Lesson 4: Forex trading terms | Orion Trading Academy

Lesson 4: Forex Trading Terms


Foreign exchange (Forex) trading involves a plethora of terms that can be baffling for newcomers. Grasping these terms is essential for any trader looking to navigate the forex market effectively.

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the commonly used forex trading terms.


A ‘pip’ stands for ‘percentage in point’ or ‘price interest point.’ It represents the smallest price move that a currency pair can make. For most currency pairs, a pip is the fourth decimal place (0.0001). For example, if the EUR/USD moves from 1.1050 to 1.1051, it has moved one pip. However, for pairs involving the Japanese Yen, a pip is the second decimal place (0.01).


The spread is the difference between the bid (sell) and the ask (buy) price of a currency pair. It’s the cost of trading and represents the broker’s fee for executing the trade. Narrow spreads generally indicate high liquidity and lower trading costs.


In forex trading, ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ refer to the direction of a trade. A ‘buy’ (or ‘long’) position means the trader expects the currency pair’s price to rise. Conversely, a ‘sell’ (or ‘short’) position means expecting the price to fall.


Leverage in forex allows traders to control large positions with a relatively small amount of capital. It’s expressed as a ratio, such as 50:1. This means that for every $1 in the trader’s account, they can control $50 in the market. Leverage can amplify profits, but it also increases the potential for substantial losses.


Margin is the amount of capital required to open and maintain a leveraged position. It’s like a good faith deposit with the broker. There are two types of margins: ‘used margin’ is the amount currently used for open positions, and ‘free margin’ is the amount available for opening new positions.

Market Orders

A market order is an order to buy or sell a currency pair at the best available current price. It’s executed immediately and is subject to the current market liquidity and spreads.

Limit Orders

A limit order is set to buy or sell a currency pair at a specific price or better. A ‘buy limit’ order is placed below the current market price and is executed when the market falls to that price. A ‘sell limit’ order is placed above the current market price and is executed when the market rises to that price. Limit orders are used to enter the market at a more favorable price.


Understanding these terms is fundamental for anyone participating in forex trading. It not only enhances one’s comprehension of the market dynamics but also aids in making informed trading decisions.
Remember, while forex offers opportunities for profit, it also carries a high level of risk, particularly when leveraging is involved. Therefore, proper education and risk management are crucial for success in forex trading.

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