Lesson 7: An Explanation of Pips and Fractional Pips
Lesson 7: An Explanation of Pips and Fractional Pips
In our last lesson we learned about the different position sizing options available to retail forex traders. In today's lesson we are going to continue our forex trading course with a look at what pips and fractional pips are.
Traditionally a 1 pip move in the market was the smallest move that a currency could make. Another way of looking at this is that a 1 pip move in the market is a move up or down by 1 of the number sitting the furthest to the right of the decimal point in the forex quote.
As most currency pairs have 4 decimal places a 1 pip move in the market would be a move up or down by 1 of the number sitting in the 4th decimal place spot in the quote. So for example the EUR/USD currency pair is trading at 1.5678 as of this lesson so a move to 1.5679 would be a 1 pip increase in the quote and a move to 1.5677 would be a 1 pip decrease.
In the JPY based currency pairs where there are two decimal points, a 1 pip move in the market would be a move up or down by 1 of the number sitting in the second decimal point spot. So for example as of this lesson USD/JPY is currently trading at 101.28. With this in mind a move to 101.29 would be a 1 pip move up in the market and a move to 101.27 would be a 1 pip move down in the market.
If you noticed at the beginning of this lesson I said that a 1 pip move in a currency pair has traditionally been the smallest move that a currency pair could make. I say this because as electronic platforms have brought greater price transparency to the forex market and price competition has heated up some platform including the one that we have been using have added an additional decimal place to their quotes. Known as Fractional pips, now many of the currency pairs which have traditionally been 4 decimal places quoted out to 5 decimal places and the pairs which have traditionally been quoted out to 2 decimal places quoted out to 3 decimal places.
Lets quickly login to our demo trading platforms to see what I am talking about. If you have not done so already I encourage you to pause this video now and click the demo registration link above this video if you are watching on InformedTrades.com or to the right of this video if you are watching on Youtube.
Once logged into your demo trading platform you can see this extra digit in the upper right hand corner of the quote for each currency pair. Fractional pip pricing is an advantage to the individual trader as it allows the market maker to quote in increments of less than 1 pip, offering for example a spread of 2.5 pips on EUR/USD instead of 3 and saving the trader a half a pip on the trade.
Thats our lesson for today, in tomorrow's lesson we will look at how to calculate profits and losses in the forex market so we hope to see you in that lesson.
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The key event Thursday will be the latest ECB policy meeting. At the last meeting, President Draghi announced that the central bank would extend its bond purchase program to the end of 2017. The central bank will continue to purchase bonds at the current monthly pace of EUR 80 billion until the end of March. From April 2017, net asset purchases will continue at a reduced monthly pace of EUR 60 billion until the end of December 2017. One question some have is will the ECB speed up the tapering of its bond purchases later this year. With the ECB still not having even STARTED to taper, it is premature to expect a new announcement as early as this meeting.
The rest of this week sees a calendar chock full of potentially market-moving events. See calendar above. On Friday, January 20 starting at 11:00 ET, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as U.S. President. His inaugural address will be carefully combed for any items related to economic policy.
The Trump comment that he would use forex as a policy tool would be a new element for the markets. The Trump comments rattled the markets.
The Tuesday Brexit speech by U.K. PM May continues to impact trade.on her plans for Brexit. May said she wanted no "half-in or half-out" agreements. Her goal remains complete political independence from the EU. The GBP remains vulnerable.
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