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Where is forex done?

Forex, short for foreign exchange, is the largest financial market in the world. It involves the buying and selling of currencies from around the world. With an average daily trading volume of over $5 trillion, forex is a decentralized market that operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. But where is forex done? In this article, we will explore the various locations and institutions involved in forex trading.

1. Interbank Market

The interbank market is the primary market where forex is traded. This market is made up of large commercial banks and financial institutions that act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. The interbank market operates through electronic networks that connect banks from around the world.


The interbank market is where the largest forex transactions take place. Banks trade currencies with each other to manage their exposure to currency fluctuations or to meet the needs of their clients. The interbank market is not open to retail traders or small investors, but it is where the exchange rates that we see on our screens are determined.

2. Retail Forex Brokers

Retail forex brokers are the middlemen between the interbank market and retail traders. They provide individuals and small investors with access to the forex market through trading platforms that allow them to buy and sell currencies. Retail forex brokers earn their profits through spreads, which are the difference between the bid and ask prices of a currency pair.

Retail forex brokers operate in different locations around the world, but the majority of them are based in major financial centers such as London, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. These brokers are regulated by financial authorities in their respective countries to ensure that they operate within legal and ethical boundaries.

3. Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs)

Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs) are electronic trading platforms that connect buyers and sellers directly. These platforms allow traders to access the interbank market without the need for a middleman. ECNs match buyers and sellers based on their trading interests, and they charge a small commission for their services.

ECNs are popular among institutional traders and high-frequency traders who require fast execution and low spreads. ECNs also provide transparency and anonymity, which allows traders to trade without bias or manipulation.

4. Forex Futures and Options Exchanges

Forex futures and options exchanges are regulated exchanges where traders can buy and sell standardized contracts for future delivery of currencies. These exchanges provide traders with a way to hedge against currency risk or to speculate on currency movements.

The largest forex futures and options exchanges are located in Chicago, New York, and London. These exchanges are regulated by financial authorities in their respective countries and offer a high level of transparency and security.

5. Central Banks

Central banks are the institutions responsible for the monetary policies of their respective countries. They play a significant role in the forex market by setting interest rates, controlling the money supply, and intervening in the foreign exchange market to stabilize their currencies.

Central banks operate in different locations around the world, but the most influential central banks are located in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. Central banks can influence the forex market through their monetary policies or through direct intervention in the market.


Forex is a global market that operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. It involves a wide range of institutions and locations, including the interbank market, retail forex brokers, ECNs, forex futures and options exchanges, and central banks. These institutions and locations work together to provide traders with access to the forex market and to ensure that the market operates efficiently and transparently. Whether you are a small retail trader or a large institutional trader, the forex market offers a wide range of opportunities for profit and risk management.


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