Liquidity the term itself means in the financial world is "how easy to buy or sell your shares, contracts or in this case currencies". In a more simpler way, suppose you need to buy some Euro with US Dollar. Then you need someone in the market who will buy your US dollar & return you his Euro. In order buy anything you always need someone will sell that thing. Vice versa in case of sell. If you need to sell Potato then you need someone who will buy your potato. This supply & demand availability is called liquidity.
The more participant will be in a specific market. The more liquid, that asset will be. The currency market has the highest liquidity. Not to mention cryptocurrency in these days is gaining liquidity also. World business cannot move with currency transaction over cross-border thus there is always a good flow of supply & demand.
Obviously, the banks are the liquidity providers. Because all of our currencies get exchanged via banks. Banks decide the rates based on the market supply & demand, availability of traders. Following are the top Global Banks who are the major forex market liquidity providers.
|Industrial and Commercial Bank of China||China||24.14 trillion CNY|
|Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group||Japan||2.459 trillion USD|
|JPMorgan Chase & Co.||United States of America (US)||2.5 trillion USD|
|HSBC Holdings PLC||United Kingdom (UK)||2.374 trillion USD|
|BNP Paribas||France||1.994 trillion EUR|
|Deutsche Bank||Germany||1.591 trillion EUR|
|UBS||Switzerland||935 billion CHF|
|Royal Bank of Canada||Canada||1.2 trillion USD|
|ING Group||Netherlands||845 billion USD|
|Commonwealth Bank||Australia||933.1 billion AUD|
* Total Asset Data based on 2016 records
Above are the top rated banks from major countries. Forex brokers take liquidity from different banks based on their legal availability & regulation. Those brokers who work with the top level banks are the best forex brokers because they will provide you the best price, especially if they have Non dealing desk (explained later)
Investors, traders who buy/sell currencies from the open market or with Over the counter (OTC). There is a classification of different forex market players based on their trading volume. There are 2 major types of forex market players or participants. Institutional Investors/traders and Retail forex traders. Other Market Participant types are Speculator, Supply Side, Demand Side, Professional, Investors & lastly novice traders.
They can be a single person or group of people or any company, the bank who trades over 1 million dollars account. They generally execute almost 100+ standard lots per month or even in per trading days. Banks are the biggest institutional traders as they trade billions of dollars per day. Here are we are stating the currency in the dollar but actually it can be any currency in large scale. Then comes the big trading firms who manage private funds from big investors. Institutional Traders are basically the market movers. That’s why some retail traders follow bank trade levels or round numbered price levels (Explained later in trading strategy section).
Retails traders are the common type of traders who manage the lower amount of trading volume than institutional traders. It can be from $1 to $100,000. In forex market number of retail traders are usually higher than the institutional traders. They are almost 80% of the market participants. Thus if you are a retail trader, do not break your heart! A good retail trader with a properly sized account & stable strategy can make a good monthly return.
All forex brokerage services have a separate segment for both retail traders & Institutional traders. Obviously, institutional traders get more benefits & priority from forex brokers. Such as personal account managers, FIX API Trading, VIP Accounts etc.
There is also a classification based on trader time spent in the market.
|Scalper||Second to Minute|
|Day Trader||Full Trading Hours for the day|
|Swing Trader||One day to week|
|Position Trader||Month to Year|
|Investor||Buy and Hold for value|