What is a 'Bond Discount'

The amount by which the market price of a bond is lower than its principal amount due at maturity. This amount, called its par value, is often $1,000. As bond prices are quoted as a percent of face value, a price of 98.00 means that the bond is selling for 98% of its face value of $1,000.00 and the bond discount is 2%.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bond Discount'

Bonds trade at a discount to par value for a number of reasons. Bonds on the secondary market with fixed coupons will trade at discounts when market interest rates rise. While the investor receives the same coupon, the bond is discounted to match prevailing market yields. Discounts also occur when bond supply exceeds demand, when the bond's credit rating is lowered, or when the perceived risk of default increases. Conversely, falling interest rates or an improved credit rating may cause a bond to trade at a premium.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What determines the price of a bond in the open market?

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  2. Will the price of a premium bond be higher or lower than its par value?

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  3. How does face value differ from the price of a bond?

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  4. What happens to the price of a premium bond as it approaches maturity?

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