Spread in forex


One of the important concepts in forex trading is the concept of spread, which refers to the difference in the price of the offer to buy and sell currency pairs. In this article, we talk about the concept of spread in forex.

What is the spread in Forex trading?

Spread refers to the difference between the bid and offer price of a currency pair in forex trading. The bid price shows us at what price we can sell a currency pair, while the ask price shows at what price we can buy it.

For example, if the bid price for the EUR/USD currency pair is 1.1200 and the bid price is 1.1205, the spread will be 0.0005 or 5 pips. This spread is actually the transaction fee or commission for when we open a trade on a forex trading platform.

Although spreads seem small, they accumulate over time and can reduce our profits; Especially if we make a lot of trades with low balance. For this reason, monitoring spreads and reducing them is very important in Forex trading.

All kinds of spreads

There are two main types of spreads in the forex market:

Fixed spreads: As the name suggests, the amount of these spreads are fixed regardless of market conditions. These spreads actually make trading risk and transaction costs predictable for traders.

Variable spreads: These spreads change throughout the day based on market liquidity and volatility. The amount of variable spreads is usually lower during periods when trading volume is higher and more traders are willing to buy and sell the currency. Variable spreads show us the changing risks in the market.

What factors affect Forex spreads?

There are a few key factors that affect the spreads that platforms show:

  • Liquidity: The higher the liquidity and volume of buy/sell orders of a currency, the smaller the spreads. Major currency pairs such as EUR/USD often have the lowest spreads.
  • Volatility: Spreads tend to widen with major market news or sudden price movements, as there is more risk involved in executing volatile trades.
  • Trading Volume: High trading volume allows forex traders to settle trades at a lower cost and, in fact, allows traders to enjoy the benefits of smaller spreads.
  • Platform/Trader: Spreads can vary across platforms and for different traders, so it’s important to compare spreads before opening an account.

Why is spread important to forex traders?

Spreads may cost only a few dollars per trade; But over time, they can have a significant impact on profitability. Lower spreads mean lower transaction costs and increased potential profits.

To see the effect on a hypothetical EUR/USD trade, consider the following example.

Account size: $10,000

Leverage: 1 to 100

Trading volume: 10,000 units of EUR/USD

Value of each pip per lot: approximately one dollar

With these data, for trader “A” with a fixed spread rate of 3 pips, the cost of each trade will be equal to $30.

But for trader “B” with a fixed spread rate of 1 pip, the cost of each trade is equal to 10 dollars.

If both traders had only one trade each day, trader B would pay about $720 less in trading fees over the course of a year just because of this lower spread.

Tips for managing Forex spreads

Let’s go over some important tips for traders that can be beneficial to improve trade execution and reduce their spread costs overall.

  • Before opening an account with a brokerage, check the difference in spreads.
  • Be sure to carefully check the various spread details on your chosen trading platform (fixed, variable, commission, etc.).
  • Monitor news events and other factors that are likely to increase volatility and widen spreads.
  • If you have little input capital, avoid opening and closing trades frequently in short periods of time.
  • Avoid placing stops as much as possible to avoid forced liquidation during peak spreads.
  • Carefully consider the total trading cost of spreads over time.

While the spread is only a small part of traders’ costs, reducing it increases the margin power of positions and improves overall profitability. This is why monitoring and reducing spreads should be part of every forex trader’s strategy.

Frequently asked questions about Forex spreads

1. What is a spread in forex?

Spread means the difference between the buying and selling price of a currency pair.

2. Why is spread important in Forex trading?

The spread is the fee you pay your broker for each trade. The lower the spread, the less you will pay.

3. How is the spread in forex measured?

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

4. Does the spread change in forex?

Yes. Spread can change based on market conditions. It may increase when the market is turbulent and decrease when the market is calm.

5. How does the spread affect my profit in forex trading?

If your trade is on the profitable side, the smaller the spread, the more profitable you will be.

6. How can I find a low spread forex broker?

You can compare the spreads offered by different brokers. Keep in mind that a low spread means lower transaction fees, but you should also consider other factors such as the broker’s reputation and customer service.

7. Can spreads affect my forex trading strategy?

Yes. The size of the spread can affect your trading strategy. For example, if you are a day trader who makes a lot of trades in a day, a larger spread can negatively affect your profits.


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