The technical analyst analyzes the “micro” movements, trying to match the actual occurrence with known patterns.

Current spreads for the most common currency pair, EUR/USD, is typically 3 pips (3/100th of a percent). An equivalent trade using a bank account would most likely be between 200 and 500 pips, while an equivalent trade using cash at an exchange institution would be around 750 – 2500 pips.

Transactions in foreign exchange increased rapidly from nearly $70 billion a day in the 1980s, to more than $2 trillion a day two decades later.