Top Forex Pairs: Understanding Major vs Minor Currency Pairs

Top Forex Pairs: Understanding Major vs Minor Currency Pairs

In the world of forex trading, understanding the different currency pairs is crucial for success. Forex pairs are categorized into two main types: major and minor currency pairs. Each category has its own characteristics and factors that influence their price movements. In this article, we will delve into the differences between major and minor currency pairs and why they matter in forex trading.

Major Currency Pairs:

Major currency pairs are the most heavily traded pairs in the forex market. They consist of the world’s most dominant and widely used currencies, including the US dollar (USD), euro (EUR), British pound (GBP), Japanese yen (JPY), Swiss franc (CHF), Canadian dollar (CAD), Australian dollar (AUD), and New Zealand dollar (NZD). The USD is involved in more than 80% of all forex transactions, making it the most influential currency globally.


The major currency pairs are highly liquid and offer tight spreads, making them attractive to both beginners and experienced traders. The liquidity of these pairs ensures that traders can enter and exit positions easily without significant price slippage. Additionally, major currency pairs are less prone to sudden price movements and are generally considered more stable compared to minor pairs.

Due to their popularity, major currency pairs are closely followed by traders, analysts, and central banks. News and economic events related to these currencies tend to have a significant impact on their price movements. For instance, the release of the US non-farm payroll data may cause significant volatility in the USD pairs.

Minor Currency Pairs:

Minor currency pairs, also known as cross currency pairs or simply crosses, do not include the USD as one of the currencies. These pairs are formed by combining two major currencies other than the USD. Examples of minor currency pairs include EUR/GBP, AUD/CAD, and GBP/JPY.

Minor currency pairs are less liquid compared to major pairs, which can result in wider spreads and increased price slippage. Higher transaction costs and potential illiquidity make minor pairs less suitable for beginners or traders with limited trading capital. However, for experienced traders who are well-versed in their dynamics, minor currency pairs can offer unique opportunities.

The price movement of minor currency pairs is often influenced by the economic and political factors of the countries involved. For example, if there is positive economic news from Australia, it may lead to a stronger Australian dollar (AUD) and, consequently, a rise in the AUD/CAD pair.

When trading minor currency pairs, it is essential to consider correlations between the involved currencies. Some currency pairs have a positive correlation, meaning they tend to move in the same direction. In contrast, others have a negative correlation, indicating they move in opposite directions. Understanding these correlations can help traders manage risk and diversify their portfolios.


Understanding the differences between major and minor currency pairs is crucial for forex traders. Major currency pairs provide stability, tight spreads, and high liquidity, making them ideal for beginners and traders who prefer less volatile markets. On the other hand, minor currency pairs offer unique opportunities but can be more challenging to trade due to wider spreads and lower liquidity.

Ultimately, the choice between major and minor currency pairs depends on a trader’s risk tolerance, trading strategy, and experience level. Regardless of the chosen pairs, staying up-to-date with economic events, news releases, and market trends is essential for successful forex trading.


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