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FAQ about Trading Terms

Forex, Spot Metals and CFDs

When can I trade Forex?

You can trade Forex around the clock, 5 days a week from 00:00 EET on Monday to 23:59:59 EET on Friday.

The Forex market is open 24 hours a day. Although there aren't necessarily any trading sessions, like with stock exchanges, banks in different parts of the world have different trading hours. In the table below, you can see when Forex trading opens and closes at banks around the world. When trading, you should take these times into account, as markets opening and closing can have an impact on the level of trading activity. Times are listed in EET (Eastern European Time, the time we typically use on our site, on our servers and in our trading platforms).

Summer Time

Trading SessionCityEET
AsiaTokyo
Shanghai
Singapore
03:00–09:00
04:30–10:00
04:00–12:00
EuropeFrankfurt
London
10:00–18:30
10:00–18:30
AmericaNew York
Chicago
16:30–23:00
16:30–23:00
PacificWellington
Sydney
00:00–06:45
02:00–08:00

Winter Time

Trading SessionCityEET
AsiaTokyo
Shanghai
Singapore
02:00–08:00
03:30–09:00
03:00–11:00
EuropeFrankfurt
London
10:00–18:30
10:00–18:30
AmericaNew York
Chicago
16:30–23:00
16:30–23:00
PacificWellington
Sydney
00:00–06:45
02:00–08:00
How can I change my leverage?

The maximum leverage you can use is 1:1000, and you can adjust how much you want from myAlpari in the section "My Trading Accounts".

Attention:

Lowering your leverage will subject you to stricter margin requirements. If you are looking to minimize your level of risk, we would instead encourage you to look into the rules of proper money management.

What happens if I keep my Forex positions open overnight?

Keeping a position open through the end of the trading day (23:59:59 EET) will involve market "swaps", where you will either earn interest or be charged interest on your position depending on the underlying interest rates of the two currencies in the pair.

The "storage" for holding a position overnight may depend on a variety of factors:

  • The current interest rates in the two countries
  • The price movement of the currency pair
  • The behavior of the forward market
  • The dealer's expectations
  • The swap points of the broker's counterparty

Attention:

  • In the Forex market, when a position is held open overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, storage is tripled. This is because a swap involves pushing back the value date on the underlying futures contract. For a position opened on Wednesday, the value date is Friday. When a position is kept open overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the value date will be moved forward 3 days, to Monday (skipping over the weekend). Storage is tripled because you are being paid or charged interest for 3 days instead of just one.
  • Likewise, when you hold a position on a stock CFD open through market close on Friday, storage will be tripled due to the value date being moved forward from Friday to Monday, or 3 days. Storage is not charged or credited, however, for positions on CFDs on commodity futures and index futures.

Here's what we mean when we say storage depends on interest rates:

  • Let's say that the interest rate of the European Central Bank (ECB) is 4.25% and the Fed (US) interest rate is 3.5%. You open a short position (Sell) on EURUSD for 1 lot. Here, you are essentially selling 100,000 EUR, borrowing at a rate of 4.25%. In selling EURUSD, you are buying US Dollars, which earn interest at a rate of 3.5%. When the interest rate of the country whose currency you are buying is more than the interest rate of the country whose currency you are selling, storage will be added to your trading account (this may not always hold true, as brokers often charge a fee or markup for overnight swaps). If the interest rate is higher in the country whose currency you are selling, as is the case in this example (4.25 > 3.5), storage will be deducted from your account.
  • Now let's say the broker charges an extra 0.25% for the swap. Add this to the 0.75% difference in the interest rates and you get 1.00%. For the position described above, the storage you will be charged will be equivalent to being charged 1.00% interest.
  • Swap rates are subject to change. The swap rates in our "Contract Specifications" are updated daily at 21:00 EET.
  • When the difference between the interest rates is smaller than the broker's commission, you will be charged storage for both Buy and Sell orders.

Calculating the Swap on a Short Position:

Here we are buying USD and selling EUR. Since the interest rate of the currency we are selling (EUR: 4.25%) is higher than that of the currency we are buying (USD: 3.5%), we will add the Markup in the formula:

SWAP = (Contract × (InterestRateDifferential + Markup) / 100) × Рrice / DaysPerYear

Contract: 100,000 EUR (1 lot)

Рrice: EURUSD - 1.3500

InterestRateDifferential: 0.75% (the difference between the interest rates in Europe and the US)

Markup: 0.25% (the broker's commission)

DaysPerYear: 365 (number of days in a year)

Calculation:

SWAP = (100,000 × (0.75 + 0.25) / 100) × 1.3500 / 365 = 3.70 USD.

When your short position on EURUSD is rolled over to the next day, 3.70 USD will be debited from your trading account for storage.

Calculating the Swap on a Long Position:

When we buy EURUSD, we are buying EUR and selling USD. Since the interest rate of the currency we are buying (EUR: 4.25%) is higher than that of the currency we are selling (USD: 3.5%), we will subtract the Markup in the formula:

SWAP = (Contract × (InterestRateDifferential - Markup) / 100) × Рrice / DaysPerYear

SWAP = (100,000 × (0.75 - 0.25) / 100) × 1.3500 / 365 = 1.85 USD.

When your long position on EURUSD is rolled over to the next day, 1.85 USD will be credited to your trading account.

Why did my broker close my position without my consent?

Alpari International maintains the right to close all or part of your loss-making positions at the current market price when your margin level drops below 20% depending upon your account type.

You can use the following formula to calculate your margin level: Margin Level = (Equity / Margin) × 100%.

If you have several open positions on your account, the position with the highest level of Floating Losses will be closed first.

Example 1: Let's start with a trading account with the following levels:

Here, the equity on the account is 4,494.30 USD and the margin is 345.48 USD, making the margin level 1,300.90% (4,494.30 / 345.48 × 100% = 1,300.90%). When the equity level on the account drops to 69.10 USD, the margin level will drop below 20% (69.1 / 345.48 × 100% = 19.9%). At this point, the dealer will have the right to begin closing loss-making positions.

Example 2: Now, we'll take a look at a second account:

There are two open positions on the account:

  • BUY 3.0 Lots GBPUSD at 1.62181
  • BUY 7.0 Lots GBPUSD at 1.62300

Here, the margin is 3,243.69 USD.

If the floating losses on the account reach 16,283 USD, the equity will drop below 648.74 USD, or 20% of the margin (3,243.69 × 20% = 648.74). At this point, the dealer will have the right to begin closing the trader's open positions. The order for 7.0 lots will be closed first, since it has the highest level of floating losses.

Why wasn't my order triggered when it hit the price I set it to?

To answer this question, we'll first need to look at how the bars are formed in your trading platform:

  • The High (the top of the bar) is the maximum Bid price for a certain time period.
  • The Low (the bottom of the bar) is the minimum Bid price for the time period.

Since the Ask price is equal to the Bid price plus the spread, the minimum Ask price equals the Low plus the spread and the maximum Ask price equals the High plus the spread.

  • Stop Loss and Take Profit orders on Buy positions are triggered when the Bid price (in the stream of quotes) hits the order level.
  • Stop Loss and Take Profit orders on Sell positions are triggered when the Ask price reaches the order level.
  • Buy Limit and Buy Stop orders on a position are triggered when the Ask price reaches the order level.
  • Sell Limit and Sell Stop orders on a position are triggered when the Bid price reaches the order level.

Let's say you sell EURUSD at 1.2250, placing a Stop Loss at 1.2340 and a Take Profit at 1.2190. The spread on EURUSD is 2 pips.

Referring to the list above, you can see that a Stop Loss on a Sell order will be triggered when the Ask price hits the order level (since a short position is effectively closed by a Buy order and you buy at the Ask price). The Stop Loss on your Sell order will be triggered when the Ask reaches 1.2340 or higher. Keep in mind that the price in your MT4 chart is the Bid price. So the order will only be triggered when the High in MetaTrader is 1.2338 (1.2340 minus the 2-pip spread) or higher.

Like Stop Loss orders, Take Profit orders on Sell positions are also triggered when the Ask price reaches the order level. The Take Profit order on the position above will be triggered when the Ask price reaches 1.2190 or lower. This means that the order will be triggered when the Bid price is 1.2188 (1.2190 minus the 2-pip spread) or lower. Since the Low price in MT4 is based on the Bid price, we can conclude that the order will only be triggered when the Low in MetaTrader reaches 1.2188.

Binary Options

With binary options, what happens if the market price is the same at expiry as when I placed the trade?

If the price ends up at the same level as when you placed the trade, you won't lose or gain any money on the trade. You will get back 100% of your investment.

With binary options, do I get any money back on losing trades?

If you make an incorrect forecast then the payout percentage is automatically calculated for each individual Binary Option. This amount can be up to 20% of the investment amount. You can find out the amount before you purchase the Binary Option in the "Return" section which can be found next to "Profitability" in the BinaryTrader platform.

With binary options, is there a fee for selling before expiry?

You are able to sell a Binary Option before its expiry if you want to fix your profit or minimize your losses. If you do this, the Binary Option will lose part of its initial cost and only part of the investment amount will be added to your account. Upon an early sale, the profit percentage is automatically calculated in the BinaryTrader platform for each individual contract and depends on both the Binary Option's parameters and the remaining time to expiry.

To sell an option early, login to the BinaryTrader platform, select the "Open options" tab and click on "Put out". You will immediately be offered a price at which to sell. If you agree to close the contract, the amount shown will be added to your account, the option will be sold and it will be recorded as closed.

Where can I see the spread on a Spread High / Low option?

The spread amount is expressed in pips above and below the current price in the BinaryTrader platform.

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