Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Volume and Open Interest

Volume consists of the total amount of currency traded within a period
of time, usually one day. For example, by year 2000, the total foreign
currency daily trading volume was $1.4 trillion. But traders are naturally more
interested in the volume of specific instruments for specific trading periods,
because large trading volume suggests that there is interest and liquidity in a
certain market, and low volume warns the trader to veer away from that
The risks of a low-volume market are usually very difficult to quantify or
hedge. In addition, certain chart formations require heavy trading volume for
successful development. An example is the head-and-shoulder formation.
Therefore, despite its obvious importance, volume is not easy to quantify in
all foreign exchange markets.
One method to estimate volume is to extrapolate the figures from the
futures market. Another is "feeling" the size of volume based on the number

of calls on the dealing systems or phones, and the "noise" from the brokers'
Open interest is the total exposure, or outstanding position, in a certain
instrument. The same problems that affect volume are also present here. As
it was already mentioned, figures for volume and open interest are available
for currency futures. If you have access to printed or electronic charts on
futures, you will be able to see these numbers plotted at the bottom of the
futures charts.
Volume and open interest figures are available from different sources,
although one day late such as the newswires (Bridge Information Systems,
Reuters, Bloomberg), newspapers (the Wall Street Journal, the Journal of
Commerce), Weekly printed charts (Commodity Perspective, Commodity
Trend Service).

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