Forex vs. Futures
Highly Trending markets
Because the foreign exchange market gaps are very limited (the market is closed briefly on weekends), it's not dramatically affected by buying programs that allow it to be easily manipulated. The forex market offers some of the smoothest trends available in any market. No other market can come close to the amount of monetary volume and participation as the forex market making it a haven for traders not having to deal with gaps and price movements, erratic spikes and other choppy market conditions more commonly experienced in the lower volume markets, like futures or options.
Trading in the spot currency markets provides advantages over trading currency futures contracts. One of the main advantages for traders trading spot currencies is the margin rate or leverage that clients are given. In spot currency trading, customers receive one low margin rate for trades done 24 hours a day..
*However traders should note that leverage can work for or against the trader, and that increasing leverage increases both potential gains and losses on any given trade
Since the forex market, in a sense, follows the sun around the globe the market, it rarely experiences periods of illiquidity. What this means is that any trader in any time zone can trade forex at any time during the day or night. You no longer have to wait for the market to open when news has already hit the streets or have to stop trading because the CME, CBOT or other American futures pits have closed for the day. This gives the forex trader added flexibility and continuous market opportunities that just aren't available in futures.
To explain the global effect on the forex market, there are three main economic zones that are linked throughout the world. For instance, when the Pacific Rim markets such as Japan and Singapore begin to slow, the European markets of England, Switzerland and Germany begin. These forex markets are followed by the North American markets of the United States, Canada and Mexico. As the North American markets begin to slow down for the evening, the Pacific Rim starts their trading day again. This example shows that you are no longer limited to trading using a comparatively short, trading day offered by U.S. markets only.
Foreign exchange is one of the few true 24-hour markets. When trading forex, clients enjoy unparalleled liquidity 24 hours a day. In many futures markets, however, the overnight access available to traders is simply window dressing. The lack of liquidity and restrictions on what types of orders a client can place make trading and protecting positions a nightmare.
A good example is the Globex market. While the Globex market is only closed for a 15 minute period each day, the liquidity available after the open outcry market is closed in Chicago is normally very low. Spreads are wider and the ability to place larger orders is non-existent. Because of this, most volume traders are forced into trading the exchange for physical market overnight. The EFP market is the spot market priced in futures pricing. EFP's, however, come with additional fees and are not available from an electronic interface. Electronic access, speed, no fees and unmatched liquidity, 24-hours-a-day makes spot forex the choice for the foreign currency trader.
Foreign exchange is the principal market of the world. If you study any market trading through the civilized world everything is valued in money, the root of all pricing. Global finance is the distribution and redistribution of money throughout different channels and different financial derivatives. Trading spot currencies can be done with many different methods and you will find many types of traders. From fundamental traders speculating on mid-to-long term positions based on worldwide cash flow analysis and fixed income formulas, to the technical trader watching for breakout patterns in consolidating markets or the Gann fanatic looking to duplicate the techniques of W.D. Gann, the methods for trading foreign exchange are many. Spot currencies are a great market for the "trader".