minus academy faq plus academy faq Check in circle Apple Android Home Magnifer Calculator Mail Email Facebook Twitter RSS Linkedin Linkedin hollower Headphones Wechats Instagram Line Mail 2 Phone Phone 2 Minus Plus Arrow right Arrow left (variant 2) Arrow right (variant 2) Brand logo Brand logo not filled Hamburger Flag of the Hong Kong Flag of the US/GB Flag of the US/GB Flag of the US/GB Flag of the China Flag of the China Flag of the China (traditional) Flag of the Taiwan Flag of the Hong Kong Flag of the Spain Flag of the Russia Flag of the France Flag of the German Flag of the Portugal Flag of the Italy Flag of the Poland Flag of the Czech Flag of the Hungary Flag of the Sweden Flag of the Bulgarian Flag of the Finland Flag of the Lithuania Flag of the Denmark Flag of the Croatia Flag of the Estonia Flag of the Norway Flag of the Romania Flag of the United Arab Emirates Flag of the United Arab Emirates Flag of the Indonesia Flag of the Malaysia Flag of the Korea Flag of the Korea Flag of the Samoa Flag of the Vietnam Flag of the Thailand Flag of the Turkey Flag of the Japan Cross Cross large User Arrow down Arrow up Cube Info list Data comunication Clock Slash
A to Z Academy
A to Z Academy / 3. Understanding Forex Trading

16.What are currency codes and symbols in Forex?

November 13, 2020 07:00 AM

ISO codes for currencies 

In the forex market, each currency code is uniformly represented by three English letters. Using the ISO 4217 set of codes, ISO 4217, an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization to denote currency names.

At the international trading level, ISO codes are used by people for the convenience of:

  • Quotation
  • Reading
  • Communication

Banks and corporations around the world also use currency codes, and it’s not uncommon to see banks publish each currency exchange rate by using the currency code rather than any translated name or currency symbol.

Currency code rules

According to the rules of ISO 4217 code, the first two letters of currency code are actually the country code of ISO 3166-1, and the third is usually the first letter of a currency name. In the case of GBP, the GBP consists of the code for the United Kingdom, “GB”, and the first letter of Pound “P” . Similarly, USD is composed of the country code for the United States, “US” and “D” for Dollar, and CNY is composed of the country code for China “CN” and “Y” for Yuan. Less clear is the currency code CHF, which combines the Swiss country code “CH” and “F“ for Franc.

Points to note in currency codes

The ISO 4217 forex currency code can be changed, for example when a country issues new currency, carries out currency reforms or changes currency units. The Russian ruble was once changed from RUR to RUB.

In addition, the code also includes non-currency classes, beginning with X.

The most commonly seen are the precious metals like:

  • gold (XAU)
  • silver (XAG)
  • palladium (XPD)
  • and platinum (XPT)

All are actually made up of X and the “periodic table” names of these metals. XDR stands for IMF’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

Unofficial ISO Forex Currency Codes

It should be noted that there are some commonly used codes in the financial market, but they are not official ISO codes, such as:

  • RMB (an abbreviation of Renminbi)
  • CNH (Offshore RMB)
  • BTC and XBT (Bitcoin)

Next Articles: 17. What are the Major Currencies?


About ZFX (Zeal Capital Market) 
  • The Best Trading Platform Award 2019 from Financial Weekly, Regulated by FCA & FSA.
  • 100+ trading assets, including ForexStocksIndicesGold, Crude Oil, etc.
  • 3 types of trading accounts to meet the needs of every customer
  • 0 commission, low spread, leverage ratio up to 1:2000
  • Powerful trading platform that executes 50,000 orders/s
  • Open an account with a minimum deposit of $50
  • 24-hour Customer Service

What is Overnight Interest/ Rollover/ Swap? Concept of Carry Trade | ZFX


Risk Warning: The above content is for reference only and does not represent ZFX’s position. ZFX does not assume any form of loss caused by any trading operations conducted by this article. Please be firm in your thinking and do the corresponding risk control.


Knowledge is POWER
Never miss an opportunity to learn and grow as a trader. Join the ZFX Academy mailing list to be the first to know about our next webinar, article or guide.
Contact Us