Currency Day Trading for Beginners

Currency day trading is the process of buying and selling currencies within a single day. Day traders aim to profit from short-term price fluctuations, often leveraging technical analysis, market trends, and volatility to make rapid trading decisions. It is a high-risk, high-reward activity that can be profitable for experienced traders.

Day trading currencies might seem profitable, but it’s tough to be consistently successful. New traders often face big losses and struggle to stay profitable. Find out more:The pros and cons of day trading.

How Trading Currencies Work

Currency trading is the process of buying and selling currencies in order to profit from changes in their exchange rates. Currencies are traded in pairs in the foreign exchange (forex) market, so that in every trade one currency is exchanged for another at a given rate, determined by the market. These pairs look something like EUR/USD = 1.08. This means that one Euro buys USD $1.08.

Forex day trading is a short-term trading strategy that involves ‘opening and closing positions’ within minutes or hours within the same day. This is in contrast to other types of currency trading, such as swing trading and position trading, which can involve holding positions for days, weeks, or even months.

In simple terms, ‘opening a position’ means that you have bought or sold an asset, such as a currency. ‘Closing a position’ means that you have sold the asset that you bought, or bought back the asset that you sold. For example, if you believe that the price of EUR/USD is going to go up, you could open a long position by buying EUR/USD. If the price of EUR/USD does go up, you could close your position by selling EUR/USD.

Opening and closing positions are the basic building blocks of trading. If you want to make money from currency day trading, you will open and close positions within the same day.

Currency day trading requires a high level of skill and knowledge. You need to be able to identify short-term trends, volatility, and opportunities, and you need to be able to manage your risk effectively. Other types of currency trading may be less volatile and require less skill, but they may also offer lower potential returns.

Day Trade Currency Pairs

A currency pair is the price of one currency in terms of another. When you day trade currencies, you are essentially predicting the future value of one currency compared to another. For example, the EUR/USD currency pair is the price of one euro in terms of US dollars. If the EUR/USD is trading at 1.10, this means that 1 euro is worth 1.10 US dollars.

In the example above, the EUR/USD is trading at 1.10. This means that 1 euro is worth 1.10 US dollars. If you buy 100 euros at this price, you will spend 110 US dollars. If the EUR/USD then rises to 1.20, you can sell your 100 euros for 120 US dollars. This will give you a profit of 10 US dollars, or 9.09%. Of course, there is no guarantee that the EUR/USD will rise to 1.20. It could just as easily fall to 1.00, in which case you would lose money. This is why day trading currencies is a risky activity.

Some currency pairs are more liquid than others, and some are more volatile than others. There are three main types of currency pairs, mostly convertible currencies: majors, minors, and exotics.

  • Majors: These are the most liquid currency pairs and are traded in the highest volumes. They are made up of the currencies of the G10 countries, which are the world’s ten largest economies. Some examples of majors are EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and USD/CAD.
  • Minors: These are less liquid than majors, but they are still traded in significant volumes. They are made up of the currencies of the G10 countries, but they do not include the US dollar. Some examples of minors are AUD/NZD, EUR/CHF, and EUR/JPY.
  • Exotics: These are the least liquid currency pairs. They are made up of the currencies of developed countries and emerging markets. Some examples of exotics are USD/HKD, USD/DKK, and USD/ZAR.

In addition to these three main types of currency pairs, there are also commodity currencies. These are currencies that are closely correlated with the prices of commodities. For example, the Saudi Arabian riyal is increasingly correlated with the price of oil. Other commodity currencies are the Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, and Brazilian real.

Is Day-Trading Currencies Profitable?

Can you make a living day trading forex? It is possible to make a living day trading currencies, but it is very difficult. According to a study by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), only about 10% of day traders make a profit. This means that the vast majority of day traders lose money. In 2020, 72% of day traders experienced financial losses, according to a report by the FINRA. This shows that day trading is a risky activity, and it is not for everyone.

There are several factors that contribute to the difficulty of making a living day trading currencies. First, the currency market is very volatile, meaning that currency prices can fluctuate wildly in a short period of time. This can make it difficult to make profits, but it can also lead to large losses.

Second, day traders typically use leverage, which means that they can control a large position with a small amount of capital. This can magnify profits, but it can also magnify losses.

Third, day traders need to have a high level of skill and knowledge in order to be successful. They need to be able to identify short-term trends and opportunities, and they need to be able to manage their risk effectively.

How Much Money Do Day Traders Make?

Day traders do not disclose their earnings publicly, so it is difficult to say for sure how much money they make. However, some studies have estimated that the average day trader makes between 5% and 15% per month. It is important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual amount of money that day traders make can vary widely. Some day traders may make much more than this, while others may make much less.

Day Trading Currencies Strategies

Like in all types of markets, the first step is to try and learn about the industry. There are many books about forex that you can find online. Some of the most common books you can read are: Come Into My Trading Room by Alexander Elder, Trading for a Living by Thomas Karr, and Millionaire Traders by Kathy Lien.

Day trading currencies is a complex activity that requires a variety of strategies to be successful. These strategies can be used to capitalize on short-term price movements in the currency market and make informed decisions about when to buy and sell currency pairs. The most important day trading currency strategy to learn depends on your personal trading goals, risk tolerance, and trading style. However, a solid understanding of technical analysis and trend-following strategies can be particularly valuable for day traders.

Technical analysis is the study of historical price charts to identify patterns and trends that can be used to predict future price movements. Trend-following strategies are based on the idea that price movements tend to continue in the same direction for a period of time.

By understanding these strategies, you can make better decisions about when to enter and exit the market, and reduce their risk of loss.

You need to select a day trading broker. In the United States, the industry is a highly regulated one and only a few regulated brokers. Before you create an account with a broker, you need to ensure that it is regulated by the SEC. Some of the brokers that operate in the country are Interactive Brokers, IG, Forex, Oanda among others.

As you develop your trading strategy, you should use the demo accounts provided by the brokers to test the performance of the strategy before you start using real money. If you’re looking for some day trading courses, there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for technical analysis as well as professional courses on Udemy.

Which Day Trading Platform Is the Best?

There are several reputable day trading platforms available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to research and consider factors such as fees, trading tools, user interface, market access, and customer support before selecting a platform. Some popular day trading platforms include:

  • Interactive Brokers: Renowned for low commission and low fees, Interactive Brokers provides a comprehensive platform for day trading over 100 currency pairs and professional trading tools.
  • E*TRADE: The platform offers a user-friendly platform with advanced charting, tools, and research tools for day trading. It’s ideal for day traders who want a platform with low commissions and a variety of learning materials.
  • TradeStation: TradeStation provides a variety of trading tools, including advanced charting, technical analysis, paper trading, and backtesting.
  • TD Ameritrade: It is a popular platform for day traders due to its user-friendly platform, educational resources, and the ability to borrow money for trading (margin lending).

Should You Trade Currencies?

Whether you should trade currencies is a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance. Currency trading is a risky activity. While many people and institutions have made a lot of money in the currency trading market, the fact is that it is a very risky industry. In fact, more than 70% of all traders who start their careers in currency trading lose money.

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Day Trading Currencies FAQs

What Currency Pairs Should I Trade?

The type of currency pair that you trade will depend on your trading style and risk tolerance. If you are looking for the most liquid and traded currency pairs, then you should trade majors. If you are looking for less liquid currency pairs with the potential for higher returns, then you should trade minors or exotics. And if you are looking for currency pairs that are closely correlated with the prices of commodities, then you should trade commodity currencies.

Are day trading courses worth it?

For newcomers without day trading experience, a course offers a solid entry point. A quality course covers essential concepts like various trading strategies, chart interpretation, technical analysis, and risk management. You need to choose a course that is reputable and from a qualified instructor. Some courses are simply scams, while others may not be up-to-date with the latest market trends.

Should I day trade stocks or forex?

The decision of whether to day-trade stocks or forex is up to you. If you are looking for a liquid market with 24/7 trading hours, then forex may be a good option for you. However, if you are looking for a market that is more familiar and easier to understand, then stocks may be a better choice. Many traders diversify their portfolios by trading both markets or explore other asset classes, such as ETFs, index funds, or cryptocurrencies. Read our article looking at Forex vs Stocks.

Do currencies trade 24/7

Yes, currencies trade 24/7, except for weekends. It is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week, from 5:00 PM EST on Sunday to 4:00 PM EST on Friday.

Will day trading always be around?

While it's likely that day trading will continue to exist in some form, the future of day trading is subject to various factors, including technological advancements, regulatory changes, and shifts in market dynamics.

Is currency trading worth it?

Whether you should trade currencies is a personal decision that depends on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance. Currency trading is a highly risky activity and requires advanced skills. While many people and institutions have made a lot of money in the currency trading market, more than 70% of all traders who start their careers in currency trading lose money.

Is day trading crypto worth it?

Day trading crypto is a risky activity, but it can work if you know what you're doing. Bitcoin is a deflationary currency, meaning its value will only increase over time. However, cryptocurrencies are highly volatile, meaning their prices can fluctuate wildly in a short period of time. This makes it difficult to predict the future price of a cryptocurrency, and it can be easy to lose money if you make the wrong trade.

In addition, day trading crypto requires a lot of time and effort. You need to be constantly monitoring the market and be prepared to make trades quickly. This can be stressful and time-consuming, and it may not be suitable for everyone.

Crispus (BSc and MBA) is a finance professional with more than a decade experience as a financial analyst, writer, researcher, and trader. Crispus has written in-depth articles on leading platforms like CCN, Marketwatch, Investing Cube and Seeking Alpha. He also runs a forex education firm. Follow him on Twitter: @crispusnyaga and read more about us.