What is pips in forex 4

What are Pips, Points, and Ticks?

In the futures market, price movements are referred to as points and ticks. In the Forex market, they are called pips. But what are they?

Stock traders, for example, might use the term “points” when calculating how much money a stock has gained or lost. They may say they are “up three points” if they bought the stock at $5 and the price is now trading at $8.

Essentially, pips, points, and ticks are the minimum increment of price change. Let’s explore this further.

What is a Pip?

Currency pair price movements are measured in pips. In financial markets, a pip represents one unit of the fourth decimal place of the exchange rate. If this number changes by one, then the pair is said to have moved by a pip.

This rule has one exception: currency pairs containing the Japanese yen (JPY).

Example of Pip.

A movement of 1 pip on the EUR/USD currency pair, for example, would be from 1.1608 to 1.1609.

A forex pair’s pip value depends on how much money one pip of movement is worth. If the USD is listed second, as is the case for GBP/USD, each pip must have a value of $10 for every $100,000 traded.

There is a fluctuation in pip value for pairs where the USD is not listed second, or the trader is not utilizing a USD account.

What Is A Point?

Futures traders usually refer to price movements in terms of points. This is the minimum price fluctuation on the left side of the decimal point.

Example of Point.

Taking the S&P 500 E-Mini (ES) futures price as an example, a one point move would be if price went from from 1314.00 to 1315.00.

When Crude Oil (CL) moves from 68.00 to 69.00, it gains one point. There is a dollar value associated with each movement point, but the exact value varies by exchange.

For instance, on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), each point of movement in crude oil is the equivalent of 1,000 barrels. Since the minimum price fluctuation is 0.01 per barrel which equals $10, a ten point move would result in a gain or loss of $100. You can read more about the most popular crude oil contract specs on the CME’s website.

What is a Tick?

When looking at the price of a futures contract, a point consists of ticks, which represent the price movements on the right side of the decimal.

Markets measure price changes in ticks, and a futures contract’s value varies according to the tick size of the market.

It takes a certain number of ticks to increase or decrease the contract’s value by a point, depending on the size of the tick.

For instance, there are four ticks to a point in the S&P 500 E-mini, since each tick is worth 0.25. A point in gold futures comprises ten ticks based on the 0.10 tick size. Once again, it is worth looking at the contract specs of the particular futures contract you are looking to trade.

Example Of Ticks.

For example, if the last traded price (LTP) for a stock was $100 and its tick size is $0.05, the following five best bid prices should be $99.95, $99.90, $99.85, $99.80, and $99.75.

Any attempt to place a limit order with a bid price of $99.87 would not be accepted by the exchange since it would not meet the $0.05 minimum tick size requirement.

Difference Between Pips, Points, and Ticks?

As mentioned, a point represents the smallest incremental price change on the left side of the decimal point, whereas a tick is the smallest price change on the right side of the decimal point.

Ticks are the tiniest possible movement in any market, although they are more commonly used to refer to fluctuations in the futures market.

The term pips is unique to the forex market, and refers to the smallest price change in a currency pair’s exchange rate. You can read more about this market in our article How Does the Forex Market Work?

The term pip is the same as a tick, except that it refers to the minimum price change of an exchange rate of a currency pair on the Forex market.

Forex markets often trade with multiple decimals in smaller increments. It is not uncommon for EURUSD to trade with five decimals (0.00001). Often, a Forex point is a few hundred or thousands of points.

As a rule of thumb, a point is the smallest possible price change on the left side of a decimal point, while a tick is the smallest possible price change on the right side of a decimal point.

This the same as futures, but instead of representing settlement in dollars or oil for example, crypto is settled in digital currency.


It’s important to know your the specs of anything you are trading. Doing so will give you a better chance of success. Make sure to read the contract specifications of every instrument you are trading, especially complex trading derivatives.

Bookmap offers the ability to modify the granularity of the minimum tick size you see, helping you see the signal from the noise. Try it for free today.