# What is a Currency Quote in Forex?

Contributor, Benzinga
June 26, 2023

If you are interested in trading currencies, it helps to understand what a currency quote is and how it works. A currency quote is the price of one currency in terms of another. It tells you how much of one currency you can buy or sell with another currency.

In this article, Benzinga breaks down the basics of currency quotes and how they are used in forex trading. The article also covers important factors to consider when dealing with currency quotes and forex trading.

## What is a Currency Quote?

A currency quote is a foreign exchange rate that shows how much of one currency is required to buy or sell one unit of another currency. It is expressed in two parts: base currency and quote currency.

The base currency is the first currency shown in the pair, while the quote currency (or counter currency) is the second currency. For example, in the currency quote EUR/USD = 1.18, the base currency is EUR, and the quote currency is USD. The currency quote tells you how much of the quote currency you need to purchase one unit of the base currency. In this example, you need 1.18 USD to buy one EUR.

## How Do Forex Quotes Work?

Forex quotes are dynamic and reflect the constantly changing exchange rates in the foreign exchange market. They are typically displayed with four decimal places, except for certain currency pairs involving the Japanese yen, which are displayed with two decimal places. This smallest unit of measure is called a pip — point in percentage — which is 1/100th of a percentage point for most currencies, also known as a basis point.

Forex quotes consist of two prices: the bid and the ask. The bid price represents the rate at which you can sell the base currency, and the ask price is the rate at which you can purchase the base currency. The difference between the bid and ask price is the spread, which represents the transaction cost for traders or the profit margin for the forex broker. Spreads are often measured in pips.

Let's take an example to illustrate how forex quotes work. Consider the currency pair EUR/USD, where the base currency is the euro (EUR) and the quote currency is the U.S. dollar (USD). If the current quote for EUR/USD is 1.1200/1.1205, it means that you can sell one euro at 1.1200 U.S. dollars (bid price) or buy one euro for 1.1205 U.S. dollars (ask price). In this example, the spread is 0.0005 (1.1205 - 1.1200) or 5 pips.

Forex quotes are influenced by supply and demand dynamics, economic indicators, political events, central bank policies and market sentiment. These factors can cause exchange rates to fluctuate constantly throughout the trading day.

Traders and investors analyze forex quotes to make informed decisions about buying or selling currencies. They aim to profit from the changes in exchange rates by speculating on the direction in which the rates will move. For example, if a trader is convinced that the euro will get stronger compared to the U.S. dollar, they may buy duros at the current quote and sell them later when the exchange rate has increased, resulting in a profit.

### Major Currency Pairs

Major currency pairs are the most traded and liquid pairs in the forex market. They involve the currency of the largest economy in the world — the U.S. dollar, as either the base or the quote currency. The major currency pairs are GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/JPY, USD/CHF, AUD/USD, USD/CAD and NZD/USD.

Usually, major currency pairs have lower spreads and higher liquidity compared to other pairs. They are highly susceptible to global economic and political events, as well as the monetary policies set by the central banks of their respective countries.

### Minor Currency Pairs

Also known as cross-currency pairs or crosses, minor currency pairs do not involve the U.S. dollar as either the base or the quote currency. They are derived from the major currency pairs by crossing them with each other. For example, EUR/GBP is derived from EUR/USD and GBP/USD. Minor currency pairs typically have higher spreads and lower liquidity than major pairs. Popular minor currency pairs include EUR/JPY, GBP/JPY, CAD/JPY, AUD/JPY and NZD/JPY.

## Things to Consider with Currency Quotes and Forex Trading

Before you start trading currencies, there are some important things to consider with currency quotes and forex trading.

When trading forex, the bid price is the amount you can sell the base currency for and buy the quote currency. The asking price is the amount you can buy the base currency for and sell the quote currency.

Spreads refer to the difference between the bid price and ask price, which is the cost of trading. The spread is influenced by factors like market volatility, liquidity, competition and trading volume. Generally, lower spreads mean lower trading costs and higher profits. However, lower spreads may also indicate lower liquidity and higher risk.

### Direct vs. Indirect Quotes

The two types of forex quotes are direct and indirect. A direct quote expresses the value of one unit of the local currency in terms of a variable amount of the foreign currency. For example, if you are in Canada, a direct quote like USD/CAD tells you how many Canadian dollars (domestic currency) are needed to buy one U.S. dollar (foreign currency).

Conversely, an indirect quote expresses the value of a unit of the foreign currency in terms of a variable amount of the domestic currency. For instance, if you are in the U.S., an indirect quote like EUR/USD shows how many U.S. dollars (domestic currency) are required to buy one euro (foreign currency).

## Cracking the Code: Understanding Forex Quotes

A currency quote is the price of one currency in terms of another currency. It consists of a base currency and a quote currency. Forex quotes are constantly changing due to various factors that affect exchange rates. To trade currencies successfully, you must understand how to read and use forex quotes. You also need to consider important factors, such as bid and ask price, spreads and direct vs. indirect quotes.

Q

### What is a forex pair cross-quote currency?

A

A forex pair cross-quote currency refers to a third currency that is used to quote the exchange rate between two other currencies. This currency is neither the base currency nor the quote currency in a currency pair.

Q

### How are currency forwards quoted?

A

Currency forwards are quoted as the amount of one currency that can be exchanged for another currency at a fixed rate on a future date. For example, a currency forward quotes for U.S. dollars and Canadian dollars might be USD/CAD 1.2500 90, which means that one U.S. dollar can be exchanged for 1.25 Canadian dollars in 90 days.

Q

### Is currency exchange quoted by spot rate or forward rate?

A

Currency exchange is usually quoted by spot rate, which is the current market price of a currency pair. The forward rate is the agreed-upon price for a future exchange of currencies.

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