What is a pip in forex trading?

Pip stands for “percentage in point” and it is the smallest possible change in the exchange rate of a currency pair. The reason we use pips in forex trading is because price fluctuations are tiny and their impact depends on the size of your position.

A pip is actually a standardised unit and it’s 0.0001 (or 0.01%) for most currency pairs. The notable exception is the Japanese yen (JPY) where a pip is equivalent to 0.01 (or 1%).

Why is pip important?

Exchange rate changes are so small that they’re calculated in pips. It’s important for you to understand how a one-pip change will affect your position because this will help you determine your next move. This is best explained in an example:

Let’s use the EUR/USD pair, which is very popular, and this quotation as a starting point: EUR/USD=1.1733

I buy 10,000 units at this price so what’s a pip worth to me?
10,000 x 0.0001 = $1
Therefore, if the market moves 1 pip in my favour I will earn $1 and if the market moves 1 pip against me I will lose $1.
Now, I hear that the quotation increased by 100 pips. This means it went from 1.1733 to 1.833 and I made a $100 profit.

Some brokers quote an even smaller unit in currency exchange prices, called pipette, which is 0.1 of a pip. This allows for greater sensitivity in your estimates.

Bitesize basics
  • A pip (percentage in point) is a standarised unit, used to describe the smallest change in a currency exchange price.
  • For most currency pairs a pip equals 0.0001, except for the JPY where it equals 0.01.
  • You should use your position to readily estimate how much a one-pip change will affect you.

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