This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.
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.
More specifically, the spot market is where currencies are bought and sold according to the current price. That price, determined by supply and demand, is a reflection of many things, including current interest rates, economic performance, sentiment towards ongoing political situations (both locally and internationally), as well as the perception of the future performance of one currency against another. When a deal is finalized, this is known as a "spot deal." It is a bilateral transaction by which one party delivers an agreed-upon currency amount to the counter party and receives a specified amount of another currency at the agreed-upon exchange rate value. After a position is closed, the settlement is in cash. Although the spot market is commonly known as one that deals with transactions in the present (rather than the future), these trades actually take two days for settlement.