Most small investors are unfamiliar with the foreign currency ('Forex') market and the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission ('CFTC'), in part, because the securities or equities markets are regularly marketed to the general public, and reported upon in the financial news. Beginning in the early 1990s, with the proliferation of discount brokers and self-directed on-line securities trading ... [Show full abstract]Read more

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One unique aspect of this international market is that there is no central marketplace for foreign exchange. Rather, currency trading is conducted electronically over-the-counter (OTC), which means that all transactions occur via computer networks between traders around the world, rather than on one centralized exchange. The market is open 24 hours a day, five and a half days a week, and currencies are traded worldwide in the major financial centers of London, New York, Tokyo, Zurich, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Sydney—across almost every time zone. This means that when the trading day in the U.S. ends, the forex market begins anew in Tokyo and Hong Kong. As such, the forex market can be extremely active any time of the day, with price quotes changing constantly.

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