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Forex trading is the simultaneous buying and selling of the world’s currencies on a decentralised global market. It’s also referred to as the foreign exchange or FX market. As one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, its total average turnover per day is reported to exceed $5 trillion. The forex market is not based in a central location or exchange so is open to trade 24 hours a day, from Sunday night through to Friday night.
Forex is always traded in currency pairs, for example EUR/USD. The first currency (EUR) is called the ‘base currency’. The second currency (USD) is known as the ‘counter currency’. The way currencies are displayed shows us how many units of the counter currency you can buy with one unit of the base currency. This is the exchange rate, or in other words, how many US dollars you can buy for one euro.
You can spread bet or trade CFDs on over 330 currency pairs via our platform. Currency pairs can generally be divided into three groups: major, minor and emerging.
Most of these pairs contain the US dollar as either the base or counter currency. They are the most frequently traded. Major currencies pairs include EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CAD.
Currency pairs which do not contain the US dollar are known as minor currency pairs. Examples include EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF, GBP/JPY and CHF/JPY.
Also known as exotic pairs, these are made up of a major currency paired with an emerging or small but strong economy. Emerging currency pairs include USD/NOK, USD/HKD and EUR/CZK.
What is an Index?
An index is an indicator or measure of something, and in finance, it typically refers to a statistical measure of change in a securities market. In the case of financial markets, stock and bond market indices consist of a hypothetical portfolio of securities representing a particular market or a segment of it. The S&P 500 and the US Aggregate Bond Index are common benchmarks for the American stock and bond markets, respectively. In reference to mortgages, it refers to a benchmark interest rate created by a third party.
Trade on key indices 24 hours-a-day
Some of our indices, including Germany 30, UK 100, US 30 and Euro 50, are available to trade out of hours, when the underlying market is closed.
Extended hours trading offers you:
Greater flexibility – open and close positions over a much larger time period, giving you more choice and opportunity.
Reduced slippage – as stop-loss orders and liquidations can be executed during the out-of-hours session, this could potentially result in receiving a more favourable price than you would if the market gaps on the open of the underlying market.
Trade CFDs on over 90 cash and forward indices instruments worldwide.
A cryptocurrency is a type of digital money created from code. They function autonomously, outside of traditional banking and government systems.
Cryptocurrencies use cryptography to secure transactions and regulate the creation of additional units. Bitcoin, the original and by far most well-known cryptocurrency, was launched in January 2009. Today there are over 1,000 cryptocurrencies available online.
Cryptocurrencies differ significantly from traditional fiat currencies. Nonetheless, you can still buy and sell them like any other asset. You can now also trade on the price movements of various cryptocurrencies
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Commodities spread betting and CFD trading are two of the most popular ways to speculate on the financial markets. The origins of commodities trading can be traced back to Asia hundreds of years ago. Commodities are mostly traded in two forms – cash and forward – with the settlement (or delivery) dates being the main difference between the two. Cash settled commodities have a settlement date that is usually in the near future, while forward commodities usually settle further in the future and therefore, tend to have wider spreads.
The most popularly traded commodity sectors are energies like oils and natural gas, metals including gold, silver and copper and soft commodities such as cocoa, coffee and sugar and wheat.
Commodities Buyers and Producers
The sale and purchase of commodities are usually carried out through futures contracts on exchanges that standardize the quantity and minimum quality of the commodity being traded. For example, the Chicago Board of Trade stipulates that one wheat contract is for 5,000 bushels and also states what grades of wheat can be used to satisfy the contract.
There are two types of traders that trade commodity futures. The first are buyers and producers of commodities that use commodity futures contracts for the hedging purposes for which they were originally intended. Theses traders actually make or take delivery of the actual commodity when the futures contract expires. For example, the wheat farmer that plants a crop can hedge against the risk of losing money if the price of wheat falls before the crop is harvested. The farmer can sell wheat futures contracts when the crop is planted and guarantee a predetermined price for the wheat at the time it is harvested.
Commodities are popularly traded instruments in spread betting and CFD trading. We offer spread bets and CFDs on a wide range of cash and forward commodities instruments, including Brent and WTI Crude Oil, Gold and Silver
When it comes to conservative investments, nothing says safety of principal like Treasury securities. These instruments have stood for decades as a bastion of safety in the turbulence of the investment markets — the last line of defense against any possible loss of principal.
The guarantees that stand behind these securities are indeed regarded as one of the key cornerstones of both the domestic and international economy, and they are attractive to both individual and institutional investors for many reasons.
Basic Characteristics of Treasury Securities
Treasury securities are divided into three categories according to their lengths of maturities. These three types of bonds share many common characteristics, but also have some key differences. The categories and key features of treasury securities include:
T-Bills – These have the shortest range of maturities of all government bonds. Among bills auctioned on a regular schedule, there are five terms: 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 13 weeks, 26 weeks, and 52 weeks.
T-Notes – These notes represent the middle range of maturities in the treasury family, with maturity terms of 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10 years currently available. The Treasury auctions 2-year notes, 3-year notes, 5-year notes, and 7-year notes every month. The agency auctions 10-year notes at original issue in February, May, August, and November, and as reopenings in the other eight months.Treasury notes are issued at a $1,000 par value and mature at the same price. They pay interest semiannually.
T-Bonds – Commonly referred to in the investment community as the “long bond”, T-Bonds are essentially identical to T-Notes except that they mature in 30 years. T-Bonds are also issued at and mature at a $1,000 par value and pay interest semiannually.
Take a view on government debt obligations such as gilts, bunds, bonds and treasury notes.