Ultimate Guide to Understanding Gold Pips

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 25, 2023

Gold is one of the most popular and lucrative commodities to trade in the forex market. However, trading gold requires special knowledge and skills that differ from trading regular currency pairs — a critical concept to understand when trading gold is how to count and calculate gold pips. 

This comprehensive guide will explain gold pips and offer strategies and tools to improve your profit potential with gold forex trading.

Disclosure: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What Are Pips in Gold Forex Trading?

Pips in gold forex trading are the smallest unit of measurement representing the change in gold value in U.S. dollars per ounce. Unlike regular pips for currency pairs, usually 0.0001, gold pips are 0.01, meaning that one pip of gold equals one cent of the U.S. dollar. The value of gold pips depends on the lot size of the trade, which is the number of ounces of gold being traded. A standard lot size for gold is 100 ounces, while a mini-lot size is 10 ounces. This value also depends on the traded currency pair and the currency of the trading account.

Gold pips are important in the context of forex trading because they help traders calculate their profit or loss on a trade as well as their risk-to-reward ratio and their stop-loss and take-profit levels. By multiplying the number of pips gained or lost by the value of a pip and the lot or contract size, traders can determine how much money they made or lost on a forex trade.

How to Calculate Pip Value in Gold Trading

Calculating pips for gold trading involves determining the value of a pip movement in the price of gold. The formula for calculating the pip value for gold is as follows:

Pip value = (0.01 / gold price) x 100

Here, the gold price represents the price of one ounce of gold in the currency you are trading with (for example, USD).

Assume the current price of gold is $1,300 per ounce. To calculate the pip value for a standard lot of gold (100 ounces), you would use the formula:

Pip value = (0.01 / 1300) x 100 

Pip value = 0.00076923 x 100 

Pip value = $0.0769

The resulting value represents the monetary value of a one-pip movement in the price of gold for a standard lot (100 ounces), which could be a profit or loss.

Factors Influencing Gold Pip Value

The value of gold pips can vary depending on factors that affect the price of gold and its relationship with other currencies. 

  • Market conditions: The demand and supply of gold can change because of economic, political and social events influencing its perceived value and attractiveness as an investment asset. For example, investors tend to flock to safe-haven assets such as gold during times of uncertainty or crisis, which can drive up its price and increase its pip value.
  • Currency pairs: When trading gold in the forex market (XAU/USD), the pip value is directly influenced by the currency pair involved. In the case of XAU/USD, one pip is worth $10 U.S. dollars for a standard lot (100 ounces). However, if you were trading gold against a different currency, such as the euro (XAU/EUR), the pip value would be different due to the exchange rate between gold and that currency.
  • Leverage: Leverage allows traders to control larger positions with less capital, amplifying potential profits and potential losses. The concept of leverage indirectly affects the pip value by influencing the capital required to open a forex trade. With higher leverage, traders need to put up less margin, which can impact the pip value calculation.
  • Lot size: The size of the lot you're trading directly impacts the monetary value of each pip movement. A standard lot size for gold is 100 ounces, but there are also mini-lots (10 ounces) and micro-lots (1 ounce). The pip value for each lot size will be proportionally smaller for mini and micro-lots.
  • Account currency: The denomination of your trading account's currency affects how the pip value is calculated. Suppose your account is in a currency other than the base currency of the currency pair being traded (trading XAU/USD with a euro-denominated account). In that case, you must convert the pip value to your account's currency.

Understanding the Relationship Between Gold Pips and Profit and Loss

When trading commodities like gold within the forex market, the term pip is used to refer to a point of price movement. When evaluating the profit or loss of a gold trade, two key factors come into play: the number of pips gained or lost and the size of your trading position. 

Profit/loss = (number of pips gained or lost x pip value) x position size

Here's a step-by-step walkthrough of the concept with two real-life scenarios.

Scenario 1: Standard lot trade: Assume you bought a standard lot of gold at $1,300 per ounce. You sell at $1,305 per ounce, gaining 5 pips.

Pip Value: $0.0769 =  ((0.01 / 1300) x 100)

Position Size: Since it's a standard lot (100 ounces), the position size is 100.

Now, apply the formula:

Profit/loss = (5 x 0.0769) x 100

Profit/loss = $38

In this scenario, a 5-pip gain on a standard lot trade translates to a profit of $38.

Scenario 2: Mini lot trade: Consider a mini lot trade of gold. The gold price remains at $1,300 per ounce. You buy and subsequently sell the gold at $1,304 per ounce, gaining 4 pips.

Pip Value: $0.0769

Position Size: With a mini lot (10 ounces), the position size is 10.

Applying the formula again:

Profit/loss = (4 x 0.0769) x 10

Profit/loss = $3

Here, a 4-pip gain on a mini lot trade leads to a profit of $3.

These scenarios highlight the critical role of pip values in determining trading outcomes. A higher pip value amplifies the effect of each pip movement on profit or loss. In the first case, a standard lot's 5-pip gain yielded a profit of $38 because of the larger position size. In the second instance, a mini lot's 4-pip gain resulted in a much smaller profit of $3 because of the reduced position size.

Strategies for Maximizing Profit With Gold Pips

Here are some strategies and tools that can help you apply your understanding of gold pips to maximize profit potential with gold forex trading.

Gold Trading Signals

Based on technical or fundamental analysis, gold trading signals are alerts or recommendations that advise you on when to buy or sell gold. These signals save you from the trouble of performing extensive analysis, as they are provided by professional traders and analysts who possess expert knowledge. However, conduct research and ensure the accuracy and reliability of the signals before making decisions.

Trading Gold Contracts for Difference (CFDs)

Trading gold CFDs involves making speculative bets on price movements without owning the physical asset. Contracts are exchanged between buyers and sellers based on the difference between opening and closing prices. Using leverage allows control of a larger position with less money, but it also increases risk exposure. Risk management techniques are essential to avoid large losses from small price movements. 

Mastering Gold Pips in Forex Trading

Gold pips are an essential concept in gold forex trading, representing the smallest unit of measurement that indicates the change in value between gold and another currency or asset. Knowing how to count and calculate gold pips allows you to determine how much money you make or lose on each trade and adjust your risk management accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why are gold prices going down?


Gold prices are decreasing because of factors like a strong U.S. dollar, rising interest rates, low inflation and changing investor sentiment, which tend to decrease the demand for gold as a safe haven and a hedge against inflation.



What is 1 pip for XAU/USD?


A pip for XAU/USD is the smallest unit of change in the price of gold in U.S. dollars per ounce. It is usually the fourth decimal place in the price quote, such as 0.0001.



What is the difference between gold pips and points?


A point is a large price change on the left of the decimal, while a pip is the smallest change on the right. Points represent whole number changes in gold’s price, while pips represent fractional changes.

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