If you plan to go into Forex trading and learn Forex basics, one of the first Forex terms you will be introduced to will be the Forex Pip. As you get more involved in Forex currency trading, you will continually encounter it, so you will essentially have to know and understand this important term, and many others like it, in order to learn how to trade Forex successfully.
PIP is the acronym for Percentage In Point, or Price Interest Point, which is used to measure profits and losses in Forex Trading. This is comparable to the term used in the stock market referred as a “point”. Basically, the PIP is the unit of measurement for the smallest value (price) change of a currency.
The PIP serves as an easy alternative for measuring the rise of fall foreign exchange currency values in the form of a percentage number. Forex spreads, or the difference between the bid and ask price (buy and sell quote), is measured in PIP’s, and is the major cost of Foreign currency trading. This amount is also used to pay the broker facilitating the trade. A lower spread means a lower the payment for the broker, and the trader gets to keep more profits.
The PIP is used in currency trading since the values in foreign exchange is not based on a universal currency, and its monetary value changes accordingly to the currencies involved with each individual trade. The dollar (USD), even though considered to be the most widely traded currency, is not and cannot be involved in all currency trades. For example, if there is trading of two common currency pairs such as the EUR/GBP, the profit and loss margins cannot be measured against the USD, simply because it does not make sense. Thus, Forex trade utilizes the PIP to simplify matters.
Most of the major Forex currencies are marked or quoted to the fourth decimal point, except the Japanese Yen. As an example, let’s assume you are quoted a bid for the EUR/USD quoted at 1.0090 and the ask price is 1.0095, the spread is 0.0005 or 5 PIP’s. In percentage terms, a PIP is 0.01% of a lot. Take for example the lot size of $100,000, 1 PIP is then worth $10. This is the value of PIP’s when using the USD is used as the quote currency.
Trading in one Forex pair, such as the EUR/USD is advisable if you’re a beginner. As you get more adept doing this, you’ll get a clearer picture of how the PIP measures your gain or losses.