What does a short position denote when trading currencies?

A forex position is an amount of a currency that an individual or entity owns, which then exposes them to the movements of that currency against other currencies. The position can be either short or long. A forex position has three characteristics:

  • The amount of currency owned.
  • Whether the position is short or long.
  • The size.

Traders can place bets on various currency pairs. They could go longer if they anticipate the currency’s price to rise. The amount of leverage required would be determined by their account equity and margin requirements. Traders must adjust for the correct amount of leverage.

What is a short position?

When a trader opens a short position by selling security to repurchase it or cover it at a lower price later, they are creating a trade. When the trader thinks the price of a security is going down soon, she may opt to short it. Naked and covered short positions exist. A naked short is when a trader sells a security without having it first.

However, in the United States, short selling for equities is against the law. A covered short occurs when a trader borrows shares from a stock loan department and pays a borrowing rate if the position is in place.

Understanding short positions

When placing a short investment, it’s important to remember that the trader has limited potential to profit and infinite losses. That’s because the range of potential gains is restricted to the stock’s distance from zero. On the other hand, a stock might continue to rise for years, creating a string of higher highs. The danger of a short-squeeze is one of the most significant drawbacks of being short.

Short squeezes are a phenomenon in which a strongly sold stock unexpectedly rises in price as the short-sellers rush to cover their positions. In October 2008, when investors were fleeing the bank-induced financial crisis, the shares of Volkswagen rose dramatically when short-sellers attempted to cover their bets. During a short squeeze, the stock increased from about $200 to $1,000 in less than a month.

Traders look for sell signals to enter short positions. A standard sell signal is when the price of the underlying currency reaches the level of resistance. A resistance level is a price level that the underlying instrument has failed to surpass. USD/JPY rises to 114.486 in this chart, and it appears unwilling to rise any further. When the price reaches 114.486, this mark becomes a resistance level, providing traders with a sell signal.

Traders may execute their trade anytime the forex market is open, and some prefer to trade only during the major trading sessions. However, if a chance arises, traders might execute their transactions virtually at any time.

Why sell short?

Speculators and hedgers are the most common reasons for short selling. A speculator is making a purely financial wager that the price will drop in the future. They will have to repurchase shares at a higher price, potentially losing money. Because of the increased dangers in short selling owing to the use of margin, it’s generally done in a shorter time frame and is more likely to be an activity engaged in for speculation.

Short selling is also used to hedge an extended position. For example, if you own call options (long positions), you may want to short sell against them to lock in gains. Alternatively, suppose you want to limit your losses without removing yourself from a long stock position. In that case, you may short sell in a closely linked stock or highly correlated with it.


A short position denotes the selling of a currency with the anticipation that its value will decline concerning the base currency. In other words, traders who take short positions hope to profit from a fall in the price of the currencies they are betting against.

When trading currencies, it’s essential to be aware of how a country’s economy is performing and how this might impact the relative values of different currencies. For example, if you think the Japanese yen will become weaker against the U.S. dollar, you might take a short position on the yen by selling it and buying dollars.