Understand what is forex pips and spread and how it works. These are very important measure of success in forex trading.
Understanding Pips and Lot Size
Pips is the basic measurement use in forex trading to measure price movement. Pip is the smallest price movement in forex trading and pip stands for the acronym percentage in point. Pip is always measure by the last digit in forex price quotes, say you bought EUR/USD at 1.3123 and was able to sell it at 1.3126, you then earn 3 pips which is the difference between the sell price and the buy price. Every pip has a dollar equivalent depending on the lot size a trader is trading. Micro lot 1 pip is equal to $0.10, a mini lot 1 pip is equal to $1.00 and a standard lot 1 pip is equal to $10.00.
Reading Forex Quotes
Let us use the following forex quote for EUR/USD to understand further what is forex spread. Sell price 1.3120 and Buy price 1.3123, this quote means that you can buy EUR/USD at 1.3123 and you can sell it or short sell it at 1.3120. You notice that the sell price and the buy price are not equal, their difference is what we know as spread.
Most forex brokers do not charge that client with commission fees or brokers fees, how then do the forex brokers earn when we trade with them? The answer is through the spread, which is why one of the selling points of forex brokers is offering low spread to their client. To explain further let say you bought EUR/USD at the buy price of 1.3123 just right after you bought this pair you are already registered a loss of 3 pips because you can only sell it at 1.3120, sell price of 1.3120 less buy price of 1.3123 equals negative 3 or 3 pip loss. The spread actually goes to the pocket of your broker as their income.
This also works the same way when you sell short a currency, the price you pay to sell short EUR/USD in our previous example is at 1.3120, just like your buy order in your sell order you are already at a loss amounting to the spread for a currency.
Every time you enter a trade whether buying or selling short a currency pair you are charged by your broker via the currency pair spread, this is just once every time you enter a trade and when you close a trade this is actually the time when you pay your broker the spread.
During volatile times in the market spread can move from your regular 1-3 pips to 10-50 pips in just seconds this kind of movement happens in anticipation of a great move or when there are favorable or unfavorable economic news that just become available to the market.
Now start talking in terms of pips when you measure profit or loss in forex trading or when you are describing a currency price range. Take advantage of brokers that offers small spread or better yet guaranteed fix spread. Avoid buying or selling during wild movement of price because you increase the risk of getting charge with a high spread.