What is Quote Currency?

Also called secondary currency or counter currency, a quote currency is the currency being purchased in a currency pair.

How Does Quote Currency Work?

Four main pairs of currencies are most commonly traded in the foreign exchange markets.

The major pairs are Euro/U.S. Dollar (EUR/USD); U.S. Dollar/Japanese Yen (USD/JPY); U.S. Dollar/Swiss Franc (USD/CHF); British Pound/U.S. Dollar (GBP/USD). There are about a dozen popular pairs that constitute the majority of forex trading, but these four are the biggest.

Buying and selling currency always involves two currencies: the currency you're paying with (that is, the currency you’re selling) and the currency you're buying. Thus, currencies are traded in pairs. The base currency is the currency you're selling, and the quote currency is the currency you're buying.

For example, if you purchase a JPY/USD pair that is quoted at 1.40, then for every 1.40 U.S. dollars you sell, you get 1 Japanese yen. The quote currency is the yen.

Why Does Quote Currency Matter?

Understanding which currency you're buying and selling in foreign exchange transactions is crucial, especially with the major pairs. They drive the majority of the trading activity in the currency markets.