Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

What is a pip in forex trading?

A pip is the unit of measurement used to denote a change in a currency pair’s value. Learn more about pips in forex trading, including how they differ to other units of change in forex pair values – like pipettes.

How do pips work?

For most currency pairs, a pip represents a one digit change in price at the fourth decimal place. For JPY crosses, however, it’s a change at the second decimal. Pip stands for ‘point in percentage’ which represents a movement equivalent to one hundredth of 1%.

So, for EUR/USD with a quote price of $1.4527, a movement on the fourth decimal point would constitute a pip movement. If the quote for the EUR/USD pair changed to $1.4528, then there has been an increase of one pip.

This gain would indicate that USD is weakening relative to EUR because more USD is required to buy a single EUR. In this scenario, USD is the quote currency and EUR is the base. For reference, the quote currency is the currency in which the price for a forex pair is given, and the base always represents one. So, a quote price of $1.4527 on the EUR/USD pair means it would cost $1.4527 to buy a single euro.

Alternatively, if we’re looking at the USD/JPY currency pair, then its quote would look something like ¥147.89. In this case, a movement at the second decimal place would constituent a pip movement. If it decreased to ¥147.88, then there has been a decrease of one pip – indicating that JPY is strengthening relative to USD. That’s because it would now cost fewer JPY to buy one single USD.

What is the pip value?

The pip value is simply the change in value of a currency pair given a one-pip move in the currency pair’s price. A few things will determine pip movements, including:

  • The volatility of the currency pair being traded
  • The size of the position
  • The currency pair’s current market price (exchange rate)

How to calculate the pip value of your forex trades

The pip value helps to determine your potential profit or loss per pip of movement in a currency pair’s price. The process for calculating pip value depends on how you’re trading:

  • For CFDs, you want to multiply one pip (0.0001) by the position size
  • For spread bets, you just need to know how much you’re betting per point of movement

So, when trading CFDs, the profit/loss per pip of movement is 0.0001 multiplied by 10,000 units of the base currency for mini lots, or 0.0001 multiplied by 100,000 units of the base currency for standard lots. Taking a standard lot of EUR/USD as an example, a single pip of movement is worth €10.

For spread bets, your pip value is determined by the amount of money that you’ve placed for every point of movement in a currency pair’s price – which is how spread bets work anyway.

Differences between a pip and a pipette

A pipette is another unit of measurement for a forex pair’s value. But rather than being the fourth decimal place (or second in JPY crosses), pipettes are a movement at the fifth decimal place. For JPY crosses, a movement at the third decimal place represents a pipette.

For example, if the EUR/USD currency pair’s quote changed to $1.45276 from $1.45272, there has been a positive increase of four pipettes.

How to trade forex

  1. Create or log in to your trading account
  2. Find the pair you want to take a position on
  3. Decide whether to go long to buy or short to sell
  4. Confirm your deal size
  5. Open and monitor your position

When you trade with us, you’ll be able to use spread bets and CFDs to go long or short on a currency pair’s price. Going long means that you’re speculating that the pair will increase in value, meaning that the quote is weakening against the base. Going short means that you’re speculating that the pair will decrease in value, meaning that the quote is strengthening against the base.

What to bear in mind before trading forex

Before trading forex, you should be aware that the market is susceptible to high levels of volatility and as a result a currency pair might experience a price movement of several pips in a very short space of time.

As a result, you should carry out both technical and fundamental analysis on the currency pair you want to trade before you open a position. We also offer educational resources like IG Academy to help you understand trading and get comfortable with the risks.

Learn more about IG Academy

Publication date : 2020-11-16T16:35:20+0000


This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

Discover how to trade the markets

Explore the range of markets you can trade – and learn how they work – with IG Academy's free ’introducing the financial markets’ course.

What is the number one mistake traders make?

We reveal the top potential pitfall and how to avoid it. Discover how to increase your chances of trading success, with data gleaned from over 100,00 IG accounts.


For more info on how we might use your data, see our privacy notice and access policy and privacy webpage.

You might be interested in…

Find out what charges your trades could incur with our transparent fee structure.

Discover why so many clients choose us, and what makes us a world-leading provider of spread betting and CFDs.

Stay on top of upcoming market-moving events with our customisable economic calendar.