Buy and Sell Currencies

The foreign exchange market - "forex" or "FX" for short - is the world's largest market in terms of trading volume. As an asset class, currencies eclipse even the New York Stock Exchange with an average of over $4 Trillion USD-equivalent per day in turnover.

With pricing driven by the interbank market, the world's top tier banks, the foreign exchange trading hours are 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Plus, with currencies influenced by market data from around the world, and everything from popular high-volume major pairs to obscure exotics, FX trading is truly about freedom of choice!

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What Are Currency Pairs

Currencies can only be traded in terms of another currency as part of a pair.

The first (left) currency in a pair is the "base currency" - this is essentially the asset that the trader is buying and selling. The second currency is the "quote currency" - the one that the asset is priced in.

If you're familiar with stocks, imagine that the price of Microsoft shares are quoted as "MSFT/USD". When you buy it, you are selling US Dollars in order to buy Microsoft shares. When you short sell* it, you are short selling Microsoft shares and buying US Dollars. This is exactly how buy and sell trades on EUR/USD (Euro vs US Dollar) function.

* Short selling is the practice of borrowing an asset such as shares or currencies and selling it first with the aim of buying it back later. While the basic concept may sound confusing, the function is simple: If you believe the price will fall, then rather than aiming to "buy low, sell high", the trader is looking instead to "sell high first, and then buy low later". For professional traders, the act of short selling is not only empowering, it's also necessary as it allows the trader to make money in bull as well as bear markets using any asset class.

Roche Futures offers more than 45 currency pairs on the xStation 5 and MetaTrader 4 platforms.

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While Roche Futures offers over 45 different currency pairs, not all pairs are created equal. Some traders prefer the trade the mass psychology patterns of the most popular, highly liquid, major pairs such as EUR/USD and USD/JPY. Others may prefer to look for trading opportunities on exotic crosses from emerging economies.

The "majors" are the currencies of the largest capitalist economies from the post-World War II era, with the Euro effectively replacing Germany's Deutschemark since the late 90's in terms of trading volume and economic context.

These currencies, paired with the US Dollar (which took over from the British Pound as the world's reserve currency after the 2nd World War), form the top Major Currency Pairs.

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The "Comm Dolls" (short for "commodity dollar pairs") are the other G8 economies which happen to be driven by their resource and commodities industries: Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

In many economic views and trading strategies, the Comm Dolls and top Majors combine as the Forex market's equivalent of Blue Chip stocks. They're highly liquid and heavily traded, resulting in the tightest average spreads in the interbank FX markets.

Next are the Major Cross Pairs. While beginners often confuse the term "cross" as a synonym for "pair", there's actually a practical distinction in the institutional FX market. These are "cross rates" between two major pairs. For example: EUR/GBP (Euro vs British Pound) is actually a "cross" between EUR/USD and the inversion of GBP/USD.

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To veterans of the institutional inter-bank market, a few of the top crosses hold a distinction as being traded directly on the old electronic networks (EUR/JPY, for example, was directly quoted rather than a calculation of EUR/USD crossed with USD/JPY) but for simplicity, only the US Dollar denominated pairs are typically considered major pairs in online FX communities.

Many professional traders choose the Yen cross pairs for their notorious volatility. GBP/JPY was often nicknamed "The Beast" for this tendency.

Through strong institutional relationships, Roche Futures is able to offer extremely tight spreads by even today's standards on these Cross Pairs.

As the term "Major" implies, there are also "Minor" pairs, consisting primarily of currencies from developed countries outside of the G8 nations.

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Roche Futures offers the leading Minor pairs from Scandinavia including the Swedish Krona and Norwegian Krone plus their relatively popular crosses with the Euro.

Finally, we have the currencies of emerging economies and other non-G8 countries that constitute the "Exotic pairs" category:

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With relatively lower daily trading volume and far less market participants, these Exotic currencies are essentially the Penny Stocks of the currency market. For this reason, their average spreads tend to be far wider - a common trait among lesser traded markets in all asset classes.

Some professional traders prefer to look for opportunities in the Exotics. So, in keeping with our motto of trader freedom, we offer these pairs and crosses to round out a listing of over 45 global currency pairs.


While many dealing desk brokers often advertise spreads, our pricing comes directly from the Roche FX Cloud liquidity aggregation system.

We cannot control the spreads any more than an exchange can control the spreads on equities. The spreads are the result of the best bid and ask prices from our liquidity providers on the Roche FX Cloud.

This transparency allows us to offer the best No Dealing Desk conditions in today's FX market.


While beginners are often confused by the calculations and terminology used to describe the value of a single pip in price movement, our cutting edge xStation 5 platform comes with a free calculator built into its order entry system:


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The built-in Trading Calculator in xStation 5 allows Forex Traders to quickly see the value of a single pip in price movement as well as the stop loss and take profit values based on the chosen trade size.

This integrated feature allows professional traders to better maintain risk management parameters on-the-fly from within the trading platform.