The G10 currencies refer to the 10 major currencies that were included in the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The G10 is comprised of 11 industrialized nations that consult and cooperate on economic, monetary and financial matters.

Introduction to the G10 Currencies

The G10 currencies consist of the US dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, British pound sterling, Swiss franc, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, and Norwegian krone. These major currencies act as benchmarks and represent the most liquid and widely traded currencies in the forex market.

The G10 countries account for almost two-thirds of global GDP and half of world trade. Their currencies are viewed as safe haven assets during times of market volatility and economic uncertainty. The policies set by the G10 central banks have major implications for global financial markets.

Traders pay close attention to the G10 currencies when analyzing forex market movements. Understanding the key characteristics and factors impacting these major currencies is crucial for forex trading success.

In this comprehensive guide, we will examine the G10 currency group in detail, covering the history, central banks, factors affecting exchange rates, trading strategies, and economic outlooks.

Brief History of the G10 Currencies

The G10 originated from the GAB that was established in 1962 to support the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates. The original G10 members were Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and West Germany.

In 1964, the IMF members approved a resolution making the G10 the primary source of financing for the IMF. Although the Bretton Woods system collapsed in 1971, cooperation between the G10 members continued through the Smithsonian Agreement and after.

As the world’s major industrialized nations, the G10 countries coordinated to manage exchange rate fluctuations and international liquidity issues. Over time, the G10 evolved to focus more on international financial stability and banking supervision standards.

Some key milestones in the history of the G10 currencies include:

  • 1944 – The Bretton Woods conference established the IMF and pegged currencies to gold.
  • 1971 – The Nixon Shock ended convertibility of USD to gold. Currencies began to float against each other.
  • 1999 – Introduction of the euro as an accounting currency.
  • 2002 – Euro banknotes and coins entered circulation, replacing legacy currencies.
  • 2008 – Global financial crisis led to heightened volatility between G10 currency pairs.
  • 2020 – COVID-19 pandemic caused massive movement in forex markets.

G10 Central Banks

The central banks of the G10 countries are responsible for monetary policy and play pivotal roles in foreign exchange markets. Here is an overview:

U.S. Federal Reserve

The Fed oversees the world’s largest economy and its decisions cause waves in forex markets. It has a dual mandate of low inflation and maximum employment.

European Central Bank

The ECB administers monetary policy for the 19 eurozone member states. Its focus is on price stability through controlling inflation.

Bank of Japan

The BOJ pioneered unconventional monetary policies such as quantitative easing to fight deflationary pressures. Its ultra-loose policy impacts JPY exchange rates.

Bank of England

The BOE has a mandate to maintain monetary and financial stability. GBP is sensitive to its interest rate decisions and economic outlook.

Swiss National Bank

The SNB conducts monetary policy aiming for price stability and acts to reduce volatility in CHF exchange rates.

Bank of Canada

The BOC targets inflation control through its benchmark overnight rate. CAD exchange rates closely follow oil price movements.


Sweden’s central bank uses inflation targeting to guide monetary policy. SEK exchange rates are sensitive to global risk sentiment.

Reserve Bank of Australia

The RBA sets rates to foster economic prosperity and welfare of Australians. AUD is influenced by commodity prices and RBA policy.

Reserve Bank of New Zealand

The RBNZ policy aims to maintain stability in NZD’s purchasing power. NZD acts as a commodity currency and risk barometer.

Norges Bank

Norway’s central bank oversees monetary policy and manages the Government Pension Fund Global. NOK correlates with oil exports.

G10 central bank policies and communications substantially impact the valuation and volatility of their currencies. Tracking monetary policy shifts is key for trading the major currencies.

Factors that Influence G10 Currency Exchange Rates

There are several important fundamental factors that drive exchange rate movements between the G10 currency pairs. The main influences on G10 forex rates include:

  • Interest rates – Central bank rate decisions affect capital flows and currency valuations. Higher relative interest rates increase demand for a currency.
  • Economic growth – Strong GDP and economic data lifts a currency by drawing investment flows. Weakness does the opposite.
  • Inflation – Rising inflation typically undermines a currency’s value unless met by central bank rate hikes. Low inflation can strengthen a currency.
  • Current account deficits/surpluses – Chronic deficits weaken a currency while surpluses from exports strengthen it.
  • Political climate – Elections, new governments, fiscal policies, and geopolitics impact currency valuations.
  • Commodity prices – Currencies like CAD and AUD correlate strongly with crude oil and metals pricing.
  • Risk sentiment – Safe haven currencies like CHF and JPY benefit from risk-off sentiment during market turmoil.
  • Relative strength/weakness – Currencies can strengthen versus weak pairs without any clear fundamental drivers.

In addition to fundamentals, G10 exchange rates fluctuate based on technical trading factors, market positioning, and sentiment. Understanding both technical and fundamental forces is key.

Trading Strategies for G10 Currency Pairs

There are many effective trading strategies suited for G10 currencies that traders can consider. Here are some top approaches:

  • Carry trades – Borrow low interest rate currencies to fund purchases of higher yielding currencies. AUDJPY and GBPAUD are popular carry pairs.
  • Momentum/trend following – Identify and trade in the direction of the dominant trend across G10 pairs using indicators like moving averages.
  • Range trading – Take advantage of support and resistance levels when price is ranging. EURUSD and USDJPY often trend in ranges.
  • Breakout strategies – Trade breakouts of key levels after building consolidation. Can apply to currency pairs like GBPUSD.
  • Economic news trading – Important events like rate decisions and GDP releases often spark volatile breakouts.
  • Chart patterns – Look for formations like head and shoulders, triangles, flags, and wedges emerging on G10 pairs.
  • Sentiment-based – If a currency becomes overbought or oversold, fading the sentiment can yield profits.

Always use sound risk management with stop losses on G10 currency trades. Technical and fundamental analysis can identify high probability setups.

Economic Outlook for the G10 Currencies

Looking at the overall economic outlook offers insights into potential opportunities and risks facing the G10 currencies:

  • USD – Fed tightening and recession risks are headwinds but USD remains a safe haven during market uncertainty.
  • EUR – Eurozone growth concerns and Russia-Ukraine conflict weigh on EUR but hawkish ECB supports it.
  • JPY – BOJ yield curve control suppresses JPY but risk-off periods spur demand.
  • GBP – UK economy struggling with high inflation and weak growth weigh on GBP.
  • CHF – CHF remains strongly bid as a safe haven. SNB will continue intervening to limit excessive strength.
  • CAD – Booming commodities income supports CAD but high household debt poses risks.
  • AUD – RBA hiking to combat inflation but China slowdown and global growth fears pressure AUD.
  • NZD – Higher rates support NZD butextended RBNZ tightening cycle limits upside.
  • SEK – Riksbank ended QE but global recession fears cast a shadow over SEK.
  • NOK – NOK closely tracks oil prices and global sentiment towards risk assets.

Overall, the economic outlook for G10 currencies remains uncertain. Staying nimble and managing risk are key to navigating forex markets.


The G10 currencies represent the most widely traded and influential global forex benchmarks. Driven by interest rate differentials, economic factors, commodities, and market risk sentiment, these major currency pairs exhibit distinctive dynamics.

By tracking G10 central bank policies, understanding key economic data, and applying technical analysis, forex traders can identify profitable opportunities. Using a suitable trading strategy with strong risk management puts the odds of success in your favor.

With economic uncertainty ahead, the G10 currency space promises to remain highly active. Staying up-to-date on macro fundamentals and technical price action will be essential to navigating this volatile market environment.