What is a Pip in Forex?

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 8, 2023
verified by Jay and Julie Hawk

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To succeed in forex trading, traders must understand and navigate key features of the market, including the pip. Pip is an acronym for "percentage in point" or "price interest point." All forex transactions involve the buying and selling of currencies, and the pip is considered the smallest whole increment between traded currency pairs. Forex traders must understand this measurement to properly analyze movements and manage forex trading risks.  

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What is a Forex Pip?

A pip in forex is the smallest full unit of measurement used to quantify exchange rate changes for currency pairs. If a currency pair is quoted USD/EUR, the first currency is the base currency and the second is the quoted currency. A pip quantifies the change in the quote currency.

Most currencies have four decimal places, and the smallest change is the change in the last placed decimal. If, for example, 1.2200 changes to 1.2202, the quote has moved by two pips. A pip is usually the equivalent of 1/100th of one percent or one basis point. 

There are some exceptions. When the Japanese yen (JPY) is the quoted currency, a pip is 1/100th of a Japanese yen or 0.01 yen. 

The value of a pip in forex depends on the traded lot size. In standard lots representing 100,000 base currency units, a one-pip move typically equals 10 units of the quote currency. Forex trading also allows for mini lots of 10,000 units and micro-lots of 1,000 units. Here, the pip value would be proportionately smaller.

The monetary value of a pip varies depending on the currencies traded, the lot size and the exchange rate. Traders use pips to calculate profit and loss and to set stop-loss and take-profit levels. 

What is a Pipette?

A pipette, also known as a fractional pip, measures smaller price movements than a pip in forex. The pipette quotes currencies out to the fifth decimal place, so it equals one-tenth of a pip or 1/10th of 1/100th. 

A pipette is useful when showing minute changes in currency pairs. Brokers often quote their bid-ask spreads – the difference between buying and selling prices – using pipettes.  

Importance of Pips in Forex Trading

In forex trading, pips are essential for several reasons.

  • Price measurement: Pips provide a standardized unit of measure for tracking and analyzing price movements. They help traders to quantify potential profits or losses.
  • Profit and loss calculations: Traders can calculate the monetary outcome of a trade and assess its profitability by multiplying the pip value by the number of pips gained or lost. 
  • Placement of stop-loss and take-profit orders: Traders use pips to establish predefined exit points to limit losses and optimize profits.
  • Position sizing: By calculating the value of a pip in the lot size, traders can manage their risk and decide on the number of units to trade based on their risk tolerance and account size.
  • Comparison and evaluation: Pips allow traders to compare and evaluate currency pairs based on price movements. Some currency pairs may have larger pip values, indicating higher volatility and vice versa. Traders use this information to select suitable currency pairs for their trading strategies.
  • Technical analysis: Trend lines, support and resistance levels and other technical indicators often use pips as a unit of measure to identify significant price levels and trading opportunities.

How to Calculate Pips in the Foreign Exchange Market

Calculating pips in forex involves a simple formula that depends on the standard pip size convention and whether the U.S. dollar is the base currency or quote currency. The standard convention for most currency pairs is to quote them to four decimal places, except for JPY pairs, which are quoted to two decimal places. 

If the currency pair has a four-decimal-place quote, one pip is generally 0.0001. This means that a one-pip move would be equal to a change of 0.0001 converted at the exchange rate. 

When the account is denominated in U.S. dollars and the USD is the quote currency – also known as counter currency – the value of a pip for a position of one standard-sized lot of 100,000 base currency units is 0.0001 x 100,000 = $10. In these pairs, the fixed pip value of a mini lot is $1, the value of a micro lot is $0.1 and a nano lot value is $0.01.

When USD is the base currency, the formula for calculating the pip value is as follows.

Pip value  = One pip or 0.0001 x  position size  / exchange rate

For cross currency pairs, you multiply the fixed pip value by the quote currency/account currency exchange rate.

Some forex trading platforms may do these calculations automatically, displaying the pip value and profit/loss in your account currency.

Example of Pip Trading in Forex

USD as the quote currency: 

If you are trading EUR/USD with a position size of 1 standard lot (100,000 units) and the exchange rate moves from 1.2000 to 1.2001, it has moved by one pip. The pip value for this trade would be 0.0001 x 100,000 = 10 USD. 

USD is the base currency: 

(0.0001x the lot size)/exchange rate = pip value

Let’s assume that you are trading the currency pair USD/AUD. The exchange rate is $1 = 1.4980 when you enter a position. The value of the Australian dollar subsequently falls to 1.4975. The value of the Australian dollar has dropped by 5 pips. You are trading long with a standard lot of 100,000 units.

The pip value in USD is (0.0001 x 100,000) / 1.4975 = $6.6778

In this example, the trader has made a loss of 5 pips x $6.6778 = $33.39.

What Pips Tell Forex Traders About Profitability

Pips provide forex traders with valuable information about the profitability of their trades. Here is some of the information that traders glean from 

  • Calculation of profit or loss: Traders can calculate the monetary value of a trade by multiplying the number of pips gained or lost by the pip value. In this way, they can assess profitability and determine the return on investment.
  • Determine risk and reward: Traders can assess whether the profit justifies the loss by comparing the number of pips to be gained (take-profit level) against the number of pips at risk (stop-loss level). 
  • Position size: Traders can choose the suitable position size by considering the number of pips at risk with their risk tolerance. 
  • Volatility and profit potential: Currency pairs with higher pip values are usually more volatile. Traders analyze historical price movements and average pip ranges to gauge the profit potential of a currency pair.
  • Trade management: Pips help traders to set appropriate stop-loss and take-profit levels. By using pips as a reference point, traders can establish predetermined exit points for their trades based on their risk management strategies and profit targets. 

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The Power of Pips – Fine Tuning Forex Strategy

For traders, pips hold immense significance. They can use them to gauge profitability, manage risk and make informed trading decisions. Each pip represents potential profit or loss, and traders can harness this knowledge to fine-tune their strategies and set appropriate stop-loss and take-profit levels, increasing their chances of success. 

Frequently Asked Questions 


Which currency pair has the highest pip value?


The currency pair with the highest pip value varies depending on the exchange rate and the trading conditions at any given time.


How much profit is a pip?


The profit generated by a single pip depends on the lot size and the currency pair traded. 


How much is a pip on the US30?


The size of a US30 pip is $0.01.

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About Jay and Julie Hawk

Jay and Julie Hawk are the married co-founders of TheFXperts, a provider of financial writing services particularly renowned for its coverage of forex-related topics. With over 40 years of collective trading expertise and more than 15 years of collaborative writing experience, the Hawks specialize in crafting insightful financial content on trading strategies, market analysis and online trading for a broad audience. While their prolific writing career includes seven books and contributions to numerous financial websites and newswires, much of their recent work was published at Benzinga.