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Shridhar G Vatharkar
Shridhar G Vatharkar

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Decoding Historical Forex Data

Unlock the secrets of Forex with our guide on decoding historical Forex data. Learn how to access, analyse, and leverage data for informed decisions.

The foreign exchange market, a bustling hub for developers and analysts worldwide, stands out as the most liquid, volatile, and impactful global marketplace, With a staggering daily market activity totaling trillions of dollars.

For those navigating the intricacies of Forex, understanding the historical data is a crucial step. This blog delves into the significance of historical Forex data, types, why it's essential, how to acquire top-quality historical data, and how to harness it for making informed decisions.

Historical Forex data is crucial because:

  • Developers and analysts can understand the market better to create innovative digital systems.

  • It helps predict how the market might behave and avoid past mistakes.

  • Market participants feel more confident and get better results in the future.

Historical forex data refers to past price information for foreign exchange (forex) currency pairs. This data is crucial for technical analysis, backtesting strategies, and gaining insights into market behavior.

Different types of historical forex data include

Tick Data

Tick data consists of individual price changes recorded at the smallest time intervals (ticks). It includes information such as each transaction's price and timestamp. Tick data provides a granular view of market activity and is often used for high-frequency strategies.

Minute Data

Minute data aggregates tick data into one-minute intervals. It provides the opening, closing, highest, and lowest prices within each minute. Minute data is helpful for those who require a balance between granularity and computational efficiency.

Hourly Data

Hourly data further aggregates price information into one-hour intervals. It includes the opening, closing, highest, and lowest prices within each hour. Hourly data is commonly used for medium-term analysis and strategy development.

Daily Data

Daily data summarizes price information for each day. It includes the opening, closing, highest, and lowest prices for the entire day. Daily data is widely used for long-term analysis, trend identification, and developing strategies focusing on broader market movements.

Weekly and Monthly Data

Like daily data, weekly and monthly data aggregate price information over longer timeframes. These timeframes help identify long-term trends, make macroeconomic analyses, and develop strategies with a more extended perspective.

Bid and Ask Data

Bid and ask data provide the prices at which buyers are willing to purchase (bid) and sellers are willing to sell (ask) a currency pair. Analyzing bid and ask data helps to understand market liquidity and potential price movements.

Historical Exchange Rates

Historical exchange rate data shows the conversion rates between two currencies at specific points in the past. This data is crucial for understanding how currency pairs have fluctuated over time and is often used for fundamental analysis.

Order Book Data

Order book data provides information about the market's buy and sell orders at different levels of prices. While not strictly historical, analyzing order book data can give insights into market depth and potential price reversals.

Developers and analysts may use a combination of these types of historical forex data depending on their specific needs and the timeframes they are interested in. Access to accurate and reliable historical forex data is essential for effective solution development and analysis.

Understanding Historical Forex Data

Consider a straightforward example: the US Dollar versus the sterling pound. While the Forex market allows the exchange of one currency for another, the value of these currencies can sometimes differ due to various economic factors driving exchange rates.

Historical Forex data, stored in databases by market data providers, records past exchange rate movements. This data is pivotal in crafting effective strategies for navigating the live Forex environment.

As Forex has gone digital, every tick of price movement is meticulously recorded. This historical data can be retrieved in various formats, including charts and tabular data, and can be programmatically accessed by developers through REST API for in-depth analysis.

Why is High-Quality Historical Forex Data Crucial?

Analyzing historical Forex data is pivotal to understanding how the exchange rates of specific currency pairs have behaved in the past. Let's explore the importance of historical Forex data and how it aids in making informed decisions.

Market Evaluation

Historical data for different timeframes allows developers and analysts to assess the overall market scenario during specific phases. Analyzing charts with historical data for intervals like daily, hourly, minute, and tick data provides insights into market trends.

Market Behaviour

Economic factors like central bank decisions, inflation rates, and geopolitical events drive exchange rate fluctuations. Historical data helps assess market behavior during these events, enabling developers and analysts to gauge the impact of financial news on exchange rates.

Assessing Patterns

Analyzing candlestick charts reveals price movement patterns, such as heads, shoulders, and triangles. Recognizing these patterns helps determine entry and exit points, set profit targets, and manage risks effectively in live Forex.

Effective Use of Historical FX Data

Once armed with historical Forex data, it's essential to use it for making informed decisions effectively:


The primary advantage of historical data lies in backtesting the strategies on past exchange rate information. Developers and analysts can use backtesting tools and software to evaluate the effectiveness of their approach.

Market Analysis

Invest time in historical Forex data analysis to understand market behavior. Studying recent price movements and the impact of economic factors on exchange rates enhances decision-making.

Trends and Patterns

Leverage historical Forex trends and patterns to anticipate price changes. Analyzing trends and patterns simplifies decision-making in Forex.

Drawing Strategies

Accurate historical data supports the development and refinement of Forex strategies. Backed by reliable historical data, market participants can automate strategies, eliminate emotions, and save valuable time.

Data Mining

Data mining involves discovering patterns, trends, correlations, or valuable information from large data sets. When using historical data for data mining, you analyze past information to extract valuable insights. The process involves several techniques and methodologies to uncover hidden patterns or practical knowledge for decision-making and prediction.

How To Get Historical Forex Data?

Understanding the importance of historical data, let's explore various tools to obtain it.

Sign-Up for Your Free API Key

Getting started is a breeze! Sign up for your free API Key, a unique pass. Once you have the key, we can proceed further.

MS Excel

Limited historical data is available for free download, and you can also purchase historical Forex data for specific currency pairs, periods, and intervals.

Downloading Historical Forex Data

This tutorial will guide you through downloading historical forex data. TraderMade offers free access to daily, hourly, and minute time series data with specific limitations on the historical timeframe. Follow these steps to initiate a free download.

Visit TraderMade's Historical Forex Data Page.

Go to the historical Forex data page.

Click on the "DOWNLOAD FOREX DATA" Tab
Locate and click on the "DOWNLOAD FOREX DATA" tab on the page. This will direct you to the download data page.

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Choose Data Parameters

  • On the Download Forex Data page, dropdown menus for Symbol, Interval (Minute, Hourly, or Daily), and Start/End Dates are available.

  • Note the limitations on historical timeframes: 5 years for daily data, two months for hourly data, and two days for minute data.

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Receive Historical Forex Data

Once the download is complete, you will receive an Excel file containing the free historical Forex data.

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Purchase Historical Tick and Minute Data

You can purchase historical tick and minute data if you need more extensive data. Click the "Buy Historical Data" tab on the same page and add the desired data to your basket.

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Congratulations! You have successfully purchased historical forex data from TraderMade. This data can be used for various purposes, including backtesting strategies and analyzing market trends.

Google Sheet

Utilize the Google Sheets plug-in to import Forex data for analysis. We'll walk you through easy steps to leverage our Google Sheets Plug-in to access historical exchange rate data. So, if you're ready to take your game to the next level, let's dive in!

Copy the Spreadsheet

Head to the Forex Google Sheet. Go to the File tab and duplicate the pre-designed sheet for seamless implementation. Save your sheet with a preferred filename, and keep your API Key ready.

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Copy the Code

Suppose your app script doesn't have a populated code. Go to the Gs file and copy the essential code. This code adds crucial functionality to your Google Sheets.

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Get the Extension

Navigate to the 'Extensions' tab, choose 'App Script' from the dropdown, and follow the steps to add the extension. This ensures your Google Sheets can fetch the requested information from our server.

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About Formulae Pre-populated on the Google Sheet Plug-in

Our Google Sheet Plug-in simplifies calculations and API integration. In the duplicate sheet, find various pre-populated formulae in the 'F' column.

Historical Rate: Obtain the exchange rate for a currency pair on a specific date.

Request Data and Get Results

Enter the desired parameters—Currency, Start Date, End Date, and Interval—and request data. Do not forget to add your API Key. You will instantly receive historical Forex data in the subsequent cells in the 'F' column.

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Leverage languages like Python, PHP, Go, JavaScript, C#, and C++ to programmatically access historical data. We are using C++ here. Let's walk through the process, including C++ installation, library installation, and code execution.

Install C++ Compiler (g++)

If you don't have a C++ compiler installed, you can use the GNU Compiler Collection (g++). For Windows users, you can install MinGW. For Linux users, you can install g++ using the package manager.

For Windows
Install MinGW: MinGW Installation Guide
Make sure to add MinGW to your system's PATH during installation.

For Linux (Ubuntu)

sudo apt update
 sudo apt install g++
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Install cURL Library

cURL is a library for making HTTP requests. For Windows users, you can use the pre-built cURL library. Linux users can use the package manager.

For Windows:

  • Download and install cURL from the official website: cURL for Windows

  • Make sure to add cURL to your system's PATH during installation.

For Linux (Ubuntu):

sudo apt install libcurl4-openssl-dev 
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Install JsonCpp LibraryjJsonCpp is a library for working with JSON data. You can download and build it from the source.

For Windows

  • Download JsonCpp source code from GitHub: JsonCpp GitHub Repository

  • Build JsonCpp using CMake and Visual Studio or MinGW.
    For Linux (Ubuntu)

sudo apt install libjsoncpp-dev 
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The Code

This C++ code demonstrates a simple program that uses the libcurl library to perform a GET request to a specified API endpoint and then parses the JSON response using the JsonCpp library. Here's a breakdown of the code:

Include Statements:

  • iostream: Input/output stream handling.

  • string: String manipulation.

  • curl/curl.h: Header file for libcurl, a library for making HTTP requests.

  • json/json.h: Header file for JsonCpp, a library for JSON manipulation.

#include <iostream> 
#include <string> 
#include <curl/curl.h> 
#include <json/json.h> 
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Using the std namespace to simplify the usage of standard C++ library components.

using namespace std; 
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Callback Function:

Callback function to handle the response from libcurl. It appends received data to a string.

size_t WriteCallback(void *contents, size_t size, size_t nmemb, void *userp) 
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Curl Request Function:

Initializes and configures libcurl for a GET request to the specified URL. Uses the WriteCallback to handle the response and store it in the response string.

bool performCurlRequest(const string& url, string& response) 
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JSON Parsing Function:

Parses the JSON response using JsonCpp and reports any parsing errors.

bool parseJsonResponse(const string& jsonResponse, Json::Value& parsedRoot) 
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Main Function:

The main entry point of the program.

int main() 
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API URL and Response Variables:

Defines the API URL and a string to store the HTTP response.

string api_url = ""; string response; 
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Curl Initialization:

Initializes libcurl.

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Performing the Curl Request:

Calls the performCurlRequest function to execute the HTTP request.

if (performCurlRequest(api_url, response)) 
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JSON Parsing:

Calls the parseJsonResponse function to parse the JSON response.

Json::Value root; if (parseJsonResponse(response, root)) 
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Extracting and Printing Data:

Extracts and prints bid and ask values from the JSON response.

const Json::Value quotes = root["quotes"]; for (const Json::Value &quote : quotes) { if (quote.isMember("bid") && quote.isMember("ask")) { double bid = quote["bid"].asDouble(); double ask = quote["ask"].asDouble(); cout << "Bid: " << bid << ", Ask: " << ask << endl; } } 
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Curl Cleanup:

Cleans up resources used by libcurl.

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Return Statement:

Indicates successful execution.

return 0; 
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Note: Replace API_KEY, CURRENCY_PAIRS, and YYYY-MM-DD in the API_url with the actual values you want to use.

Create a C++ Source File

Please create a new file, let's call it forex_api.cpp, and copy the provided C++ code into this file.

Compile the Code.

Open a terminal or command prompt. Now navigate to the directory where forex_api.cpp is located. Use the following command to compile the code:

For Windows (MinGW)

g++ forex_api.cpp -o forex_api.exe -lcurl -ljsoncpp 
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For Linux

g++ forex_api.cpp -o forex_api -lcurl -ljsoncpp 
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Run the Executable

Run the compiled executable
For Windows

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For Linux

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View Output

If everything is set up correctly, the program will make an API request, parse the JSON response, print the bid, and ask for values from the console. We are considering the USDEUR pair and 2024-02-01 as an example. We have our output ready!

  "date": "2024-02-01",
  "endpoint": "historical",
  "quotes": [
      "base_currency": "USD",
      "close": 0.92058,
      "high": 0.92754,
      "low": 0.91976,
      "open": 0.92433,
      "quote_currency": "EUR"
  "request_time": "Thu, 01 Feb 2024 17:33:26 GMT"
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If needed, replace the API URL with a valid one and ensure the API key is correct. URL can be generated with the help of Query Generator. Remember that this step-by-step guide assumes a basic understanding of using a terminal or command prompt.

Query Generator

Step into the world of data exploration with our Query Generator – your gateway to unlocking a treasure trove of forex information! Here's your guide to navigating through the vast realm of historical Forex data:

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Dive into the Query Generator.

First things first – head over to our Query Builder. Ensure you're logged in, and then go to our Data Documentation page. Awaiting you, the Query Generator option is nestled comfortably in the left-side menu.

The page will greet you with familiarity, and the Request URL is already pre-populated with your unique API Key. It's like having the key to a data kingdom!

Uncover the World of Historical Forex Data

Let's sail into the sea of historical Forex rates. Head to the dropdown menu and choose one of the Historical API Endpoints. In the first parameter for CURRENCIES, enter the currency pairs your heart desires. Feel free to add as many as you want – the more, the merrier! The other parameters are date and time. Please choose them according to your needs.

Once you've curated your perfect selection, hit the RUN QUERY button. Behold – the magic unfolds! Witness the historical close, high, low, and open rates for the chosen currency pairs at your fingertips.

We can also copy the Request URL using the COPY button. This key is your ticket to weaving this data into the fabric of your applications and programs.


For market participants, developers, and analysts, looking at what happened before is a common way to understand how markets work. Historical Forex data gives accurate testing and reliable results. To get the best results, it's like looking for a detailed history and putting together the best quotes.

This tutorial serves as your guide to understanding the strategies for using historical Forex data effectively. Choosing TraderMade as your Forex data partner ensures access to the most accurate, reliable, and unbiased historical data.

Whether through Forex API or other methods discussed, partnering with the best data provider empowers us for a consistent and data-driven Forex journey.

Need technical assistance? Our market data experts are just a live chat or email away to answer your queries promptly.

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