FX Currency Map

The FX Currency Map is a thinkorswim gadget that allows you to quickly and easily check the dynamics of currency pairs. Like all other gadgets, the FX Currency Map can be displayed as a section of the left sidebar or a separate window (see the Left Sidebar article for details).

The first thing you need to do when using the FX Currency map is specify the counter currency in the currency toggle located in the gadget header. This is the currency against which the map will be built. Basically speaking, the map illustrates the comparison of available currencies with the one you specified in the toggle. On top of the map, there is a display of base currencies. Those are major currencies from around the world, each assigned a proper map section, spanning from the U.S. dollar on the left to the New Zealand dollar on the right.

Each of the base currencies is compared with the counter one and the result of the comparison is displayed as a histogram. Note that this histogram is plotted based on the base-to-counter currency ratio which is not necessarily equal to the FX pair ratio. Red columns directed downwards signify that at this very moment it takes less counter currency to buy the base currency than it did this morning. Green columns directed upwards mean exactly the opposite.

Hovering the mouse over currency sections will bring up a pop-up window where you can see the following:

- The full symbol of the currency pair. Note that it is not necessarily the same as the base-to-counter currency ratio: for example, if you specify USD as the counter currency, the CAD section of the map will display the value of CAD/USD value, while in the pop-up, you will see the standard USD/CAD pair. This transposition allows you to compare a currency to all of its counter currencies on an apples-to-apples basis, regardless of which side of the currency product it is placed in.

- The current last sale price and the net change of the currency pair as calculated from midnight CT.

- A major city name from the base currency area (location of the major exchange of that area), current time in that area, and current market open/closed status. The market is open from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon.

Below the currency map, there is an FX Pair watch list. Like all other watch lists, this one can be customized; for more information on that, refer to the Watch Lists article.

*Forex trading involves leverage, carries a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please read the Forex Risk Disclosure prior to trading forex products.

The left sidebar is an area in the thinkorswim interface where you keep gadgets necessary for your work. These gadgets allow you to view some trading information immediately, watch news or even distract yourself by playing a couple of built-in games without needing to leave the main window of the platform. The content of the left sidebar is completely customizable. It is up to you to decide which gadgets to keep there; refer to pages in this section, to learn more about each of them.

To add a gadget, click the 'plus' button  at the bottom of the sidebar. The Select gadget dialog will appear. Click on the name of the gadget you would like to display; it will be immediately added. Note that you can have up to 15 gadgets at a time on the left sidebar, however only a subset of these will be onscreen at any given time depending on their heights. The sidebar can be scrolled using the arrow buttons   at the bottom. You can also resize the sidebar by dragging its right border to the width you like. 

If you don't need a previously added gadget anymore, you can remove it from the left sidebar. In order to do that, click the Show actions  button in its top right corner and choose Delete gadget from the menu; the gadget will be removed. If you've added many gadgets and like to quickly delete several of them, consider using the Customize gadgets dialog (accessible via the 'gear' button     at the bottom). This dialog displays a compact list of currently added gadgets; clicking the 'x' button  next to a gadget name will delete the gadget from the sidebar. This menu also allows you to rearrange the order of your gadgets by clicking and dragging their names into a new order. 

The Show actions menu (accessible from the button  at the top-right corner of each gadget) also allows you to detach or switch the gadget. Detaching means displaying the gadget in a separate window with an option to keep it above all other windows (for this purpose, click the 'pin'  button on top of the detached gadget). Switching means replacing a gadget with another: after clicking Switch gadget, you will see the Select gadget dialog where you can choose a gadget to replace the current one.

If you don't need any of the gadgets at the moment, you can hide the whole sidebar. In order to do that, click the Hide gadgets button  in the bottom left corner of the sidebar; the sidebar will be hidden. The button itself, however, will be kept where it belongs so that you can quickly unhide the sidebar once you need it again.

The Use The News gadget is a popular thinkorswim tool designed especially for users who prefer trading on the news. It allows the traders not only stay informed on the most important news, but also to trade directly from it. Like all other gadgets, Use The News can be displayed as a section of the left sidebar or a separate window (see the Left Sidebar article for details).

Reading all the available news stories can be overwhelming sometimes, so we addressed this problem by offering you the Categories functionality. It allows you to filter the news feed so that you only see and use the news stories that fall into the selected categories. You can customize the list of categories by clicking on the 'tag' button in the gadget header.

In the dialog window, you will see a list of categories broken into five groups, each having a unique color:

- The News Movers group (brown) encompasses all symbols that seem to be making moves. Using categories from this group will display the news stories based on which moves exactly you would like to see in your feed. For example, the Most Active category will look for symbols with the highest volume in the pre-market, Pre-market will only keep symbols that had moves in the pre-market. You can also filter the symbols based on the instrument type they belong to, their price action, or time of day when they were active.

- The Event Activity group(purple) is all about symbols that are making moves on certain events. News stories in these categories are provided by third-party analysts and are based on many types of events: upgrades, downgrades, initiates, conference calls, and many more.

- The Trading Activity group (green) categorizes stories that represent potential trading ideas. For example, selecting the Opening Bell Momentum category will capture stocks that have been on the move with a potential reason for that move as well as analytical foundation for support and resistance levels.

- The Sector Summary group (yellow) will help you decide which sector moves the markets. Categories in this group represent specific sectors of the financial market.

- The Commodities group (blue) represents sector-specific news on commodities. As of now, commodity sectors covered by this group are:  Gold and Metals, Oil, Natural Gas, Manufacturing, and Mining.

Once you have selected all the categories that are interesting to you, click Save& Close. In the gadget pane, you will see all the selected categories shaded in colors corresponding to the groups they belong to. Each category displays the number of news stories relevant to it. Clicking on each category will open a watch list populated with symbols featured in the stories.

In this watch list, you can view the news stories corresponding to symbols that made it into the category. In order to open a story, click on the triangle  at the end of the symbol line. This will bring up the news window; clicking on the title there will display the full story.  The watch list can be used the same way as all other watch lists across the application (see the Watch Lists article for details). For example, consider saving it as a static personal watch list so that you will be able to re-use it later on along with other watch lists.