In principle, an Alligator Technical Indicator is a combination of Balance Lines (Moving Averages) that use fractal geometry and nonlinear dynamics.


A currency appreciates when it strengthens in price.

Ask Rate

Also known as the offer, this is the rate at which non-market makers can buy a particular currency.

Asset Allocation

Investment practice that divides funds among different markets to achieve diversification for risk management purposes.


Balance of Trade

The value of a country's exports minus its imports.

Base Currency

The currency which is the base for quotes. For example, the euro is the base currency for EURUSD quotes, while the US dollar is the base currency for USDJPY.

Bear Market

A market that is characterised by declining prices

Bid Rate

The rate at which traders can currently sell a particular currency.

Bid/Offer (Ask) Spread

The difference between the bid and the ask (offer) price.


This Technical Indicator (BB) is similar to envelopes. The only difference is that the bands of Envelopes are plotted a fixed distance (%) away from the moving average, while the Bollinger Bands are plotted a certain number of standard deviations away from it. Standard deviation is a measure of volatility, therefore Bollinger Bands adjust themselves to market conditions. When the markets become more volatile the bands widen, and they contract during less volatile periods.


An individual or a company that acts as an intermediary, handling investors' orders to buy and sell currencies. Some brokers charge commission for this service.

Bull Market

A market that is characterized by rising prices.



Slang for the GBPUSD exchange rate.

Central Bank

A government or quasi-governmental organisation that manages a country's monetary policy. An example is the Federal Reserve, which is the US Central Bank.


A transaction fee charged by a broker.

Cross Rate

An exchange rate between two currencies that does not involve the US dollar, such as EURJPY.


Any form of money issued by a government or central bank and used as legal tender.

Currency Risk

The probability of an adverse change in exchange rates.


Day Trading

Refers to positions that have been opened and closed on the same day.


A negative balance of trade or payments.


Economic Indicator

A government issued statistic that indicates current economic growth and stability. Common indicators include Employment Rates, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), CPI (inflation) and Retail Sales.


An Envelopes Technical Indicator is formed with two moving averages, one of which is shifted upward and the other is shifted downward. The selection of optimum relative number of band margins shifting is determined with the market volatility

European Central Bank (ECB)

The Central Bank of the European Monetary Union.


Federal Reserve (Fed)

The Central Bank of the United States.

Foreign Exchange/ Forex or FX market

A market where currencies are bought and sold against each other.

Fundamental analysis

Analysis of economic and political information with the objective of determining future movements in a financial market.

Futures Contract

An obligation to exchange a good or an instrument at a set price on a future date. The main difference between a future and a forward is that futures are typically traded on an exchange to a fixed settlement date. Forwards are over-the-counter (OTC) contracts and the maturity date can be defined on a bespoke basis.



A position or a combination of positions that reduces the risk of the trader's primary position.



An economic condition whereby prices for consumer goods rise, eroding purchasing power.


Limit order

An order to buy at or below a specific price or to sell at or above a specific price.


The ability of a market to accept large transactions with minimal or no impact on price stability.

Long position

A market position where the client has bought a currency he did not previously have. Normally expressed in base currency terms, e.g. long Dollars (short Swiss Franc)...



The required equity that an investor must deposit to collateralise a position.

Margin call

A request from a broker or a dealer for additional funds or other collateral to guarantee performance on a position that has moved against the customer. Alternatively the client can choose to close one or more positions.

Market Maker

A dealer who supplies prices and is prepared to buy or sell at those stated bid and ask prices.

Moving Average

The Moving Average Technical Indicator shows the mean instrument price value for a certain period of time. When calculating the moving average, you average out the instrument price for this time period. As the price changes, its moving average either increases or decreases.



The price or rate that a trader is prepared to sell at.

Open position

A deal that has not been settled by physical payment or reversed by an equal and opposite deal for the same value.

Over the Counter (OTC)

Used to describe any transaction that is not conducted over a regulated exchange.



The term used in the currency market to characterize the smallest incremental move an exchange rate can make. The value of a pip depends on the currency pair. One pip/ basis point equals for instance 0.0001 for EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CHF, and 0.01 for USD/JPY.


Resistance level

A price level at which you would expect selling to take place.


The Relative Strength Index Technical Indicator (RSI) is a price-following oscillator that ranges between 0 and 100. When Wilder introduced the Relative Strength Index, he recommended using a 14-day RSI. Since then, the 9-day and 25-day Relative Strength Index indicators have also gained popularity.


Short position

An investment position that benefits from a decline in market price.

Spot price

The current market price. Settlement of spot transactions usually occur within two business days.


The difference between the bid and the offer (ask) price.


The Stochastic Oscillator Technical Indicator compares where a security’s price closed relative to its price range over a given time period. The Stochastic Oscillator is displayed as two lines. The main line is called %K, The second line is called %D and is a Moving Average of %K. The %K line is usually displayed as a solid line and the %D line is usually displayed as a dotted line.

Stop order

An order to sell at or below a specific price or to buy at or above a specific price.

Stop loss

An order to close a position when a particular price is reached in order to minimize loss.

Support level

A price level at which you would expect buying to take place.


Take profit

An order to close a position when a particular price is reached to ensure a profit.

Talking Up

declarations made usually by the central bank or government minister intended to bolster market response with respect to the currency.

Technical Analysis

This deals with past price and volume trends and frequently with the help of chart analysis in order to be able to make forecasts about future price advances of the commodity in question.

Technical Correction

An alteration to price not based on market sentiment but technical aspects such as volume and charting.

Temporal Accounting

This is a technique of determining accounting exposure which interprets all balance sheet items at the current rate of exchange, not the rate at the time the cost was incurred.


(1) an official proposal to supply or purchase goods or services.(2) In the UK, this is the phrase for the weekly Treasury Bill issue.


Maturity, or the number of days leading to maturity usually on bills of exchange.

Theory of Elasticities (also called Theory of Elasticity)

A representation of exchange rate determination which states that the exchange rate is merely the price of the foreign exchange which holds the BOP in equilibrium. The level to which the exchange rate react to a change in price.

Threshold of Divergence

A security feature for the EMS which produces an emergency way out for currencies which become the singular centre of various unfavourable forces. The threshold of divergence specifies when the precise country with the pressured currency should take supplementary steps other than simple central bank intervention in the foreign exchange markets.


A gauge of the sensitivity of the price of an option to a change in its time to termination.

Thin Market

A market in which trading volume is low and in which as a result bid and ask quotes are wide and the liquidity of the instrument traded is low.

Thursday/Friday Dollars

A U.S. foreign exchange detail. If the bank leaves the money overnight and transfers the money Friday via a clearing house check, then clearance is not until Monday, which is the next business day. Higher interest rates for this time are therefore available.


The smallest change in price, whether up or down.

Tier One

A measure of a bank's financial might be used by the BIS being the shareholders' equity available to cover real or potential irredeemable and non-cumulative preference shares. It leaves out hybrid forms of capital such as fixed term stock, goodwill, and revaluation reserves. BIS has a minimum condition of 4 percent on risk-weighted assets.

Tight Capital

A condition in which there is a lack of credit as a result of financial policy restricting the supply of credit in general through raising interest rates.


Tokyo International Financial Futures Exchange.

Time Decay

The decline in the time value of an option as the end time draws near.

Time Value

That part of an option premium which mirrors the length of time left over in the option prior to ending. The longer the time left over until cessation, the higher the time value.


Coincident buying of a currency for delivery the next day and selling for the spot day, or the other way around. Also called overnight.


idiomatic expression for declaration in a publication that a loan or bond has been set.

Tomorrow Next (Tom Next)

Coincident buying of a currency for delivery the next day and selling for the spot day; or the other way around.

Trade Date

The day on which a trade happens.

Trade Deficit/Surplus

The differentiation between the worth of imports and exports. frequently only accounted in visible trade terms.

Trade-weighted Exchange Rate

The variations in the exchange rate in opposition to a trade weighted basket as well as the currencies of the country's main trading partners.

Traded Options

Transferable options with the right to buy and sell a consistent amount of a currency at a set cost within a specific period.

Tradable Amount

The smallest acceptable transaction size.

Trade Ticket

Please refer to deal ticket.

Transaction Date

The day on which a trade happens.


A segment, in particular used for borrowings from the IMF.


The buying or selling of securities ensuing from the carrying out of an order.

Transaction Exposure

Potential profit and loss generated by current foreign exchange transactions.

Treasury Bills

Temporary obligations of a Government issued for interludes of one year or less. Treasury bills do not bear a rate of interest and are issued at a reduction on the par value. Treasury bills are reimbursed at par on the due date. In the UK the bills are usually for 91 days and are presented at weekly tenders. In the United States they are auctioned.


The entire capital value of currency contracts traded is calculated by multiplying dimension by the number of contracts dealt.

Two-Tier Market

A double exchange rate system where usually only one rate is open to market stress for example, South Africa.

Two-Way Quotation

When a trader quotes both buying and selling rates for foreign exchange dealings.



An additional expression for an open position.

Under Reference (Order)

Before concluding a deal, all the details must be offered for approval to the order giver, whose prerogative it is to refuse the proposal.


An exchange rate is usually measured to be undervalued when it is underneath its Purchasing power parity (PPP).


A idiomatic expression for undoing a transaction, that is, a spot sale by way of a forward purchase or if erroneously done, a spot purchase.


A Term for sale of assets or unwinding positions either to minimize loss or to weaken other market Members' positions.

Unmatched Book

If the standard maturity of a banks accountabilities is less than that of its assets, it is considered to be operating an unmatched book.


Selling of assets and or instruments to balance a position.


A transaction carried out at a higher price than the previous transaction.

USDX (Dollar Index)

A currency index which is comprised of the weighted average of the prices of six foreign currencies against that of the U.S. Dollar

U.S. Quote

Exchange rate quotation on a mutual basis. Also referred to as an American Quote.


Value at Risk

The probable loss from an unfavourable market movement.

Value Date

In terms of exchange contracts, it is the day during which the two contracting parties swap the currencies which are being purchased or sold. In terms of a spot transaction, it is two business banking days in the future, in the country of the bank providing quotations which establish the spot value date. The only exclusion to this general rule is the spot day in the quoting centre corresponding to a banking holiday in the countries of the foreign currencies. The value date then moves ahead one day. The enquirer is the party who must ensure that his spot day corresponds to the one laid out by the respondent. The forward months maturity must happen on the correlating date in the relevant month If the one month date falls on a non-banking day in one of the centres then the functional date would be the next mutual business day. The adjustment of the maturity for a particular month does not affect the other maturities that will go on falling on the original equivalent date if they meet the open day requirement. If the last spot date occurs on the last business day of a month, the forward dates will equal this date by also falling on the last business day. This is referred to as well as maturity date.

Value Spot

Usually, a settlement for two working days from a given work day.

Value Today

Transaction carried out for settlement on the same day; sometimes also named "cash transaction."


An uncomplicated option whose terms and conditions do not take account of any provisions other than exercise style, expiry and strike. To weigh against exotic options which have supplementary terms.

Variation Margin

Profits or losses on open positions in futures and options contracts which are paid or gathered on a Daily basis.


states the price change of an option for a one per cent modification in the implied volatility.

Vertical (bear or bull) Spread

The sale of an option with a high implement price and the procure (in the case of a bull) or the sale (in the case of a bear ) of an option with a lower implement price. Both options will have the same end date.

Visible Trade

Trade in product goods as compared with capital flows and invisible trade.


A gauge of the amount by which an asset cost is expected to vary over a given period. Normally calculated by the annual standard deviation of daily cost changes. (historic). Can be implied from futures pricing, implied volatility.

Vostro Account

A local currency account upheld by a bank by another bank. The term is usually used With the counterparty's account from which funds can be paid into or taken out, as a result of an operation.



Whipsaw refers to when a trader takes a position and has to move against it, triggering stop-loss limits and liquidation of positions. He then has to move in the original direction. This usually occurs in volatile markets.

Wholesale Capital

This refers to capital borrowed in large amounts from banks and institutions as opposed to from small investors.

Wholesale Price Index

The index measures changes in prices in the manufacturing and distribution division of the economy and tends to lead the consumer price index by 60 to 90 days. Many times the index is quoted separately for food as opposed to industrial products.


A situation in which financial institutions or companies raise funds for specific reporting dates such as the end of the year to give the appearance of a high level of capital.

Working Balance

Discretionary element in the reserves of capital of a central bank.

Working Day

A day on which the banks in a currency's principal centre of finance are open for business. For Forex transactions, a working day only happens if the bank in both (all relevant currency centres in the case of a cross) are open.

World Bank

A bank made up of members of the IMF whose aspiration is to assist in the development of member states by offering loans where private capital is not accessible.


The seller of a call or put option in correlation with an opening position who receives a payment and who is obliged to perform if it is exercised.


Yield Curve

The graph showing modifications in yield on instruments depending on point to maturity. A systemfirstly developed in the bond markets is now largely applied to a selection of financial futures. Apositive inclined curve has lower interest rates at the shorter maturities and superior at the longermaturities. A negative inclined curve has higher interest rates at the shorter maturities.

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