In forex markets, currency trading is done on some of the world's most powerful currencies. The major currencies traded are the U.S. dollar the Japanese yen, the euro, the British pound and the Canadian dollar.

A currency pair such as EUR/USD, for example, represents a euro and U.S. dollar currency pair. The first currency is the base currency and the second currency is the quote currency. So, to buy EUR/USD at 1.1200 on a trade for 100,000 currency units, you would need to pay US$112,000 (100,000 * 1.12) for 100,000 euros.

Pips relate to the smallest price movement any exchange rate can make. Because currencies are usually quoted to four decimal places, the smallest change in a currency pair would be in the last digit. This would make one pip equal to 1/100th of a percent, or one basis point. For example, if the currency price we quoted earlier changed from 1.1200 to 1.1205, this would be a change of five pips.

To get the value of one pip in a currency pair, an investor has to divide one pip in decimal form (i.e. 0.0001) by the current exchange rate, and then multiply it by the notional amount of the trade.

Keeping with our earlier example for the EUR/USD currency pair, the value of one pip is 8.93 euros ((0.0001/1.1200) * 100,000). To convert the value of the pip to U.S. dollars, just multiply the value of the pip by the exchange rate, so the value in U.S. dollars is $10 (8.93 * 1.12). The value of one pip is always different between currency pairs because there are differences between the exchange rates of different currencies. A phenomenon does occur when the U.S. dollar is quoted as the quote currency. When this is the case, for a notional amount of 100,000 currency units, the value of the pip is always equal to US$10.

To learn more, see Common Questions About Currency Trading, A Primer On The Forex Market and Forces Behind Exchange Rates.

  1. How is the value of a pip determined?

    A pip in foreign exchange trading is a measure of a price movement in a currency pair. "Pip" is an acronym for price interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the goals of covered interest arbitrage?

    The goals of covered interest arbitrage include enabling investors to trade volatile currency pairs without risk as well ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where did the term 'pip' in currency exchange come from?

    The term pip is an acronym for percentage in point or price interest point. It measures a unit of change within a pair of ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do changes in national interest rates affect a currency's value and exchange ...

    All other factors being equal, higher interest rates in a country increase the value of that country's currency relative ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between pips, points, and ticks?

    Point, tick and pip are terms used to describe price changes in the stock market and other markets. While traders and analysts ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I use STIX Oscillator to create a forex trading strategy?

    The STIX oscillator can be applied to forex trading by signalling when to buy when a currency is in an oversold condition ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Forex Fundamentals

    Oil & Currencies: Understanding Their Correlation

    Crude oil shows tight correlation with movements in many currency pairs.
  2. Forex

    How Much Leverage Is Right for You in Forex Trades

    It isn’t economics or global finance that trip up first-time forex traders. Instead, a basic lack of knowledge on how to use leverage is at the root of trading losses.
  3. Forex Fundamentals

    3 Reasons The Mexican Peso Is So Liquid

    Mexico's vast petroleum reserves and close proximity to the United States add considerable liquidity to the Mexican peso.
  4. Forex Fundamentals

    These Are The Best Hours To Trade the U.S. Dollar

    The best times to trade USD currency pairs are centered before and after economic releases in in the U.S. and cross-venues.
  5. Forex Strategies

    Two Great Currencies To Profit From Oil Volatility

    U.S. dollar crosses with Canadian and Australian dollars offer easy access to crude oil trends due to their tight correlation with energy futures.
  6. Investing Basics

    5 Tips For Investing In IPOs

    It’s not easy to profit from IPO​s, but the money is there.
  7. Stock Analysis

    4 Companies Affected by the Appreciating Dollar

    Learn why the appreciating dollar negatively impacts certain companies such as Google, Facebook, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.
  8. Forex Strategies

    These Are The Best Hours To Trade the Euro

    Six popular currency pairs and numerous secondary crosses offer euro traders a wide variety of short- and long-term opportunities.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: SPDR EURO STOXX 50

    Learn about FEZ, the Euro Stoxx 50 ETF. FEZ tracks the 50 largest companies in Europe, making it the Dow Jones Industrial Average of Europe.
  10. Forex Strategies

    Benefits & Risks of Trading Forex with Bitcoin

    Want to trade forex using bitcoins? Don’t jump on the bandwagon until you compare the risks to the benefits.
  1. Transfer Risk

    The risk that a local currency cannot be converted into the currency ...

    See LIBOR
  3. WM/Reuters Benchmark Rates

    Spot and forward foreign exchange rates that are used as standard ...
  4. Exchange Rate

    The price of a nation’s currency in terms of another currency. ...
  5. Open Position Ratio

    The percentage of open positions held for major currency pairs ...
  6. Indirect Quote

    A currency quotation in the foreign exchange markets that expresses ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  3. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  4. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  5. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  6. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!