parities or bands.
Discretionary Income – Net of tax and fixed personal spending commitments.
DM, Dmark – Deutschmark.
Domestic Rates – The interest rates valid to deposits in the country of origin.
Down Tick – The selling of a security at a price lower than the preceding one.
E – H
Easing – A decrease in interest rates instigated by the Central Bank.
ECU – European Currency Unit.
Either-way Market – situations where the chance for both bid and offer rates for a particular period appears to be equal.
Euro – The currency of the European Union.
Euro Rates – The interest rates cited for Euro-currencies over specific periods.
Euro-currency – A currency held on deposit outside its country of origin.
Eurodollars – US Dollars held in a bank located outside the USA.
Event Notifications Window – A window summarizing the transactions that have been carried out in a client’s account over the course of a working day.
Excess Margin Deposits – Collateral held in a margin account and is not used for margin against an existing open position.
Exchange – A physical location where instruments are traded and regulated.
Exchange Control – A system of controlling the movement of currency between countries.
Exotic currency- A less commonly traded currency.
Fast Market – The quick movement of rates in a market caused by imbalance in supply and demand conditions from buyers and/or sellers. When this happens, rates or prices may not be available to clients until orderly markets return.
Fed Fund Rate – The interest rate charged by banks to other banks for lending them excess cash from their reserve balances on an overnight basis.
Fed Funds – Excess cash held by banks with their local Federal Reserve Bank.
Fed – The United States Federal Reserve Bank.
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) – The body that is in charge of the policy making for the Federal Reserve System, they determine the direction of the monetary policy.
Federal Reserve Board – The Board of the Federal Reserve System, appointed by the US President for 14 yearly terms, one of whom is appointed Chairman for four years.
Federal Reserve System – The central banking system of the US.
Fill or Filled – A deal that has been executed on behalf of a client’s account, given a client’s order.
Firm Quotation – a request to buy or sell a security or currency for a price at which the market maker is willing to trade a specific quantity.
Fiscal Policy – Use of taxation as a tool in the implementation of monetary policy.
Fixed Dates – Monthly calendar dates similar to the spot.
Fixed Exchange Rate – A rate set by the monetary authorities. A fixed exchange rate often permits fluctuation within a group.
Fixing – A method of setting the price of a product rather than allowing it to be set by market forces. In FX, this refers to establishing the official exchange rate of a domestic currency against another one.
Floating Exchange Rate – An exchange rate where the value is determined by market forces.
Foreign Exchange – An institution for dealing in currencies of other currencies.
Forex – Forex’ is an acronym for Foreign Exchange.
Forward Deal – A deal with a value date after the spot value date.
Forward/Forward – A forward/forward deal is one where both legs of the deal have value dates after the current spot value date.
Forward Rate – Forward rate is the settlement price of a deal that will not take place until a predetermined date.
Fundamentals – The macro-economic factors that are accepted as forming the foundation for the relative value of a product.
FX – FX’ is a popular acronym for Foreign Exchange.
G7– USA, Germany, Japan, France, UK, Canada and Italy. The seven leading industrial countries.
G10 – G7, plus Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Going Long – The action of buying a financial product.
Going Short – The act of selling a financial product.
Good Til Cancelled (GTC order) – A specific instruction to a broker to buy or sell a product that lasts until the order is completed or cancelled.
Hedging – risk management strategy where you’re taking an investment position intended to offset potential losses or gains that may be incurred by a companion investment.
I – L
Indicative quote – A reasonable estimate of a product’s markets price that is specified by a market maker or investor upon request.
Inter-bank Market – The inter-bank market is the over-the-counter market of dealers who market Foreign Exchange to one another.
Intervention – Buy or sell action by a Central Bank in an attempt to affect the value of its currency. Concerted intervention refers to action by a number of Central Banks to influence the value of exchange rates.
Intra-day position – Open positions run within the day, buying and selling within the same day.
Introducing Broker – Acts as a middleman by a matching an entity seeking access to markets with a counterparty willing to take the other side of the transaction.
Yes, you can utilize different styles and strategies when your trade. With our competitive pricing, tight spreads and ultra-fast execution – these conditions are ideal for scalping and hedging.
Kiwi – Slang for New Zealand Dollar.
Left-hand Side – Taking the left-hand side of a two-way quote, i.e. selling the quoted currency.
Leverage – Allows a trader to open a position with a broker using a small amount of capital in order to take a much larger position in the market.
Limit Order – A direction to perform a trade at a level more favourable than the current market price. This is done by specifying the minimum price at which you will sell, or the maximum at which you will buy.
Limit Price – The price that the client specifies when entering a limit order.
Liquid – The market condition where there is sufficient volume to buy or sell.
Liquidation – Any transaction that offsets or closes out a previously established position due to e.g. a trader’s portfolio have fallen below the margin requirement.
Liquidation Level – The account value level that initiates the liquidation, closing, of all the client’s open positions at the best price or exchange rate available at present.
Liquidity – The amount of volume available to buy or sell at a given point in time.
Long – A position opened on a security with the goal of earning profits because of its increase in value.
Loss in Excess of Their Margin Deposit – A situation where there is a chance a client twill lose more than the margin that they initially undertook to open and maintain a position.
M – P
Maintenance Margin – The minimum amount of equity that investors must keep to maintain an open position.
Margin Call – A demand for additional funds to be deposited in a margin account when the value of an investor’s margin account falls below the broker’s required amount.
Margin – The collateral that an holder of a financial instrument has to deposit with a counterparty to cover some or all of the credit risk the holder positions for the counterparty.
Margin Lending – Margin lending is a type of loan that allows you to borrow money to invest, by using your existing shares, managed funds and/or cash as security. It is a type of gearing, which is borrowing money to invest.
Margin (Mathematically) – Open Position Amount/Maximum Trading Leverage Ratio.
Mark to Market – The day-to-day adjustment of an account to reflect unrealised profits and losses.
Market Maker – A person or firm authorised to create and maintain a market in an instrument.
Maximum Trading Leverage Ratio – Leverage expressed as a ratio, available to open new positions. For example, a leverage ratio of 50:1 allows a client the ability to control a GBP 100,000 lot position with GBP 2,000 of margin (GBP 100,000/50 = USD 2,000).
Maximum Trading Power – Account Value * Maximum Trading Leverage Ratio.
Moving Average – A way of smoothing a price/rate data by creating a constantly updated average price.
Net Interest Rate Differential – The difference in any interest earned an paid while holding a currency pair position after charges have been applied.
Netting – The method of reducing credit, settlement and other risks of financial contracts by combining two or more obligations to achieve a reduced net obligation.
OCO Order (One Cancels the Other Order) – a stop and limit order set simultaneously, if one order executes the other orders are automatically cancelled.
Offer – The price at which a dealer is willing to sell.
Offered Market – A situation where offers exceed bids.
Old Lady – Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a term for the Bank of England, the UK’s Central Bank.
Omnibus Account – the combination of aggregate and large accounts of different investors arranged by financial intermediaries like brokers and banks.
Open Position – An established/ open trade and which have not yet closed.
Open Position Window – A window that displays all the current client positions that are open.
Order(s) – Clients’ instructions given electronically via a trading platform or verbally to enter into a specific Foreign Exchange contract with a broker to buy or sell a specified instrument immediately, or at a time when the price meets the client’s specific requirements.
OTC Margined Foreign Exchange – Over-the-counter (off-exchange) Foreign Exchange markets in which market participants, enter into privately negotiated contracts or other transactions directly with each other for which a margin is deposited and pledged against outstanding positions.
Overnight – A deal from one day until the next working day.
Pip – The smallest measure of movement for a Foreign Exchange rate.
Pending Orders Report – A report showing all the pending orders that the client has entered over user-specified dates, whether the pending order is executed or not.
Pending Orders Window – A window that displays all outstanding orders still pending or outstanding.
Position – The act of buying and holding a specified product.
Principal – A broker who buys or sells stock for their own account.
Profit Taking – The unwinding of a position to make a profit.
Q – T
Quote – Is the bid and ask price for a product
Range – Refers to the difference between the lowest and highest price of a product recorded during a given trading session.
Rate – The price of a currency in terms of another one.
Realised P/L(Profit and Loss) – The profit and loss produced from closed positions.
Regulated Market – A market that is regulated, usually by a governmental agency issuing guidelines and restrictions designed to protect investors.
Resistance Point or Level – A price recognised by technical analysts as a point at which a trend meets with opposing forces. An upward price path is impeded by an great inclination to sell the asset.
Right-hand Side – Corresponds to the ask or offer price of a Foreign Exchange rate.
Risk Capital – The amount of money that the client is willing to put at risk which, if lost, would not cause the client any undue hardship.
Rollover- The process of keeping a position open beyond expiry.
Rollover Credit – The credit deposited to a client’s account for holding a position in a higher-yielding currency over 5pm EST.
Rollover Debit – The debit deducted from a client’s account for holding a position in a lower-yielding currency over 5pm EST.
Running a Position – The act of keeping open positions in hope of a speculative profit.
Same-day Transaction – A transaction where the settlement date occurs on the day that the transaction takes place.
Sell Limit – Indicates the lowest price at which the sale of security can be executed.
Sell Stop – A sell stop is a stop order that is placed BELOW the current dealing bid price and is not activated until the market bid price is at, or below the stop price. The sell stop order, once triggered, becomes a market order to sell at the current market price.
Settlement Date – The date by which an executed order must be settled by the transfer of instruments or currencies and funds between buyer and seller.
Short – When a trader sells a security first with the intention of repurchasing it later at a lower price.
Short Covering – the practice of purchasing a security to cover an open short position.
Sovereign Risk – (1) Risk of default on a sovereign loan; (2) Risk of appropriation of assets held in a foreign country.
Speculative – Speculative in trading means that there is no guarantee that investing will make any money. Profits are highly speculative.
Spot Price/Rate – The price at which a currency pair is currently trading in the spot market.
Spread -The difference between the bid and ask price.
Square – When the client’s purchases and sales are in balance and there is no open position.
Squawk Box – A speaker connected to a phone, used at brokerage trading desks.
Sterling – British Pound, also known as ‘cable’.
Stop-loss Order – A specific order entered by the client to buy or sell a specific security once it reaches a certain price.
Stop Price Level – A price entered by the client that activates a stop-loss order.
Sweep/Sweeping – To split orders into numerous parts for each price and volume, and take advantage of the order sizes at the best prices currently offered on the market.
SWIFT – The Society for World-wide Inter-bank Telecommunications is the global standard for payment and securities trade transaction. They are also responsible for the standardisation of the currency codes used for confirmation and identification purposes.
Swissy – Slang for the Swiss Franc
Technical Correction – An modification to price that is not based on market sentiment but rather technical factors, such as volume and charting.
Thin Market – When the trading volume and liquidity are low and in which bid and ask quotes are usually more common than normal.
Tick – A minimum change in price, up or down.
Tomorrow Next (Tom Next) – Simultaneous buying of a currency for delivery the following day and selling for the spot day, or vice versa.
Trade Date– The date that a trade occurs on.
Trading Margin Excess/Deficit – Remaining funds in a margin trading account that are available to trade.
Trading Platforms – A software where a client can give an order for a transaction to be executed on their behalf.
Transaction Date – The date on which a trade occurs.
Transaction – The buying or selling of a security resulting from an execution of an order.
Two-way Quote – When a dealer quotes a bid and ask price for a transaction to a client.
U – Z
Uncovered position – An open position.
Unrealised P/L – The profit or loss running in an open position.
Up Tick – A transaction executed at a price higher than the previous transaction.
Value Date – A point in the future at which the value of an account, transaction or asset becomes effective.
Working Day – A day on which commercial banks are open other than Saturday or Sunday.