Currency crosses in forex trading explained (2020)

Many forex traders limit their trading activities to major currency pairs such as EUR/USD or GBP/USD, or also trade with other “majors” like USD/CHF, USD/JPY, AUD/USD, USD/CAD, and NZD/USD.

But over and beyond this, there are also the so-called cross currency pairs or currency crosses, as they are occasionally referred to. 

Also known as crosses and cross pairs for short, these currency pairs do not include the US dollar, e.g. GBP/JPY or CAD/CHF.

Cross currency pairs including the euro are often referred to as euro crosses

And if a currency cross includes the Japanese yen, it is commonly referred to as a yen cross

screenshot of currency crosses overview forex market tradingview
Currency crosses overview on TradingView

Overview of the major currency crosses

The most frequently traded cross currency pairs or currency crosses are combinations including the euro (EUR), Japanese yen (JPY) and pound sterling (GBP).

Euro crosses

  • EUR/AUD … euro/Australian dollar
  • EUR/CAD … euro/Canadian dollar
  • EUR/CHF … euro/Swiss franc
  • EUR/GBP … euro/pound sterling
  • EUR/NZD … euro/New Zealand dollar

Pound crosses

  • GBP/AUD … pound sterling/Australian dollar
  • GBP/CAD … pound sterling/Canadian dollar
  • GBP/CHF …. pound sterling/Swiss franc
  • GBP/NZD … pound sterling/New Zealand dollar

Yen crosses

  • AUD/JPY … Australian dollar/Japanese yen
  • CAD/JPY …. Canadian dollar/Japanese yen
  • CHF/JPY … Swiss franc/Japanese yen
  • EUR/JPY … euro/Japanese yen
  • GBP/JPY … pound sterling/Japanese yen
  • NZD/JPY … New Zealand dollar/Japanese yen

Further currency crosses

  • AUD/CAD … Australian dollar/Canadian dollar
  • AUD/CHF … Australian dollar/Swiss franc
  • AUD/NZD … Australian dollar/New Zealand dollar
  • CAD/CHF … Canadian dollar/Swiss franc
  • NZD/CHF … New Zealand dollar/Swiss franc
  • NZD/CAD … New Zealand dollar/Canadian dollar

Trading cross currency pairs will probably help you enjoy more interesting trading opportunities than you would with an exclusive focus on the major currency pairs being traded against the dollar. 

The crosses follow other trends than USD currency pairs.

Especially the yen crosses are very volatile as a rule, with strong responses to developments in the American stock market.

Cross currency pairs from an economic and regional perspective

Cross currency pairs can also categorized in line with the G7, arriving at the following crosses:

EUR/GBPEUR/JPYEUR/CADEUR/CHF
GBP/JPYGBP/CADGBP/CHFCAD/JPY
CHF/JPYCAD/CHF  

Or one can assume a regional perspective on currency crosses also including the dollar, e.g.:

Pacific crosses

AUD/USDNZD/USDAUD/JPYNZD/JPY
EUR/AUDEUR/NZDGBP/AUDGBP/NZD
AUD/CADAUD/NZDNZD/CADNZD/CHF

Exotic crosses

USD/MXNUSD/HKDUSD/SGDUSD/BRL
USD/ZARUSD/TRYUSD/KRW 

Nordic crosses

EUR/SEKUSD/SEKEUR/NOKUSD/NOK

Eastern crosses

USD/RUBUSD/CZKUSD/PLN

Cross currency pairs, currency crosses and crosses conclusion

Opening their eyes to other currency pairs can be worthwhile for any forex trader.

One prerequisite is the selection of a good broker, however, so that they can expect their orders to be optimally filled despite the lower liquidity of cross currency pairs. 

Overview: Most traded currency crosses on TradingView

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