Forex Currency Pairs: The Ultimate Guide and Cheat Sheet


    You would never buy a house without understanding the mortgage, right? Yet when it comes to the Forex market, many traders forget to familiarize themselves with the currency pairs they’re buying and selling.

    I’ll admit that trading currencies is quite different from purchasing a home, but the idea is the same – you need to understand where your money is going.

    How do I know that many traders skip this step?

    In addition to receiving hundreds of emails every month, I was once a beginner too.

    Sure, I understood the very basics of currency pairs before I opened a live trading account, but I certainly didn’t know as much as I should have.

    So to save you from making some of those same mistakes, I’ve put together a crazy-detailed lesson of everything you could want to know about Forex currency pairs.

    My goal with this lesson is to take you from understanding the basics to becoming a complete currency guru. So whether you’ve been trading for two days or two years, I can all but guarantee that you’ll learn something new.

    As always, be sure to leave a comment at the bottom of this post and don’t forget to share it with your friends.

    Let’s get down to business!

    Anatomy of a Currency Pair

    Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important that you understand what a currency pair is and how it moves.

    As you might have guessed from its name, each pair involves two currencies. In this way, the value of one currency is compared to and is thus relative to the currency it’s paired against.

    If that sounds confusing don’t worry, it will be abundantly clear by the time you finish this section.

    The first currency in the pair is the “base currency” and the second is the “quote currency.”


    This naming convention is the same regardless of the currency pair you’re trading.

    You get the idea. Now let’s explore the two terms in greater detail.

    Base currency

    The base currency is the one that is quoted first in a currency pair.

    Using EURUSD as an example, the Euro would be the base currency. Similarly, the base currency of GBPUSD is the British pound (GBP).

    Quote currency

    By process of elimination, you know that the quote currency is the one that comes second in a pairing.

    For both the EURUSD and the GBPUSD, the US dollar is the quote currency.

    You Can't Make Money if They Don't Move

    There are essentially two ways in which any currency pair can move higher or lower.

    1. The base currency can strengthen or weaken
    2. The quote currency can strengthen or weaken

    Because the Forex market never sleeps and thus currency values are always changing, both the base currency and quote currency are in a constant state of flux.

    In our example, if the Euro (base currency) were to strengthen while the US dollar remained static, the EURUSD would rise. Conversely, if the Euro weakened the pair would fall, all things being equal.

    If on the other hand, the US dollar (quote currency) were to strengthen, the EURUSD would fall. And if the USD weakened, the currency pair would rally as the Euro would gain relative strength against its US dollar pairing.

    All of the hypotheticals above assume that nothing else has changed for the pair.

    Here’s a visual of the relationship. In this instance, the Euro is strengthening against the US dollar.


    Not surprisingly, the next example is the EURUSD in a bear market. Here the Euro is weakening against the US dollar.


    Pretty simple, right?

    You bet!

    If you’re already familiar with the content so far, don’t worry, we’ll be getting into more advanced territory shortly.

    As you can imagine, the velocity of any move depends on the relationship between the two currencies. For instance, if one is strengthening while the other is weakening, the move will be more pronounced than if only one currency is on the move.

    Last but not least, it’s important to remember that the relationship between the base and quote currency is always changing. So just because the EURUSD is rallying in the current session doesn’t mean it will be tomorrow or even one hour from now.

    The Dynamics of Buying and Selling Currencies

    One area that often confuses traders is the idea of buying and selling currencies.

    In the stock market, you can either buy (and sometimes sell) shares of stock. There are no pairings, and the value of one stock is not dependent on that of another.

    However, in the Forex market, all currencies are paired together. So when you’re ready to place a trade, are you buying or selling?

    The answer is both.

    For example, if you sell the EURUSD (also referred to as going “short”), you are simultaneously selling the Euro and buying the US dollar.

    Conversely, if you buy the EURUSD (also referred to as going “long”), you are buying the Euro and selling the US dollar.

    Make sense?

    If not, feel free to review this section as many times as necessary.

    To clarify, this does not mean you have to place two orders if you want to buy or sell a currency pair.

    As a retail trader, all you need to know is whether you want to go long or short. Your broker handles everything else behind the scenes.

    There’s also only one price for each pair. Remember that a currency’s value depends on the currency sitting next to it.

    Alright, so we’ve breezed through several terms and concepts when it comes to trading Forex currency pairs.

    At this point, you should have a firm understanding of what a currency pair is as well as the dynamics of buying and selling.

    If not, feel free to review the material above as many times as necessary before moving on.

    Now it’s time for the meat and potatoes of the lesson.

    Currency Baskets (Majors, Minors and Crosses)

    This is my favorite part because now we get to dig into the various classifications of currency pairs. And later, I’ll uncover the pairs that are affected by changing commodity prices as well as a few of the safe haven currencies.

    Don’t know what those are?

    No problem. By the time you finish this section, you’ll be a currency guru!

    Major Currency Pairs

    Ah, the majors. These currency pairs are to the Forex market what Apple and Amazon are to the stock market.

    They are by far the most popular and therefore the most liquid.

    Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
    EUR/USDEurozone / United StatesEuro / US dollar
    USD/JPYUnited States / JapanUS dollar / Japanese yen
    GBP/USDUnited Kingdom / United StatesBritish pound (sterling) / US dollar
    USD/CHFUnited States / SwitzerlandUS dollar / Swiss franc
    USD/CADUnited States / CanadaUS dollar / Canadian dollar
    AUD/USDAustralia / United StatesAustralia dollar / US dollar
    NZD/USDNew Zealand / United StatesNew Zealand dollar / US dollar

    Notice a trend?

    Every major currency pair includes the US dollar. So if you ever see a pair that doesn’t involve the USD, it isn’t a major.

    Everyone wants to trade the major pairs listed above. Mostly because, well, they’re the most popular, and who doesn’t want to put their money in the most traditional assets?

    But here’s the thing…

    The majors are not the end all be all when it comes to trading Forex.

    It’s important to remember that there are dozens of pairs at your disposal.

    While it is true that these are the most traded and are therefore the most liquid, popularity doesn’t pay the bills, favorable setups do. And unless your trading account is the size of Warren Buffett’s bank account, you don’t need the majors.

    What in the heck am I talking about, you ask?

    I’m referring to the well-known fact that everyone wants to trade the major currency pairs regardless of what the price action looks like at any given time.

    For example, if the EURUSD has been choppy for weeks and isn’t producing anything favorable, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

    But instead what I see quite often are folks trying to force trades on the EURUSD, GBPUSD, etc. simply because it’s what everyone else is doing.

    This is one reason why I’m not an advocate of mastering one or two currency pairs at a time. In fact, making this mistake can quickly lead to forcing trades and overtrading.

    I’ll expand on this idea shortly.

    Minor Pairs and Cross Currencies

    So if the major pairs include the US dollar, we can infer that minor currency pairs are those that do not include the US dollar.

    Pretty straight forward, right?

    Now, here’s where some traders get confused. The truth is, there are far more currency crosses than there are minor pairs.

    A lot of folks make the mistake of thinking that a minor to be any pair that doesn’t include the US dollar.

    This is false.

    A currency cross is any pair that doesn’t include the US dollar.

    Minor currency pairs, on the other hand, make up a fraction of the crosses that are available for trading.

    In other words, all minors are crosses, but not all crosses are minors.

    Let’s define these two terms before we go on.

    Cross Currency Pairs (A.K.A Minors)

    It’s time to clear up some confusion I see quite often around the web regarding minor pairs and currency crosses.

    A currency cross is any pair that does not include the US dollar. As such, these pairings don’t offer nearly as much liquidity as the majors we discussed earlier.

    A minor pair, on the other hand, is a major currency cross. As you now know, a cross doesn’t include the US dollar. Therefore, these minors are comprised of the Euro (EUR), British pound (GBP) and the Japanese yen (JPY).

    Got it?

    If it’s all a little fuzzy at the moment, don’t worry. The tables below should help to clear things up.

    Euro Crosses

    Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
    EUR/GBPEurozone / United KingdomEuro / British pound (sterling)
    EUR/AUDEurozone / AustraliaEuro / Australian dollar
    EUR/NZDEurozone / New ZealandEuro / New Zealand dollar
    EUR/CADEurozone / CanadaEuro / Canadian dollar
    EUR/CHFEurozone / SwitzerlandEuro / Swiss franc

    Japanese Yen Crosses

    Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
    EUR/JPYEurozone / JapanEuro / Japanese yen
    GBP/JPYUnited Kingdom / JapanBritish pound (sterling) / Japanese yen
    AUD/JPYAustralia / JapanAustralian dollar / Japanese yen
    NZD/JPYNew Zealand / JapanNew Zealand dollar / Japanese yen
    CAD/JPYCanada / JapanCanadian dollar / Japanese yen
    CHF/JPYSwitzerland / JapanSwiss franc / Japanese yen

    British Pound Crosses

    Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
    GBP/AUDUnited Kingdom / AustraliaBritish pound (sterling) / Australian dollar
    GBP/NZDUnited Kingdom / New ZealandBritish pound (sterling) / New Zealand dollar
    GBP/CADUnited Kingdom / CanadaBritish pound (sterling) / Canadian dollar
    GBP/CHFUnited Kingdom / SwitzerlandBritish pound (sterling) / Swiss franc

    Other Crosses

    Currency PairCountriesCurrency Name
    AUD/NZDAustralia / New ZealandAustralian dollar / New Zealand dollar
    AUD/CADAustralia / CanadaAustralian dollar / Canadian dollar
    AUD/CHFAustralia / SwitzerlandAustralian dollar / Swiss franc
    NZD/CADNew Zealand / CanadaNew Zealand dollar / Canadian dollar
    NZD/CHFNew Zealand / SwitzerlandNew Zealand dollar / Swiss franc
    CAD/CHFCanada / SwitzerlandCanadian dollar / Swiss franc

    But if the major currency pairs get most of the attention and carry the most liquidity, why would anyone want to trade minor currency pairs and especially crosses?

    Make no mistake, while the daily volume for these crosses is less than the majors, they are certainly not illiquid by any means.

    In fact, many of the major crosses average more daily volume than some stock exchanges.

    Remember that the foreign exchange market is the most liquid financial market in the world, so even some of the less popular currencies are extremely liquid.

    The Exotics

    The exotic currency pairs are the least traded in the Forex market and are therefore less liquid than even the crosses we just discussed.

    And while the liquidity of the exotic pairs is more than enough to absorb most orders, the “thin” order flow often leads to choppy price action.

    Additionally, the technical analysis we like to use here at Daily Price Action is less reliable. As a general rule of thumb, the more liquid a market is, the more you can rely on the technicals.

    So what are these exotic currency pairs, you ask?

    AEDUAE DirhamARSArgentinean Peso
    AFNAfghanistan AfghaniGELGeorgian Lari
    MYRMalaysian RinggitAMDArmenian Dram
    GYDGuyanese DollarMZNMozambique new Metical
    AWGAruban FlorinIDRIndonesian Rupiah
    OMROmani RialAZNAzerbaijan New Manat
    IQDIraqi DinarQARQatari Rial
    BHDBahraini DinarIRRIranian Rial
    SLLSierra Leone LeoneBWPBotswana Pula
    JODJordanian DinarTJSTajikistani Somoni
    BYRBelarusian RubleKGSKyrgyzstanian Som
    TMTTurkmenistan new ManatCDFCongolese Franc
    LBPLebanese PoundTZSTanzanian Schilling
    DZDAlgerian DinarLRDLiberian Dollar
    UZSUzbekistan SomEGPEgyptian Pound
    MADMoroccan DirhamWSTSamoan Tala
    EEKEstonian KroonMNTMongolian Tugrik
    MWKMalawi KwachaETBEthiopian Birr
    THBThai BahtTRYNew Turkish Lira
    ZARSouth African RandZWDZimbabwe Dollar
    BRLBrazilian RealCLPChilean Peso
    CNYChinese Yuan RenminbiCZKCzech Koruna
    HKDHong Kong DollarHUFHungarian Forint
    ILSIsraeli ShekelINRIndian Rupee
    ISKIcelandic KronaKRWSouth Korean Won
    KWDKuwaiti DinarMXNMexican Peso
    PHPPhilippine PesoPKRPakistani Rupee
    PLNPolish ZlotyRUBRussian Ruble
    SARSaudi Arabian RiyalSGDSingaporean Dollar
    TWDTaiwanese Dollar

    While the table above is fairly comprehensive, it is by no means a complete listing of every exotic currency in the world. However, it does cover some of the most popular of the less popular exotics.

    But before you rush off to add this basket of currencies to your trading platform, there are a few things you should know.

    Liquidity Concerns

    As I mentioned earlier, these Forex exotics are less liquid than their more standard counterparts. And while most of them can easily support the majority of retail orders, the lack of volume can adversely affect the spread between the bid and the ask.

    Also, in my experience, the study of technical analysis works best in highly liquid markets. This is one reason why I made the transition from equities to Forex in 2007.

    Because the exotic currency pairs lack sufficient liquidity, at least compared to that of other pairs, the accuracy of technical analysis can suffer. So even if you find a pair that has a favorable spread, the lower volume may adversely affect your trading performance.

    Limited Historical Data

    At least two or three times a week I scan back several years on a particular currency pair. This is especially true if I’m on the fence about a key support or resistance level.

    For those who have always traded the majors and crosses, the ability to view historical data is something you’ve come to expect.

    However, if you trade the exotics listed above, you may not have that luxury.

    Some of these currencies simply haven’t been around long enough to establish a significant track record.

    In other cases, your broker may not offer the data. Remember that these exotics are far less popular than even the crosses, so some brokers decide that storing and updating the data simply isn’t worth their resources.

    Choppy Price Action

    This is perhaps the number one reason I avoid most exotic currency pairs like the plague.

    While you may be able to find a few that have favorable movement, for the most part, they are extremely choppy and volatile currencies to trade.

    Here’s an example of ZARJPY. As you know from the currency tables above, that’s the South African rand versus the Japanese yen.


    As you can see, the price action above is less than ideal. And keep in mind that the ZARJPY is relatively “mild” in terms of the chop you might see on any given day.

    Opportunity Cost

    Last but certainly not least is the opportunity cost associated with trading exotic currency pairs.

    What does this mean, exactly?

    It means that if you were to take a trade on the EURTRY (Euro / Turkish Lira), you’re tying up a portion of your capital that could be used elsewhere. You now have a level of exposure that you didn’t have 5 minutes ago.

    As such, you are now somewhat limited in what you can do should a favorable setup arise on a more liquid pair such as the EURUSD or the USDCAD.

    Of course, you could make the same case about any position, but with dozens of other currency pairs at your disposal, you certainly have to weigh the opportunity cost associated with trading a less liquid market.

    The Three Commodity Pairs (What You Need to Know)

    As the name implies, commodity currencies are those that rely on their respective country’s export activities.

    Developing countries such as Burundi and Tanzania are among them. However, it also applies to countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    Although there are several others on the list, the only commodity currency pairs that you need to know for this lesson are USDCAD, AUDUSD, and NZDUSD.

    You should know that the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollar are also known as the commodity dollars, or “comdolls.”

    Let’s take a look at each pair in detail.


    The US dollar versus the Canadian dollar is one of the more sensitive commodity currency pairs. This sensitivity is due to the vast amount of natural resources that flow from Canada, much of which makes its way to the United States.

    Among these natural resources is oil, which is a primary export for Canada and one that is vital to the health of the global economy.

    In fact, Canada exports over 2 million barrels a day to the US alone. This high dependency on the commodity as an export makes the Canadian dollar vulnerable to fluctuations in the price of oil.

    Although the correlation is never static, over the last ten to fifteen years, the Canadian dollar has held a positive correlation to oil of more than 75% on average.



    This relationship means that when oil rises the Canadian dollar strengthens. Conversely, when oil depreciates so too does the CAD.

    Because the CAD is our quote currency in USDCAD (remember, it’s the second in the pairing), the currency pair has an inverse correlation to oil.


    Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of gold. In fact, as of 2014 the country was the second largest gold producer only second to China.

    Here’s a chart showing how the Aussie dollar has tracked gold prices over time.



    So as you might expect, just like oil exports heavily influence the Canadian dollar, the Australian dollar is at the mercy of the country’s gold exports.

    Why does this matter?

    It matters because investors tend to flock to gold during times of economic unrest. And if the Australian dollar tracks gold prices, then there’s a good chance that the Aussie will also capitulate during hard economic times.

    But if this is true, why did the AUDUSD plummet during the 2008 global financial crisis?


    That’s a great question, and we find the answer once we dig into the “safe haven” status that the US dollar often brings to the table.

    During times of economic uncertainty or struggle, investors tend to favor the US dollar. So even though the Aussie was riding the gold wave at the time (which wasn’t very impressive as you’ll see below), the US dollar was strengthening at a faster pace.

    The Australian dollar also tends to track equities, so when these markets began to capitulate back in 2008 so too did the AUD.

    Remember, all value is relative in the currency market.



    Despite the small size of New Zealand, the small island nation has an abundance of natural resources. However, the country’s significant agricultural presence is what attracts the “commodity currency” label.

    These resources combined with the massive international trade and it’s little wonder why the New Zealand dollar is affected by global commodity prices.

    However, unlike the Canadian dollar or Australian dollar, the NZD isn’t typically tied to the fluctuations of one commodity.

    Rather, the currency is affected by a basket of commodities and is one of the top exporters of milk, meat, and fruits.


    Safe Haven Currencies: Your Virtual Bomb Shelter

    A safe haven is any asset that has a strong likelihood of retaining its value or even increasing in value during market downturns.


    One of the most popular safe havens is in the form of a metal rather than a currency. But contrary to popular belief, gold isn’t a great performer during economic uncertainty or even recessionary periods.

    During the 2008 global crisis, for example, gold was locked into a range and really only managed to move sideways with slight gains seen towards the end of the recession.


    Note: The gray area represents the unofficial start and end of the 2008 crisis

    Of course, as you can see from the chart above, the longer-term appreciation of gold as a safe haven can be quite considerable and should therefore not be underestimated.

    Swiss Franc (CHF)

    In the Forex market, the Swiss franc (CHF) is considered a safe haven currency, hence the reason the USDCHF experienced mixed results during the 2008 period.


    Notice how although the US dollar gained against the franc in late 2008, the results weren’t nearly as substantial or lasting as something like the AUDUSD chart above or any one of the yen pairings below.

    US Dollar (USD)

    The US dollar often enjoys the same “safety net” status, however, when matched up against a more formidable safe haven, the currency tends to move lower during times of economic unrest. The USDJPY chart below is a perfect example.

    Remember that if the quote currency experiences heavy appreciation, the pair is likely to move lower over time.

    Japanese Yen (JPY)

    Last but certainly not least is the Japanese yen, another currency that has a long history of safe haven status.

    Notice how the yen crosses below fared during the 2008 meltdown.


    USDJPY safe haven


    GBPJPY weekly


    AUDJPY weekly

    As you can see, the Japanese yen appreciated massively against all three of its counterparts above.

    Over the years the yen has been one of the more consistent safe haven currencies, which has made it my go-to currency when fear begins to grip global markets.

    But just because an asset held its value or appreciated during the last market downturn does not mean it will behave in the same manner in the future.

    The ever-changing nature of the financial markets doesn’t offer guarantees such as this. However, the assets mentioned above do have a history of retaining their value when things turn sour.

    Know Your Correlations (And Avoid Blowing Up Your Account)

    If you only remember one thing from this lesson, let this be it.

    A currency pair’s correlation refers to the similarities shared by various pairings. These commonalities lead to both positive and negative associations.

    For example, under normal circumstances, the EURUSD and the USDCHF are negatively correlated. In other words, if the EURUSD ends the day higher by 100 pips, chances are the USDCHF finished the day lower.

    An example of two positively correlated pairs would be EURUSD and GBPUSD. In our previous example, if the EURUSD ends the session higher by 100 pips, it’s likely that GBPUSD also ended the day higher.

    So you get the idea. Again, pretty basic stuff but yet essential knowledge if you wish you achieve consistent profits in the Forex market.

    Why is it so important, you ask?

    Because managing risk is your number one job as a trader. And if you aren’t familiar with these currency correlations, you can inadvertently double your risk.

    For example, if you sell the EURUSD and buy the USDCHF, you have essentially doubled your risk.

    At the same time, if you were to buy both currency pairs, you’ve contradicted yourself. For example, if you sell two negatively correlated pairs, chances are only one of the two trades will be successful.

    So what is a Forex trader to do?

    It comes down to checking the currency correlation before placing a trade.

    Here is the currency correlation table I use.

    What’s nice about the chart above is that it’s divided into various time frames. This separation makes it easy to determine how one currency pair correlates to another and if you’re approach makes sense from a risk to reward perspective.

    So What Do I Trade? (Top Secret)

    Just kidding, it isn’t really top secret. But I will say that this is the first time I’ve publicly announced the currency pairs I trade.

    Here you go!


    So which pairs are my favorite to trade?

    Honestly, I don’t have favorites. I’m an opportunist so rather than favoring particular currencies, I gravitate toward favorable technical patterns.

    This is why you’ll often see me commenting on currency crosses over in the daily setups. I enjoy trading the majors, but I certainly don’t discriminate should a compelling setup arise on something less liquid.

    With that said, the pairs I started with back in 2007 are highlighted in the table above. These were my go-to currency pairs back then, and many still are today with a particular emphasis on the AUDUSD and the NZDUSD.

    Wrapping Things Up

    Wow, this lesson is now over 4,000 words. Who knew someone could write so much about Forex currency pairs?

    But seriously, I’ve always said that the process of becoming a great Forex trader is more important than the destination. And if you want to become consistently profitable, it’s essential that you understand everything there is to know about the currency pairs you’re trading.

    Many traders make the mistake of skipping these necessary steps before putting their hard-earned money at risk.

    As they say, knowledge is power. And nothing is more powerful for a trader than understanding the currency pairs that make up the Forex market.

    I sincerely hope this lesson has answered any question you may have had. As always, if I missed something, please let me know in the comments section below.

    I Want to Hear From You

    What currency pairs do you trade? Did I miss anything?

    I’d love to hear from you so be sure to drop me a line in the comments section below. I always make it a point to respond.

  • Majid Ali says:

    Its nice and good explanation thanks dear

  • Stephen Birtle says:

    Very informative. Thank you so much.

  • lekhetho says:

    Thnx a lot so can u contact me on phone please

  • Shaon Bhuiyan says:

    Emerging currencies are good if they are in trend and your broker has lower spread (ZAR, MXN, PLN, NOK/SEK). CADCHF is a good pair, Its tooooo slow sometimes but follow Price Action.

    • Shaon, yes, they can be traded, but there are important factors that should be considered before doing so.

  • Cesário Neto says:

    Congratulations!!! Exellent explanation of the importance of the dynamics of pairs of forex currencies.

    • Much appreciated, Cesário. This one took a while to put together, but it looks like it was well worth it. 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Rachel says:

    Great article, very informative. Thanks

    • Rachel, glad to hear you enjoyed it. Feel free to reach out with any questions. Cheers.

  • Simo says:

    Superb explanation.. Thank you sir.. I hope I can be a good trader like you one day..

  • Veli says:

    its a WOW from me and i’m so glad to have learned of some things i was not aware of in the markets. Specifically, the correlated pairs. I have about 2 months trading and i cannot say things are good but from the information you have shared, i would most definitely avoid making most of the mistakes. I have a question though, do you not trade the News at all, as far as your setups are concerned?

    • Veli, thanks for the kind words and the feedback. As for how I structure trade setups, I don’t pay attention to the results of fundamental events; only the technicals matter to me. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.

  • Ramesh says:

    This must be the most comprehensive piece of information on currency pairs i’ve come across. This article would probably make it into someone’e forex trading ebook in a paid course. So thanks you for taking the time to write it and then offering it free of charge. Personally i have struggled with correlations as it often brought more questions than answers. I understand with more clarity now. best regards Justin!

    • Ramesh, many thanks for the feedback and glad I could help. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Guenter Zaenker says:

    Do you use Forex Tester 3?

    • Guenter, no, I don’t, but then I’m also no longer backtesting (nor do I believe in it as a way to verify a strategy).

  • prakash says:

    Fantastic lesson ,clear and very informative. You are a great teacher. Thanks

    • That’s what I like to hear. Thanks, Prakash. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Otunuga O. Adebayo says:

    I love this write up,

  • Claudio says:

    Hi Justin

    Great explanation, just one question, about the strength and the weakness of a currency, the strength meters indicators can help to get the right direction?




    • Pleased to hear that, Claudio. I’m not sure what you mean by “strength meter” but no tool or indicator will allow you to know the future direction of any market. It’s all based on probabilities.

  • Otunuga O. Adebayo says:

    Good write up, thanks.

  • Makhosonke says:

    Very informative. Thanks Justin

  • Aigars says:

    Im may too new in Forex. Amazing how you manage you time? To do analysis, write articles, post it and keep trading. But really good and looks there always to be to learn something new.
    Thank you Justin

    • You’re welcome, Aigars. I pull a lot of 12 hour days between here and the member’s area, but it never feels like work because I love what I do. Also, because I trade from the higher time frames, trading for my account takes less than an hour a day.

  • yogarajah says:

    Very nice article indeed about currency pairs. Keep up the good work. We can learn so many things.

  • Gerard MacDonald says:

    I Like you emails it helps to have a second opinion on where I am thinking about trading. It makes me have a second look are even different angle before I place trade. Thank you for info

  • Shaz says:

    That was tremendously helpful and has definitely shed light on some grey areas I had.
    Thank you very much.

    • My pleasure, Shaz. It’s one of those “basic” topics, but it never hurts to brush up on things.

  • Geniusbami says:

    You simply laid it bare. Readi it all up has really made me review my trading choice process.

    Thank you for your time in putting this all together. God bless you.

  • sifiso dlamini says:

    Very informative my brda. Is it possible to email me some useful information with regards to forex like the ebooks and stuff. Tank u

    • Sifiso, I don’t have any ebooks but you may want to sign up for the free pin bar course if you haven’t already.

  • Arun says:

    Very nice post Bennett sir, Touch with us very frequently please. We want regular basis analysis for all Major pair. Thanks in advance.

  • tim cobb says:

    Awesome article. very informative. What are your thoughts on parallel channels. I see from your daily price action you use tend lines . Your thought on the market has a memory?

  • Peter Cain says:

    Thanks Justin, for your high quality information and presentation.

  • Peter G says:

    I’m already a member of DPA, and the only difference between the pairs you trade and what I trade, are the USDCHF which I don’t trade, and the AUDNZD, which I do trade. Good information for newbies. Two thumbs up.

    • Thanks, Peter. I do trade the AUDNZD but apparently forgot to include it in the table. I’ll be updating it shortly. Thanks for commenting.

  • Rotimi says:

    Well explained concept of Forex trading. Pls, how do you combine your technical analyses with the fundamentals analysis?

  • Dale Moore says:

    Much of what you wrote I have learned by trial and error, mostly error. these are important things to know when you are trying to sort out a candlestick chart and discovering what the meanings are. great job. Can I print it?

    • Thanks, Dale. You’re free to print it for personal use, but it might not turn out great. However, I am working on a PDF “cheat sheet” that will list the currency pairs in this lesson. Stay tuned for that and thanks for sharing.

  • sunil kumar says:

    Very informative. Thank you so much.

  • Laurie Bowman says:

    Good basic information; it reminded me to re-visit a couple of topics I’d forgotten about. A couple of questions…I don’t see AUDNZD on your list, but you sent out a trade idea for that pair a couple of days ago….? Also, using the correlation chart, what values do you want to see before you’re satisfied with the level of correlation? Thanks!

    • Laurie, yes, another reader pointed that out so I’ll be updating the table shortly. As for the correlation table, the instructions are at the top of the page.

  • Rajesh says:

    Hi Justin, very informative – much appreciated. Thanks.

  • piet says:

    Thank u Justin very informative i learned a lot .YOU my guru Again it is what a forex trader must know

  • Mduduzi Ngomane says:

    This lesson taught me a lot that I did not know. I am a beginner and I need all this knowledge. They dont come this easy and less expensive. I appreciate your lesson.

    • Mduduzi, pleased to hear you enjoyed the lesson. Be sure to reach out if you have any questions.

  • sreymom says:

    GBP/JPY that is good lesson ………………..

  • sbala says:

    Good and clear explanation, i appreciate it very well. Thanks

  • Youness says:

    Hi Justin,

    Good article for beginners.

    Another kind of correlation to be aware of is geographical correlation, like NZD & AUD, EUR & GBP and somewhat CHF.

    Another thing to be aware of is Japan imports most of its oil need, so when Oil goes up (CAD too) the JPY goes down

    Another thing maybe you forgot to mention is carry trades, where one currency has higher interest than another currency, so many traders trade these pairs, as it was the case of AUDUSD, when the oz was 4.5% and USD was near 0%.

    Hope I added some value to your write up.

    Thank you for your time.


  • Francis says:

    Hi Justin, The simplicity you pack in all your explanations always amuses me. How I wish you had been my kindergarten teacher. Keep up the good work.

  • John Greydanus says:


    The email mentioned you will list the 22 pairs you trade but the list only has 20; which is correct?

    Thanks, John (DPA member)

  • Laurie says:

    Since the mataf correlations chart doesn’t cover all the pairs you trade, how do you take correlations into consideration?

  • Jeremiah says:

    That’s great.It very helpful even from the way the currency pairs you trade are arranged.

  • Sifiso says:

    Hi Justin

    Do you ever trade indices….Would you recommend a beginner to look at them especially during the High volatity times… I want to rade them as a supplement to my long term trades…to earn decent weekly wage

    • Sifiso, I don’t trade indices, but that doesn’t mean it’s ill-advised. Figuring out what to trade is sort of like deciding how to trade – it has to be something that sparks your interest and also fits your personality.

  • vincent says:

    Hi Justin. Great and informative blog. As I am still new and learning the trading in the process, my favorites are major currency pairs. This blog has helped me to understand minor and crossover currency pairs and how one should trade them and risks involved therefore.
    My trading knowledge is improving since I have started following your daily/weekly trade set ups.

    Keep well.

    • Vincent, I love hearing that. Thanks for the feedback. Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Casey Ram says:

    Though the article looked too basic in the beginning, in the end I learned a lot. It is really great refreshing the key points.

    Thanks JB!

  • malcolm says:

    hi justin well written good content thankyou malcolm.

  • Dream Big says:

    very nice, thanks

  • IKE says:

    As a beginner in forex trading, i recently been following and reading your trade set ups which is insightful and knowledgeable as well. I really enjoy your price action and market analysis. Great effort and good job…Thanks for your indepth knowledge!!!

    • Ike, you’re very welcome. Thanks for the feedback and great to hear that the material is helping.

  • Siyabonga Mkhize says:

    Thank you Justin, you have open up my mind on which currency is stronger than the other.

  • Phil says:

    Hi Justin

    Great eye opening lesson.

    Thanks a lot

  • kareem says:

    thank u! as always, ur teachings ar always a big blessing to me. i admire ur ability to break things down and make them as simple as possible with great understanding.i love u.u ar a blessing to me!

    • I love hearing that, Kareem. That’s what this site is all about – teaching simple but effective techniques and strategies. 🙂

  • kareem says:

    great!! thank u,u ar a blessing to me. simplicity!

  • Gerben says:

    Hi Justin,

    Another great article.
    I attached some of the article to mine trading plan.
    Futher i do not complete understand why AUD at crisis is going down, when gold is up,
    because aud is gold?
    I am trading/looking only for the SGD and NOK as exotic pairs.
    Best regards, Gerben

  • Francina says:

    I just started my fire trading journey seriously a month ago. #Newbie. This information is very helpful and simple to understand.

    • Hi Francina, that’s great to hear. Feel free to send me an email with any questions. My door is always open.

  • Thant Zin says:

    Very informative .Thanks alot

  • Teresita Debalucos says:

    hi Justin,
    thank you very much for your effort. it is very informative to me especially the correlation of it’s currency pairs. however, i don’t know how to place a trade in forex. My experience is in binary option, so i don’t how to execute stop loss or take profit, but i understand a bit of the market direction. i don’t know about leverage, spread and other stuff because in binary option is very easy just click call if the price you think will go up and put if the price you think will go down, but the problem is there is an expiry time which sometimes doesn’t meet with my vacant time.

  • Dennis Bustamante says:

    Is there a particular time you look st daily charts to analyze
    Or particular platform of a broker?

  • cheston lewis says:

    hey I loved the article I’m not new to trading and I’ve seen short term success but I’m looking for that consistency to make a living. The one thing I would like if you don’t mind is more currency pair correlation and how to really understand that. I’ve learned the basics of forex but I still feel I don’t know some of the vital things that make a trader “great” and consistent. I believe currency pair correlation is one of the subjects you touched on that really hit home for me. Is there any kind of way you could explain that subject a little more for me?

    • Hi Cheston, pleased to hear you enjoyed the lesson. As for correlations, there isn’t a lot to say about it as the relationship between currencies is always changing so I try to stay away from making blanket statements on the subject. The link I offered above should help, though.

      Here it is again:

  • mirza akhtar says:

    NO COMMENTS,that the process of becoming a great Forex trader is more important than the destination. And if you want to become consistently profitable, it’s essential that you understand everything there is to know about the currency pairs you’re trading. And nothing is more powerful for a trader than understanding the currency pairs that make up the Forex market.
    Thanks and best wishes

  • John Neale says:

    Re: Forex Currency Pairs: The Ultimate Guide and Cheat Sheet
    Interesting – perhaps you could round it off by including some discussion of NOK, SEK and DKK USD pairs (and any other similar) – what category would you put them in? And some discussion on Emerging currencies.

  • Khosi says:

    Hello Justin. Thanks for sharing. What time frames do you find to work best for you? I;m a new Forex trader and I am starting with small capital, so I find that smaller time frames work out cheaper, but larger time frames are more reliable/ predictable according to my analysis. What are your thoughts?

    Another thing: do you think Trump will affect the consistency of USD pairs drastically, or does this not really matter?

  • Raymond Mahole says:

    Hi, I have just started traded about a month ago, I blew my account twice, but now I have improved a lot. I am busy doing my research on the internet, gathering as much information as i possible can. But thank you for the tips. I think they will help

  • Ray says:

    THANX VERY MUCH, much appreciated

  • Tinh Do says:

    Very informative. Thank you so much….

  • Hello, in order not to almost duplicate one pair with another which pairs should not be traded at the same time ? I mean eur/usd behaves almost the same as gbp/usd .Instead of trading both at the same time what other pairs would be better to trade i that instant ?

  • Simon says:

    I have been forex for almost a year ,but whiIeven I was going through the lessons felt like I am reading something new.Really Justin you are trading savour.

    • Pleased to hear that, Simon. Cheers.

      • Hector says:

        Hey Justin. I’m from India and my government allows us to trade only in four pairs USD/INR, JPY/INR, GBP/INR, EUR/INR. Can you please suggest me something.

  • Oran Banks says:

    Very simple and short THANKS for this kind of a start….

  • Oran Banks says:

    Well this 1 will be 4 the TEAM 2 know more and more about
    ( nothing is more powerful for a trader than understanding the currency pairs that make up the Forex market.)

  • Tuamene Fakae says:

    Good day Justin. I really enjoyed the course and learnt so many new things. I want you to be my forex mentor and I wish to join the community soon, but I want to ask that in the community, do you recommend currency pairs to look out for each day based on your experience and knowledge? Thanks

  • Nkosana says:

    Thanks for the information and the kindness of sharing it

  • Akinbola Sunday says:

    Informative and educative. Thanks.

  • Theo says:

    Thanks for the explanation… how about trading Gold… any good strategies for Gold?

  • u did an amazing job, I did not know about lot of things, u mentioned here, I will love to remain in contact with ur work
    thank u very much boss

  • Gladwin says:

    your information was very helpful, thank you!

  • Emeka says:

    Wonderfully lessons you have here. As regard currency correlation… How do l happy it to trading in other to make profit

  • John says:

    Thanks for this great information am new in trading but ope one day I’ll become a successful currency trader

  • Thanks alot for the great insight on that but if you can pairs have a pathway they follow they move eg 200 pips up for a certain period then retraces any info on that.

  • Abubakar says:

    Thank You Sir.

  • Darren says:

    Sensei! Would be my mentor pls? 🙂

  • macchuks says:

    A great thanks for your detailed teaching ,I have not st
    arted trading but just learning.I actually have my bias for Eur/USD ,GBP/JPY and USD /CAD. Please advice me , I want to be a professional trader like you.Best Regards.

  • Tuadum says:

    Nice analysis, I now understand more about going long and going short. Thanks

  • Zaaba says:

    Great knowledge sharing bro..

  • Abhie Teja says:

    This lesson is really useful and informative. I enjoyed and learned as well something which is base and vital to trading.

  • Said anwar says:

    You have great knowledge and experience.
    Thanks a lot whenever i read your post learn something.

  • Siyabonga Mkhize says:

    Thank you for the lesson. I learn a lot from you

  • Paul says:

    Well explained I have answered all questions I had

  • Syafrizal says:

    Sangat Jelas dan tambah memahami. Sungguh sangat membantu saya

  • Ali Senejani says:

    Great post with detailed explanations.
    I have been trading for almost 3 years now and to be honest I have gone through all the things you talked about.
    Trading is a process and only now after 3 years I am learning how to trade profitably and sticking to one strategy.

  • […] monitor 22 currency pairs. I also find 90% of the setups I take on the daily time frame with the remaining 10% coming from […]

  • Jaeigh says:

    Very informative 👏🏾👍🏾

  • Jovita says:

    Do you incorporate fundamentals in your trading decisions?

  • Syed says:

    Thank You

  • Kwaku wife Nyamaah says:

    Wow…thank you very much, Justin.

  • Sydney says:

    Very informative, thank you.

  • Grant G says:

    Thanks Justin
    Been a member of DPA for 3 weeks now
    In that short perioud of time i have learnt so much from you
    Correlation i have learnt from other mentors have only scratched the surface compared to the indepth explenation you have supplied here
    Cheers mate

  • Irfan butt says:

    Your website and your teaching method is just increbile . i am convinced enough that i will get something new from ur basic articles . so started reading ur whole website m thanks man

  • Themba says:

    Thank you very much for the lesson…I have some question that i would like to know, I am learning fundamental analysis on my own and want to know that,if i use a news release on a cross pair, will it be more volatile than a major pair? and lastly are cross pairs also manipulated ?

  • hefty says:

    the lesson was awesome and clear, thank u mr Bennett

  • Pamela says:

    This was a great lesson. Wish I’d come across it prior to the many mistakes I’ve made. Great lesson indeed. Thank you for sharing your knowledge Justin.

  • Lerato says:

    Thank you very much for the lesson. I’m so super excited to be here & have learnt a lot after I’ve blown all of my accounts.

  • Thabiso says:

    When do u know what to do @ which currency and when ?

  • Michael Ngubelanga says:

    This information was an eye opener for me, I’m trading but was lacking this knowledge you shared with us.

  • Queen Terrell says:

    As I buckle down and get more serious about trading, this article was just what I needed. Easy to follow and understand. ..thank you!

  • Joseph Tlhong says:

    Thanx very much Justin for this comprehensive article on currency pairs. I’m just starting out on Forex and was wondering how I’m going to structure my pairs. You have just done the job easier for me. I have deduced that you don’t trade the CHF crossing except only when paired with the USD – any reason for that?

  • tuantm says:

    verry good. Ths

  • Bobby says:

    Would u mind adding time of market open and market close in your guide, as they play important factor.

  • Mahathir says:

    Learn patiently with naked chart. Seem great and clearly picture.

  • Mafuta says:

    What forex platform do you recommend? What technical analysis patterns do you use constantly? Is the spread where money is made?

  • Peter says:

    Your write up is wonderful and very informative

  • esther ong says:

    Thank you. Clear thoughts and presentation. The examples are a bonus.

  • Luth says:

    This is awesome….Understanding the ins and outs of trading, made very easy…Thank you Justin. God Bless you

  • Lee says:

    I’m a relative newbie. 18 months of learning and going back to nuts and bolts again. Am in Australia. How many and what pairs would you advise me to focus on please. Thanks for your stuff it’s got a clarity rarely found anywhere else 🙂

  • paul says:

    since I am new in this fx I plan to trade euro/usd.. can u give me some advise about this? thanks

  • Armindo says:

    Hi sir I’m Armindo from South Africa I’m new on trading thanks for advice you’re the best

  • Yuko says:

    Great staff

  • Kanzeka Mushe says:

    Well done!

  • ortis says:

    Nice one I love it

  • Michael says:

    Justin, I just want to say big thank you for this lesson, in fact, all mistakes mentioned above perfectly matched my trading behavior, but this lesson will definitely change my perception. Once again, thank you, more grease to your elbow.

  • […] will be most influential to a pair like the EURUSD or GBPUSD, it can also trigger volatility in cross currencies. Even the risk-sensitive Japanese yen is not immune […]

  • olanrewaju says:

    Thanks once again.Even though your article is free.I know at some point i am going to pay you for it because it is worth it

  • Ade says:

    New to forex trading. Been fairing well soo far but sometimes I had a perfect setup but it went against me. Once I read this article and went back my previous trades. It was an epiphany. Thank YOU

  • Fan says:

    I’ve been trading for a couple of months, first time seriously read about the currency pairs. Thanks.

  • Michael says:

    Thanks for the information, is really educative. I just wanted to ask is there an app I can use to determine currency strength and if there is one, how do I use it. Most of the apps I came across are confusing.

  • MUNGE says:

    Thankyou Sir for the information .

  • james maina says:

    very nice Superb explanation

  • samm says:

    awesome ….I have learnt

  • […] අමතර කියවීමට-Forex Currency Pairs: The Ultimate Guide and Cheat Sheet […]

  • Coolsunshine says:

    A very informative read

  • Rusty says:

    I have just begun to explore forex, tho I am very familiar with share trading. I enjoyed reading your article, but became very confused about your terminology after reading more info on other sites.

    You refer to the first currency in a pair as “the base currency”. Other sites call this the “commodity” or “quote” currency.

    You refer to the second currency in a pair as “the quote currency”. Other sites call this the “base” or “money” currency.

    I hope you can clarify this for me.

    • The base currency is the first currency in a pair. The quote currency is the second currency.

  • Oliver Selle says:

    I’ve just started trading and your explanation is going to help me a great deal. I’m soaking up all sorts of information from people around the world. It’s fantastic how people share the knowledge they worked hard to acquire.
    Having no form of financial education myself as a teenager or as a young man, I’m catching up now. I’d like to give my children a better chance in life by passing on my trading skills once I’ve mastered it.
    Thank you.

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