what is a forex spread


Spread in forex trading

Foreign exchange market

The foreign exchange market is a global decentralized or over-the-counter market for the trading of currencies. This market determines foreign exchange rates for every currency. It includes all aspects of buying, selling and exchanging currencies at current or determined prices. In terms of trading volume, it is by far the largest market in the world, followed by the Credit market.

In forex trading, the spread is the difference between the bid (sell) price and the ask (buy) price of a currency pair. There are always two prices given in a currency pair, the bid and the ask price.

The forex spread is the difference between a forex broker’s sell rate and buy rate when exchanging or trading currencies. Spreads can be narrower or wider, depending on the currency involved, the time of day a trade is initiated, and economic conditions.Jul 25, 2020


How to find Best Forex spreads?

 · The forex spread represents two prices: the buying (bid) price for a given currency pair, and the selling (ask) price. Traders pay a certain price to buy the currency and have to sell it for less if they want to sell back it right away. For a simple analogy, consider that when you purchase a brand-new car, you pay the market price for it.

How does spread work in forex?

Forex brokers will quote you two different prices for a currency pair: the bid and ask price. The “ bid ” is the price at which you can SELL the base currency. The “ ask ” is the price at which you can BUY the base currency. The difference between these two prices is known as the spread. Also known as the “ bid/ask spread “.

What does spread mean in forex trading?

Forex spread is one of the basic things to understand for beginner traders. One of the most frequent questions on the lips of budding traders usually is ‘’what is a forex spread?’’. Simply put, the spread is the difference between the ask and the bid price on a currency pair. The spread is measured by the movement of pips on the forex market.

What influences the spread in forex trading?

A forex spread is the difference between the bid price and the ask price of a currency pair, and is usually measured in pips. Knowing what factors cause the spread to widen is crucial when trading forex. Major currency pairs are traded in high volumes so have a smaller spread, whereas exotic pairs will have a wider spread.


How does spread work in forex?

The spread in forex is a small cost built into the buy (bid) and sell (ask) price of every currency pair trade. When you look at the price that’s quoted for a currency pair, you will see there is a difference between the buy and sell prices – this is the spread or the bid/ask spread.

What is spread in forex example?

The spread is usually measured in pips, which is the smallest unit of the price movement of a currency pair. For most currency pairs, one pip is equal to 0.0001. An example of a 2 pip spread for EUR/USD would be 1.1051/1.1053.

What is a spread in forex for dummies?

A spread in forex refers to the difference between the bid and ask price of a currency pair. The difference is also called bid-ask-spread. The spread is the cost of each transaction that the forex broker charges and is the basic compensation for each broker. Vice versa, the spread represents the cost to the trader.

What does high spread mean in forex?

A high spread means there is a large difference between the bid and the ask price. Emerging market currency pairs generally have a high spread compared to major currency pairs. A higher than normal spread generally indicates one of two things, high volatility in the market or low liquidity due to out-of-hours trading.

What is the best spread in forex?

Which broker has the best spread? Tickmill stands out as having the best spread, as the overall trading cost (spread + commission) is 0.47 pips, which is the lowest on average based on September 2021 data using the EUR/USD pair on its Pro account offering.

Why is spread important in forex?

Also, each broker can add to their spread, which increases their profit per trade. A wider bid-ask spread means that a customer would pay more when buying and receive less when selling. In other words, each forex broker can charge a slightly different spread, which can add to the costs of forex transactions.

How do you avoid spread in forex?

How to Reduce Spread in Forex TradingShop Around For a Good Broker: This is one of the most important steps to ensuring you are paying the lowest in terms of spread. … Be Wary of “Fixed Spreads”: … How to Reduce Spread in Forex Trading. … Choose The Right Time of Day: … Avoid News Trading:

Do you pay the spread twice?

You have paid the spread only the once, not twice. Vice versa , if you opened Short. You could of course, wait for the Bid price to rise, then going long you get the difference between the Ask Price you paid minus the new Bid Price on offer.

How much is a pip in forex?

0.0001Key Takeaways. Forex currency pairs are quoted in terms of pips, short for percentage in points. In practical terms, a pip is one-hundredth of one percent, or the fourth decimal place (0.0001).

Why do spreads exist?

A large spread exists when a market is not being actively traded, and it has low volume, so the number of contracts being traded is fewer than usual. Many day trading markets that usually have small spreads will have large spreads during lunch hours or when traders are waiting for an economic news release.

Why do forex spreads widen at 5pm?

22 GMT is 5pm nyc. Thats the time when all the ECNs and liquidity providers stop operation to be restated at 5.30 nyc time again. That’s why you see such spreads. Probably starts to widening at 4.30pm since most liquidity providers starts to unload any remaining inventory so they can close the day flat.

What is a tight spread?

A tight market is one with narrow bid-ask spreads. A tight market for a security or commodity is characterized by an abundance of market liquidity and, typically, high trading volume. Intense price competition on both the buyers’ and sellers’ sides leads to tight spreads, the hallmark of a tight market.

How is the Spread in Forex Trading Measured?

The spread is usually measured in pips, which is the smallest unit of the price movement of a currency pair.

What Types of Spreads are in Forex?

The type of spreads that you’ll see on a trading platform depends on the forex broker and how they make money.

What are Fixed Spreads in Forex?

Fixed spreads stay the same regardless of what market conditions are at any given time. In other words, whether the market is volatile like Kanye’s moods or quiet as a mouse, the spread is not affected. It stays the same.

What are the Advantages of Trading With Fixed Spreads?

Fixed spreads have smaller capital requirements, so trading with fixed spreads offers a cheaper alternative for traders who don’t have a lot of money to start trading with.

What are the Disadvantages of Trading With Fixed Spreads?

Requotes can occur frequently when trading with fixed spreads since pricing is coming from just one source (your broker).

What are Variable Spreads in Forex?

As the name suggests, variable spreads are always changing. With variable spreads, the difference between the bid and ask prices of currency pairs is constantly changing.

What are the Advantages of Trading With Variable Spreads?

Variable spreads eliminate experiencing requotes. This is because the variation in the spread factors in changes in price due to market conditions.

What is spread in forex?

Most forex currency pairs are traded without commission, but the spread is one cost that applies to any trade that you place. Rather than charging a commission, all leveraged trading providers will incorporate a spread into the cost of placing a trade, as they factor in a higher ask price relative to the bid price.

How to calculate spread in forex

The spread is calculated using the last large numbers of the buy and sell price, within a price quote. The last large number in the image below is a 3 and a 4. When trading forex, or any other asset via a CFD trading or spread betting account, you pay the entire spread upfront.

What determines the spread in forex?

Factors that can influence the forex spread include market volatility, which can cause fluctuation. Major economic indicators, for example, can cause a currency pair to strengthen or weaken – thus affecting the spread. If the market is volatile, currency pairs can incur gapping, or the currency pair becomes less liquid, so the spread will widen.

Forex spread trading strategies

Due to the above points, forex traders can employ an event-driven strategy based on macroeconomic indicators, in order to trade the tightest forex spreads and profit from opportune moments.

Forex spread changes

If the forex spread widens dramatically, you run the risk of receiving a margin call, and worst case, being liquidated. A margin call notification occurs when your account value drops below 100% of your margin level, signalling you’re at risk of no longer covering the trading requirement.

Low spread forex broker

We offer competitive spreads on a range of currency pairs, including major pairs such as EUR/USD and GBP/USD, starting at just 0.7 pips, or a forex margin rate of 3.3%. Discover forex trading with our award-winning trading platform, Next Generation. We also offer forex trading on our hosted MetaTrader 4 platform.


A forex spread is the difference between the bid price and the ask price of a currency pair, and is usually measured in pips. Knowing what factors cause the spread to widen is crucial when trading forex. Major currency pairs are traded in high volumes so have a smaller spread, whereas exotic pairs will have a wider spread.

What is Forex Spread Betting?

Forex spread betting allows speculation on the movements of the selected currency without actually transacting in the foreign exchange market .

Understanding Forex Spread Betting

Forex spread betting is a category of spread betting that involves taking a bet on the price movement of currency pairs. A company offering currency spread betting usually quotes two prices, bid and ask —this is called the spread. Traders bet whether the price of the currency pair will be lower than the bid price or higher than the ask price.

Why is the Forex spread important?

The spread is one of the most important concepts to understand when it comes to trading Forex because it can make a significant difference to your bottom line. Most Forex brokers will make their profit via the spread. Think of the spread as the price that you pay for your Forex transaction.

The bottom line

You need to understand what the spread is for Forex trading because it is how you will pay for your transactions. Plus you will need to cover the spread in your trade before you can start to pull in the profit. If the spread is 3 pips then you will need to bring in 3 pips profit to simply cover your costs. Any extra is profit on top.

Ask and Bid prices

We have already established that the Forex spread is the difference between the Bid and the Ask price. But what are the Ask and Bid prices?

How to calculate the spread

Now that you understand what the spread actually is, it is not time to learn to calculate it. The Forex spread is sometimes calculated in the form of a percentage with the following formula:

How do brokers determine the spread?

As a general rule, the market makers for Forex will determine the spread. These market makers are specialists that facilitate trading. Market makers today can often be the Forex or CFD broker themselves, otherwise if the trades are passed on to third party liquidity providers, they would suggest the spreads.

Fixed vs. variable spreads

As you look at spreads, you will notice that some are fixed and some are variable. These are exactly what they sound like:

Checking Forex spreads on MT4

The most common Forex platform is the MT4 or MetaTrader 4, so you should know how to find the Forex spread for your chosen pair on this platform. The following is the simplest method:


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Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.


Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this broker.


73.9% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.


Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Different types of spreads

There are two key different types of spreads that you need to know about, each of which will have a significant impact on your trading costs and your bottom line. These are fixed spreads and variable spreads. Read on to learn more.

Find the Right Spreads for You

Different forex brokers offer vastly different spreads and pricing regimes. In order to maximize your chances at profitability, it is essential that you find the broker that offers the best spreads to suit your needs. For this, make sure to consult our expertly-curated, in-depth forex broker reviews to find the right spreads for you.

Understanding Forex Trading

Forex trading or FX trading is the act of buying and selling currencies at their exchange rates in hopes that the exchange rate will move in the investor’s favor. Traders can buy euros, for example, in exchange for U.S. dollars at the prevailing exchange rate–called the spot rate –and later, sell the euros to unwind the trade.

How Currencies Are Quoted

Currencies are always quoted in pairs, such as the U.S. dollar versus the Canadian dollar ( USD/CAD ). The first currency is called the base currency, and the second currency is called the counter or quote currency (base/quote).

How the Spread Is Calculated in the Forex Market

Now that we know how currencies are quoted in the marketplace let’s look at how we can calculate their spread. Forex quotes are always provided with bid and ask prices, similar to what you see in the equity markets. 1 

How Forex Spreads Are Quoted

Below is an example of how a broker’s quote for EUR/USD might look with the bid-ask spread built into it.

What is the Foreign Exchange Spread?

The foreign exchange spread (or bid-ask spread) refers to the difference in the bid and ask prices for a given currency pair.

How can we calculate the foreign exchange spread?

The foreign exchange spread is usually expressed as a percentage, and can be calculated using the formula below:

Factors that influence the foreign exchange spread

There are a great number of factors that can affect the magnitude of bid-ask spreads that prevail on certain trading floors. For example:

Introduction to Forex spreads

On the Forex market, currencies are always traded in pairs. A currency pair consists of the base currency (the left-hand side of the pair) and the counter, or quote currency (the right-hand side of the pair). The quote of a currency pair tells us how many units of the counter currency it is possible to buy with one unit of the base currency.

How currency spreads are calculated

Now that we know how currency pairs are quoted against each other, let’s move on to Forex spreads. There are always two rates available for a given currency pair; the Bid rate and the Ask rate. Depending on whether you’re buying or selling the base currency, you’ll have to pay a different rate.

Types of Forex spreads

There are a number of different types of spreads that are used on the Forex market. The following types are the most common:


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