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Just like stocks, you can trade currencies based on what you think about its value (or where it goes). But the big difference with forex is that you can trade up or down just as easily. If you think that the currency will grow in value, you can buy it. If you think it will decrease, you can sell it. With such a large market, finding a buyer when you sell and a seller when you buy is much easier than in other markets. You may have heard in the news that China devalues its currency in order to attract more foreign business to its country. If you think that this trend will continue, you can make a deal in the Forex market by selling Chinese currency for another currency, say, the US dollar. The more the Chinese currency depreciates against the US dollar, the higher your profit. If the Chinese currency rises in price when you have a sell position, your losses grow and you want to exit the trade.
Since the market is made by each of the participating banks providing offers and bids for a particular currency, the market pricing mechanism is based on supply and demand. Because there are such large trade flows within the system, it is difficult for rogue traders to influence the price of a currency. This system helps create transparency in the market for investors with access to interbank dealing.