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What is Spread in Forex? / What does Spread mean?

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Forex is the most traded market in the world offering numerous trading opportunities. One of the ways you pay for these opportunities is through the broker spreads, or the difference between the ask and bid prices of a tradable instrument. When the spread is tight, your trading cost reduces.

Our diverse liquidity mix and partnerships with leading banking and non-banking financial institutions for deep liquidity also plays a key role in ensuring that we consistently deliver tight spreads to our traders, starting as low as 0.0 pips.

Click on a Product to
View Our Typical Spreads

Forex

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Metals

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Indices

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Commodities

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Cryptocurrency

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Spreads Affect
Your Trades

Successful traders always keep track of any changes in the spread, basing trading decisions on such changes. Spread size plays an important role in trading, especially for scalpers and intraday traders:

High Spreads

When the difference between the ask and bid prices are higher than usual, it could either indicate a period of low liquidity or high market volatility. For instance, non-major forex pairs tend to have a higher spread than major pairs.

Low Spreads

When the difference between the ask and bid prices is lower than usual, it could indicate high liquidity or a period of low market volatility. For instance, spreads tend to be lower during the major forex sessions.

What is Spread in Forex?

Spread in Forex is the difference between the bid price and the ask price. The Spread cost is measured in 'pips' and is the cost of trading. Popular currency pairs such as the EUR/GBP and USD/AUD have lower spreads as a result of higher levels of liquidity. An in-depth explanation can be found in our Beginner's Guide To Forex Trading.


Spread in Forex is the difference between the two prices of a currency pair. The Bid is the quote price at which a trader is willing to buy an asset, and the Ask level is the quote price at which a trader is willing to sell an asset. Organised by way of a two-way quote, signify willing buyers and ask prices determine willing sellers. This concept is fundamental for traders to comprehend as they are the primary cost of trading forex and currency pairs.


For instance, if the bid/ask rate for the EUR/USD is 1.1251/1.1252. Here, EUR is the base currency and USD is the quote currency. This means that you can buy the EUR at a higher ask price of 1.1252 and sell it lower at the bid of 1.1251.


The difference between ask and bid price in forex is known as the spread. In the above example, the spread in pips would be (1.1252-1.1251) = 0.0001. The pip value on USD-based pairs is identified on the 4th digit, after the decimal. This means that the final forex spread is 0.1 pips.


To calculate the total spread cost, multiply this pip value by the total number of lots traded. So, if you are trading a EUR/USD trading lot of 10,000. In case you are trading a standard lot (100,000 units of the currency). Now, if your account is denominated in another currency, say GBP, you will need to convert that from US Dollars.


Given the bid and ask prices traders can engage with the market immediately or on the spot. The ask price is slightly higher than the underlying market price, whereas the bid price is slightly below the underlying market price. Traders sell the bid and buy the ask. A narrower bid-ask spread translated to lower trading costs.


The size of the spread plays a pivotal part in forex trading. This is particularly the case for those using trading strategies that conduct a large number of transactions in a single trading session. Trading volume, liquidity, market volatility, news, and time can all have an impact on spreads.


The spread affects profit, given that a currency pair reveals information about market conditions such as time, volatility and liquidity. For instance, emerging currency pairs have a greater spread than major currency pairs. Currency pairs involving major currencies have lower spreads.


Traders should also consider peak trading times for particular currencies. For instance, the cost of trading the Australian Dollar (AUD) will be higher during nighttime in Australia. This is because there are not as many market participants actively trading at this time. Similarly, other Australian financial markets that may influence forex are also closed at this time. A wider currency pair spread means that a trader would pay more when buying and receive less when selling.


High spread usually occurs during periods of low liquidity or high market volatility. For instance, forex pairs that include the Canadian dollar (CAD) will have lower liquidity during overnight hours in Canada. The same applies to exotic currency pairs such as the NZD/MXN which have a significantly lower trading volume.


Low spread in forex is the difference between the bid and the ask price. Traders prefer to place their traders when spreads are low like during the major forex sessions. Spreads are likely to be low when volatility is low and liquidity is high. When there is a bigger difference between the bid price (buy) and the ask price (sell), it means that traders are likely to spend more on wider spreads because of high volatility and lower market liquidity.

Spreads can widen considerably when the financial markets are volatile: a phenomenon known as slippage. It is also important to understand the difference between fixed and variable spreads. Fixed spreads remain the same, no matter what the market conditions are. Variable spreads keep on changing, based on the supply and demand of the instruments and the overall market volatility. Choosing the optimal spread type is important to keeping trading costs to a minimum. Retail traders who trade less frequently could benefit from fixed spreads while those who trade frequently and during peak market hours (when the spreads are the tightest), might prefer variable spreads. Variable spreads tend to be lower than fixed spreads, especially in calmer markets. Explore our wide range of forex account types.

The spread of a given currency pair reveals information about market conditions such as time, volatility and liquidity. Emerging currency pairs have a greater spread than major currency pairs. There are 8 major currencies which account for approximately 85% of the forex market turnover. With more market makers, real-time pricing and higher trade volumes, pairs involving major currencies have lower spreads. In addition, there are peak trading times for particular currencies. For instance, the cost of trading the AUD will be higher when it is night time in Australia. This is as there are not as many market participants actively trading at this time. Similarly, other Australian financial markets that may influence forex are also closed at this time.

Forex Broker Spreads

Currency spreads are quoted in terms of two different prices: bid and ask price. Bid price is the price at which you can sell the base currency, while ask price is the price at which you can buy the base currency.

For example, if the bid/ask rate for the EUR/USD is 1.1251/1.1252. Here, EUR is the base currency and USD is the quote currency. This means that you can buy the EUR at a higher ask price of 1.1252 and sell it lower at the bid of 1.1251.

The difference between ask and bid price is the forex spread. In the above example, the spread in pips would be (1.1252-1.1251) = 0.0001. The pip value on USD-based pairs is identified on the 4th digit, after the decimal. This means that the final forex spread is 0.1 pips.

To calculate the total spread cost, multiply this pip value by the total number of lots traded. So, if you are trading a EUR/USD trading lot of 10,000

In case you are trading a standard lot (100,000 units of the currency)

Now, if your account is denominated in another currency, say GBP, you will need to convert that from US Dollars.

It is important for forex traders to be familiar with forex spreads, since they represent the primary cost of trading. It is an important parametre to consider when you choose a broker.

If you choose to open and trade with an FP Markets RAW ECN account, you will find some of the lowest spreads in the market. Our liquidity is sourced from some of the largest and best liquidity providers. This gives us the ability to offer you the tightest spreads, starting as low as 0.0 pips during the most liquid times, something that was previously the domain of hedge funds only. You can always check our trading conditions by opening a demo account.

Understanding High and
Low Forex Spreads

It is important to know that FX spreads can fluctuate throughout the day. This is because spreads are influenced by several factors, such as liquidity, volatility and market news. You will see some major currency pairs, like the EUR/USD or GBP/USD, which tend to have more liquidity, also have lower spreads than emerging currency pairs, like the USD/JPY.

Also, liquidity can decline and spreads can widen in the days or hours leading up to major economic news events and between trading sessions.

Keep an eye on the economic calendar. Releases occur sporadically and depending on whether expectations are met or not, prices can fluctuate rapidly. If you are currently holding a position and the spread widens, you could receive a margin call. Spreads can widen considerably when the financial markets are volatile: a phenomenon known as slippage.

It is also important to understand the difference between fixed and variable spreads. Fixed spreads remain the same, no matter what the market conditions are. Variable spreads keep on changing, based on the supply and demand of the instruments and the overall market volatility.

Choosing the optimal spread type is important to bring down trading costs and is a key part of the trading strategy of any decent trader. While retail traders with smaller accounts, who trade less frequently, could benefit from fixed spreads, those who trade more frequently and during peak market hours (when the spreads are the tightest), might prefer variable spreads. Variable spreads tend to be lower than fixed spreads especially in calmer markets.

Industry Leading Low Forex Spreads

FP Markets provides variable spreads for fast trade execution, with low probability of requotes. Our feed comes from leading international financial institutions for deep liquidity, along with real-time price quotes for different tradable instruments. This allows us to offer forex spreads as low as 0.0 pips on RAW ECN accounts and 1.0 pips on Standard STP accounts.

FP Markets Forex Trading Accounts

Account MT4 - MT5
POPULAR Account MT4 - MT5

MetaTrader RAW ECN
Account Commission
Charges

Check our commission charges for the RAW ECN account, based on the currency denomination of your trading account. The table has been split, based on commission per lot, to make it easier for you to calculate your costs, based on trading volume.

Instrument Standard Account Raw Account
Forex & Metals Zero (Built into the spread)
Account CCY Per side Round Trip
AUD CAD SGD $3.5 $7
USD $3 $6
EUR €2.75 €5.5
GBP £2.25 £4.5
HKD $20 $40
JPY ¥250 ¥500
Commodities Zero (Built into the spread) Zero (Built into the spread)
Indices Zero (Built into the spread) Zero (Built into the spread)
Shares Zero (Built into the spread) Zero (Built into the spread)
Cryptocurrencies Zero (Built into the spread) Zero (Built into the spread)

Trade Execution Matters

Pricing alone cannot bring results without reliable and fast execution. We offer some of the world’s best trading platforms to facilitate ultra-fast execution speeds. With the help of our advanced charting tools, numerous technical indicators, market news and insights, and real-time price charts, trading becomes an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Download our MT4, MT5 or IRESS platform to experience trading with tight spreads and transparent commissions.

How to Check Live Forex
Spreads on the FP
Markets MT4 Platform

Right click anywhere on your chart
and select “Properties”


Click on the “Common” tab and check
the “Show Ask Line” box


Click on “OK”

Now You Can See the Bid/Ask Price for Any Instrument

Click on “View” and choose “Market Watch”


To see the spread for a particular symbol, right-click anywhere on the Market Watch window and select “Spread”


You can now see an additional column, displaying the spread for each currency pair, commodities or indices


Note that MT4 quotes spreads in MetaTrader 4 points. To find the spread in pips, you will need to divide the number by 10.

Spreads

(Sep 2022)

Spreads on our MetaTrader 4 platform are variable, with quotes coming from major international financial institutions. During liquid times our industry-leading spreads can go as low as 0.0 pips. Our more typical spreads are listed below.

Forex Spreads

Symbol Product Standard A/c Raw ECN A/c
  Avg Min Avg
AUDCAD Australian Dollar vs Canadian Dollar 1.9 0 0.9
AUDCHF Australian Dollar vs Swiss Franc 2.2 0 1.1
AUDJPY Australian Dollar vs Japanese Yen 2.1 0 1
AUDNZD Australian Dollar vs New Zealand Dollar 3 0 1.9
AUDSGD Australian Dollar vs Singapore Dollar 4.4 0.1 2.9
AUDUSD Australian Dollar vs US Dollar 1.5 0 0.4
BWPUSD Botswanan Pula vs US Dollar 14.81 10 11.6
CADCHF Canadian Dollar vs Swiss Franc 2.5 0 1.4
CADJPY Canadian Dollar vs Japanese Yen 2.2 0 1.1
CHFJPY Swiss Franc vs Japanese Yen 3.5 0 2.4
CHFSGD Swiss Franc vs Singapore Dollar 4.5 0 4.5
EURAUD Euro vs Australian Dollar 2.5 0 1.4
EURCAD Euro vs Canadian Dollar 3.1 0 1.5
EURCHF Euro vs Swiss Franc 2.4 0 1.3
EURCZK Euro vs Czech Koruna 161.5 15 144.1
EURDKK Euro vs Danish Krone 18.9 1.7 12.9
EURGBP Euro vs Great Britain Pound 1.9 0 0.8
EURHUF Euro vs Hungarian Forint 273.8 0 60.2
EURJPY Euro vs Japanese Yen 2 0 0.9
EURMXN Euro vs Mexican Peso 92.6 3.9 72.6
EURNOK Euro vs Norwegian Krone 104.4 0 96.9
EURNZD Euro vs New Zealand Dollar 3.4 0 2.3
EURPLN Euro vs Polish Zloty 56.2 0 52.9
EURSEK Euro vs Swedish Krona 82.8 3.7 77.3
EURSGD Euro vs Singapore Dollar 5.4 0.2 4.3
EURTRY Euro vs Turkish Lira 611.1 5.9 608
EURUSD Euro vs US Dollar 1.3 0 0.2
EURZAR Euro vs South African Rand 290.8 2 279.3
GBPAUD Great Britain Pound vs Australian Dollar 3.4 0 2.3
GBPCAD Great Britain Pound vs Canadian Dollar 3.2 0 2.1
GBPCHF Great Britain Pound vs Swiss Franc 3.1 0 2
GBPDKK Great Britain Pound vs Danish Krone 33 9 27
GBPJPY Great Britain Pound vs Japanese Yen 3 0 1.9
GBPMXN Great Britain Pound vs Mexican Peso 151.4 44 131.4
GBPNZD Great Britain Pound vs New Zealand Dollar 5.2 0 3.7
GBPPLN Great Britain Pound vs Polish Zloty 106.8 3.2 105.3
GBPSEK Great Britain Pound vs Swedish Krona 136.4 4.6 131.7
GBPSGD Great Britain Pound vs Singapore Dollar 7.7 0 6.5
GBPTRY Great Britain Pound vs Turkish Lira 727.2 73.5 720.2
GBPUSD Great Britain Pound vs US Dollar 2.3 0 1.2
NZDCAD New Zealand Dollar vs Canadian Dollar 2.7 0 1.6
NZDCHF New Zealand Dollar vs Swiss Franc 2.5 0 1.4
NZDJPY New Zealand Dollar vs Japanese Yen 2.5 0 1.4
NZDSGD New Zealand Dollar vs Singapore Dollar 5.4 0.2 4.3
NZDUSD New Zealand Dollar vs US Dollar 2.1 0 0.9
USDBRL US Dollar vs Brazilian Real 40.59 17.7 34.85
USDCAD US Dollar vs Canadian Dollar 2 0 0.9
USDCHF US Dollar vs Swiss Franc 2.5 0 1.3
USDCNH US Dollar vs Chinese Yuan 3 0 1.9
USDCZK US Dollar vs Czech Koruna 167.6 0 150.2
USDDKK US Dollar vs Danish Krone 20.3 0 14.3
USDHKD US Dollar vs Hong Kong Dollar 7 0.9 5.9
USDHUF US Dollar vs Hungarian Forint 276.9 0 63.3
USDINR US Dollar vs Indian Rupee 33.8 0.8 13.8
USDJPY US Dollar vs Japanese Yen 2 0 0.9
USDKRW US Dollar vs Korean Won 134.2 19 104.2
USDMXN US Dollar vs Mexican Peso 61.9 0 51.9
USDNOK US Dollar vs Norwegian Krone 105.8 7 97.3
USDPLN US Dollar vs Polish Zloty 59.6 0.3 55.9
USDSEK US Dollar vs Swedish Krona 78.5 0 69.8
USDSGD US Dollar vs Singapore Dollar 3.1 0 2
USDTHB US Dollar vs Thai Baht 427.1 80 407.1
USDTRY US Dollar vs Turkish Lira 445.9 27 443.4
USDZAR US Dollar vs South African Rand 151.3 0 138.4
USDCLP US Dollar vs Chilean Peso 18420.8 16003 18257.05
USDCOP US Dollar vs Colombian Peso 103650 77600 101300
USDTWD US Dollar vs New Taiwan dollar 30.303 9 27.192
USDUGX US Dollar vs Ugandan Shilling 3208 3011 3043.2612
USDZMW US Dollar vs Zambian Kwacha 2832.8 2813.1 2816.764

Metal Spreads

Symbol Product Standard A/c Raw ECN A/c
    Min Avg
XAGAUD Silver vs Australian Dollar 0.04 0.01 0.03
XAGEUR Silver vs Euro 0.03 0.01 0.02
XAGUSD Silver vs US Dollar 0.03 0.00 0.02
XAUAUD Gold vs Australian Dollar 0.74 0.34 0.58
XAUEUR Gold vs Euro 0.48 0.18 0.30
XAUUSD Gold vs US Dollar 0.24 0.00 0.10

CFD Indices Spreads

Symbol Product   Standard A/c
    Min Avg
AUS200 Australia 200 Index vs Australian Dollar Cash 0.1 2.05
CHINA50 China A50 Index vs US Dollar Cash 3.1 9.24
EURO50 Euro 50 Index vs Euro Cash 1.6 2.3
FRA40 CAC 40 Index vs Euro Cash 0.5 3.83
GER40 German 40 Index vs Euro Cash 0 2.27
HK50 Hang Seng Index vs Hong Kong Dollar Cash 1 9.45
JP225 Japan 225 Index vs Japanese Yen Cash 0.5 7.33
UK100 UK100 Index vs Great Britain Pound Cash 0.3 2.33
US100 US Tech 100 Index vs US Dollar Cash 0 1.5
US30 US 30 Index vs US Dollar Cash 0 2.03
US500 US 500 Index vs US Dollar Cash 0 0.5
USDX USD Index Basket vs US Dollar Future 0.05 0.05
VIX VIX Index Cash vs US Dollar Future 0.05 0.15

CFD Commodities (MT4/MT5)

Symbol Product   Standard A/c
    Min Avg
COCOA Cocoa vs US Dollar Cash 0.50 2.50
COFFEE US Coffee vs US Dollar Future 0.85 1.08
CORN Corn vs US Dollar Cash 0.30 0.86
SOYBEANS Soybeans vs US Dollar Cash 0.00 1.22
WHEAT Wheat vs US Dollar Cash 0.00 2.10
WTI West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil vs US Dollar Future 0.02 0.04
XBRUSD Brent Crude Oil vs US Dollar Cash 0.03 0.05
XNGUSD Natural Gas vs US Dollar Cash 0.01 0.02
XPDUSD Palladium vs US Dollar Cash 0.00 18.86
XPTUSD Platinum vs US Dollar Cash 0.00 5.69
XTIUSD West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil vs US Dollar Cash 0.03 0.05

Cryptocurrency Spreads

Symbol Product   Standard A/c
    Min Avg
ADAUSD Cardano vs US Dollar 0.0023 0.0040
BCHUSD Bitcoin Cash vs US Dollar 4.0000 4.0600
BTCUSD Bitcoin vs US Dollar 4.5000 10.1089
DOGUSD Dogecoin vs US Dollar 0.0010 0.0012
DOTUSD Polkadot vs US Dollar 0.0230 0.0240
EOSUSD EOS vs US Dollar 0.0028 0.0031
ETHUSD Etherium vs US Dollar 4.0100 4.5426
LNKUSD Chainlink vs US Dollar 0.0240 0.0286
LTCUSD Litecoin vs US Dollar 0.3000 0.3284
RPLUSD Ripple vs US Dollar 0.0005 0.0030
XLMUSD Stellar vs US Dollar 0.0021 0.0022
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