There is no unified or centrally cleared market for the majority of trades, and there is very little cross-border regulation. Due to the over-the-counter (OTC) nature of currency markets, there are rather a number of interconnected marketplaces, where different currencies instruments are traded. This implies that there is not a single exchange rate but rather a number of different rates (prices), depending on what bank or market maker is trading, and where it is. In practice, the rates are quite close due to arbitrage. Due to London's dominance in the market, a particular currency's quoted price is usually the London market price. Major trading exchanges include Electronic Broking Services (EBS) and Thomson Reuters Dealing, while major banks also offer trading systems. A joint venture of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Reuters, called Fxmarketspace opened in 2007 and aspired but failed to the role of a central market clearing mechanism. The main trading centers are London and New York City, though Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore are all important centers as well. Banks throughout the world participate. Currency trading happens continuously throughout the day; as the Asian trading session ends, the European session begins, followed by the North American session and then back to the Asian session. Fluctuations in exchange rates are usually caused by actual monetary flows as well as by expectations of changes in monetary flows. These are caused by changes in gross domestic product (GDP) growth, inflation (purchasing power parity theory), interest rates (interest rate parity, Domestic Fisher effect, International Fisher effect), budget and trade deficits or surpluses, large cross-border M&A deals and other macroeconomic conditions. Major news is released publicly, often on scheduled dates, so many people have access to the same news at the same time. However, the large banks have an important advantage; they can see their customers' order flow. Currencies are traded against one another in pairs. Each currency pair thus constitutes an individual trading product and is traditionally noted XXXYYY or XXX/YYY, where XXX and YYY are the ISO 4217 international three-letter code of the currencies involved. The first currency (XXX) is the base currency that is quoted relative to the second currency (YYY), called the counter currency (or quote currency). For instance, the quotation EURUSD (EUR/USD) 1.5465 is the price of the Euro expressed in US dollars, meaning 1 euro = 1.5465 dollars. The market convention is to quote most exchange rates against the USD with the US dollar as the base currency (e.g. USDJPY, USDCAD, USDCHF). The exceptions are the British pound (GBP), Australian dollar (AUD), the New Zealand dollar (NZD) and the euro (EUR) where the USD is the counter currency (e.g. GBPUSD, AUDUSD, NZDUSD, EURUSD). The factors affecting XXX will affect both XXXYYY and XXXZZZ. This causes positive currency correlation between XXXYYY and XXXZZZ. On the spot market, according to the 2016 Triennial Survey, the most heavily traded bilateral currency pairs were: EURUSD: 23.0% USDJPY: 17.7% GBPUSD (also called cable): 9.2% The U.S. currency was involved in 87.6% of transactions, followed by the euro (31.3%), the yen (21.6%), and sterling (12.8%) (see table). Volume percentages for all individual currencies should add up to 200%, as each transaction involves two currencies. Trading in the euro has grown considerably since the currency's creation in January 1999, and how long the foreign exchange market will remain dollar-centered is open to debate. Until recently, trading the euro versus a non-European currency ZZZ would have usually involved two trades: EURUSD and USDZZZ. The exception to this is EURJPY, which is an established traded currency pair in the interbank spot market.

Trading characteristics

FROM Wikipedia

1. T Southcliffe Ashton – An Economic History of England: The 18th Century, Volume 3 Taylor & Francis, 1955 Retrieved 13 July 2012 2. (page 196 of) JW Markham A Financial History of the United States, Volumes 1–2 M.E. Sharpe, 2002 Retrieved 14 July 2012 ISBN 0765607301 3. (page 847) of M Pohl, European Association for Banking History – Handbook on the History of European Banks Edward Elgar Publishing, 1994 Retrieved 14 July 2012 4. S Shamah – A Foreign Exchange Primer ["1880" is within 1.2 Value Terms] John Wiley & Sons, 22 November 2011 Retrieved 27 July 2102 ISBN 1119994896 5.  T Hong – Foreign Exchange Control in China: First Edition (Asia Business Law Series Volume 4) Kluwer Law International, 2004 ISBN 9041124268 Retrieved 12 January 2013 6. P Mathias, S Pollard – The Cambridge Economic History of Europe: The industrial economies : the development of economic and social policies Cambridge University Press, 1989 Retrieved 13 July 2012 ISBN 0521225043 7. S Misra, PK Yadav  – International Business: Text And Cases PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. 2009 Retrieved 27 July 2012 ISBN 8120336526 8. P. L. Cottrell – Centres and Peripheries in Banking: The Historical Development of Financial Markets Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007 Retrieved 13 July 2012 ISBN 0754661210 9. J Wake – Kleinwort, Benson: The History of Two Families in Banking Oxford University Press, 27 February 1997 Retrieved 13 July 2012 ISBN 0198282990 10.  J Atkin – The Foreign Exchange Market Of London: Development Since 1900 Psychology Press, 2005 Retrieved 13 July 2012 ISBN 041534901X 11. Laurence S. Copeland – Exchange Rates and International Finance Pearson Education, 2008 Retrieved 15 July 2012 ISBN 0273710273 12.  M Sumiya – A History of Japanese Trade and Industry Policy Oxford University Press, 2000 Retrieved 13 July 2012 ISBN 0198292511

References

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