What Are Pips in Trading and What Is Their Value?

What is a PIP

Have you ever wondered what those little numbers jumping up and down on your forex trading screen actually mean? They’re called pips, and understanding them is key if you want to become a successful forex trader. In the world of forex, pips are the smallest increment of change in a currency pair’s exchange rate. They’re how traders measure both profits and losses. Even the smallest pip movements can translate into big profits if you know what you’re doing.

As a new forex trader, pips are one of the first things you need to wrap your head around. This article will break down everything you need to know about pips in forex trading and how their value is calculated. By the end, you’ll be reading currency charts like a pro and calculating your potential profits with ease. So if you’re ready to decode the secret language of pips, keep reading – your forex trading success depends on it!

What is a Pip in Forex Trading?

A pip, short for “percentage in point,” represents the smallest price increment in a currency pair. In most major currency pairs, one pip is equal to 0.0001. So if the exchange rate for EUR/USD moves from 1.1050 to 1.1051, that’s a one-pip change.

Pip values allow you to calculate your profits and losses. The pip value depends on three factors:

  1. The exchange rate of the currency pair: For currency pairs where the U.S. dollar is the quote currency (like EUR/USD or GBP/USD), one pip usually equals $10 for a standard lot of 100,000 units of the base currency. For pairs where the dollar is the base currency (like USD/CHF or USD/CAD), one pip equals $10 per 100,000 U.S. dollars.
  2. The amount of currency you’re trading: One standard lot is 100,000 units of the base currency. A mini lot is 10,000 units, and a micro lot is 1,000 units. So if you trade two standard lots of EUR/USD, each pip movement is worth $20.
  3. The currency you’re trading: The pip value is calculated in the quote currency. So for EUR/USD, it’s calculated in U.S. dollars. For USD/JPY, it’s calculated in Japanese yen.

The bottom line? Pips allow you to track the profits and losses for each move in the forex market. Know the pip value for each currency pair you trade and your position size, and you’ll know exactly how much you stand to gain or lose with each price change. Mastering pips is key to success in forex trading!

How Pip Values Are Calculated in Different Currency Pairs

So you’ve decided to dive into the exciting world of forex trading. Now it’s time to decode one of the fundamental concepts – pips. Pips represent the smallest price increment in forex. They are crucial to calculating your wins and losses, so let’s break down how pip values work for different currency pairs.

Major Currency Pairs

For major pairs like EUR/USD or GBP/USD that include the US dollar, a pip is equivalent to 0.0001. So if the EUR/USD price moves from 1.1200 to 1.1210, that’s a 10-pip increase. With a standard lot of 100,000 units, each pip would be worth $10. For mini lots of 10,000 units, each pip is $1. You can see how pips add up quickly!

Cross Currency Pairs

For pairs that don’t include the US dollar (called cross currency pairs), the pip value depends on the currencies involved. For example, in the GBP/JPY pair, a pip is 0.01. If GBP/JPY moves from 150.00 to 150.10, that’s a 10-pip move. With a standard lot of 100,000 GBP, each pip would be worth 1,000 JPY or roughly $9.

Exotic Currency Pairs

For exotic pairs with emerging market currencies, pip values can vary significantly. It all comes down to the currencies in the pair and their exchange rates. The key is to calculate the value for the specific lot size you’re trading.

Now you understand what pips represent and how their values are determined. Keep this knowledge in your trading toolkit, and you’ll be decoding currency pairs in no time!

Why Pips Matter for Profit and Loss in Forex

When trading forex, pips are how you measure your gains and losses. As a currency trader, pips determine whether you make a profit or take a loss on a trade. Understanding their value is key to successful forex trading.

In forex, currencies are quoted in pairs, like EUR/USD or GBP/JPY. The pip value represents the smallest increment that a currency quote can change. For most major currency pairs, one pip is equal to 0.0001. So if the EUR/USD price changes from 1.1200 to 1.1210, it has moved 10 pips.

The pip value depends on the currency pair you’re trading and your position size. It’s calculated based on the number of units of the quote currency you buy or sell. For example, if you buy 100,000 units of EUR/USD, each pip movement is worth $10. If you buy just 10,000 units, each pip is worth $1.

Pips add up over time and determine your profit or loss. If you buy EUR/USD at 1.1200 and sell at 1.1250, you’ve gained 50 pips. If each pip is worth $10, you’ve made a $500 profit. But if EUR/USD drops to 1.1150 and you sell, you’ve lost 50 pips and $500.

Monitoring the pips your positions gain or lose is key to knowing when to sell for a profit or buy to cut a loss. Most forex traders use stop loss and take profit orders to automatically close out positions once they gain or lose a certain number of pips. This helps manage risk and lock in profits.

The pip value also depends on if the pair is quoted as a “direct quote” or “indirect quote”. For direct quotes like EUR/USD and GBP/USD, the pip value is fixed. But for indirect quotes like USD/JPY and USD/CHF, the pip value changes with the exchange rate. So pay close attention to which way quotes are expressed to properly calculate your pip value and potential profit or loss.

In forex, every pip matters. Understanding pips is essential to reading price action, setting orders, and managing your trades. Always keep an eye on the pips – they’re the key to forex trading success!

What Influences Pip Movements and Volatility

Pip movements and volatility are influenced by several factors in the forex market. As a trader, understanding what drives these factors can help you make better trading decisions and manage risk.

Supply and Demand

The basic economic principles of supply and demand are a major influence on pips. When demand for a currency rises, the value increases. This causes the exchange rate to move up, and pips to increase in value. Conversely, if supply increases and demand falls, the currency value typically drops along with pip values. Keeping an eye on economic indicators that drive supply and demand can help predict potential pip fluctuations.

Interest Rates

Interest rates directly impact currency values and forex pip movements. If a country raises its interest rates, it makes its currency more attractive to foreign investors. This causes demand for the currency to rise, along with its value and pip prices. When interest rates fall, the currency becomes less appealing, decreasing demand and driving pip values down. Central bank decisions on interest rate changes are closely watched by forex traders.

Government Policy

Government policies, like increasing or decreasing money supply, taxes, or government spending, significantly impact forex markets and pip volatility. Expansionary policies that increase money supply or lower taxes tend to weaken a currency by increasing supply, driving pip values lower. Contractionary policies like raising taxes have the opposite effect, strengthening a currency by decreasing supply and causing pip values to rise.

Market Sentiment

The overall optimism or pessimism of forex traders plays a role in pip movements. Positive market sentiment about a currency increases demand and pushes pip values up. Negative sentiment weakens demand and causes pip prices to drop. News reports, economic data, and world events all influence market sentiment and can lead to quick, dramatic changes in pip volatility and forex prices.

Staying on top of all these factors that drive the forex market will make you a better, more informed trader. Combine fundamental analysis with technical analysis to determine the best entry and exit points for your trades based on potential pip movements. And always manage your risk, since pip volatility can lead to significant losses as well as gains.

How to Use Pips for Setting Stop Losses and Take Profits

Once you understand what pips are and how they work in Forex trading, the next step is learning how to use them to set stop losses and take profits. These are essential risk management tools that can help make you a profitable trader.

Stop Losses

A stop loss is an order you place that will automatically close out your trade if the market moves against you by a certain number of pips. For example, if you buy the EUR/USD at 1.2000 and place a 50 pip stop loss, your trade will close if the price drops to 1.1950.

Setting a stop loss helps ensure you don’t lose more than a certain amount on any given trade. As a general rule of thumb, set your stop loss for a minimum of 50 to 100 pips for most major currency pairs. Place it just below support levels or recent swing lows in case the market breaks through those levels. Adjust your stop loss as needed to lock in profits as the trade moves in your favour.

Take Profits

A take profit sets the level at which you want to close out a profitable trade. For example, if you buy EUR/USD at 1.2000 and set a take profit of 80 pips, your trade will automatically close at 1.2080.

Take profits are important because markets often retrace back a portion of a move. Setting a reasonable take profit allows you to lock in profits before a potential reversal. For most major pairs, aim to take profits of at least 50 to 100 pips. You can also consider using a trailing stop loss that moves up with the trend to potentially capture larger profits.

Using stop losses and taking profits in your Forex trading strategy is key to managing risk and becoming a consistently profitable trader. Start conservatively and adjust based on your experience in different market conditions. With practice, setting stops and targets can become almost second nature!

The Role of Pips in Developing a Trading Strategy

As a forex trader, understanding pips and how they factor into your trading strategy is crucial. Pips represent the smallest increment that a currency pair can move and are the “building blocks” used to measure profits and losses. Knowing the pip value of the pairs you trade allows you to quickly determine how much your position is up or down, and decide when to take profits or cut losses.

Pip Value Depends on the Currency Pair

The value of a pip depends on the specific currency pair you’re trading and whether the pair includes the U.S. dollar. For major pairs that include the USD, like EUR/USD or GBP/USD, a standard lot of 100,000 units equals $10 per pip. For pairs that don’t include the USD, like EUR/GBP, the pip value is calculated based on the exchange rate of the two currencies. Typically, the more valuable currency in the pair determines the pip value.

Leverage Affects Pip Value

The amount of leverage you use also impacts how much each pip is worth. If you trade a standard lot of EUR/USD with 50:1 leverage, each pip would be worth $10 x 50 = $500. Lower leverage means lower pip value, while higher leverage significantly increases pip value – and also your risk. As a beginner, use leverage cautiously until you gain more experience.

Choose a Trading Style Based on Pip Value

Whether you adopt a scalping, day trading, or long-term trading style depends in part on the typical Pip value of the pairs you trade. For pairs with a high pip value, scalping for just a few pips profit may not be worthwhile after factoring in the spread. Day or long-term trading may be better in this case. For pairs with a very low pip value, scalping can be effective since even capturing just 2-3 pips can add up to a decent profit over many trades.

In summary, pips provide the basis for executing your trading strategy and determining profit targets. Monitor the pip value of the specific currency pairs you trade and use an appropriate amount of leverage and trading style to fit your risk tolerance. With practice, pips and pip value calculations will become second nature!

Finding the Best Forex Trading Courses in London 

Consider enrolling in the trading courses London to boost your knowledge of the Forex market and your chances of success. These courses include structured learning materials, real-world examples, and advice from experienced traders. Here are the best online courses from our leading Forex education platform, Financial Markets:

FX Fast Track Course:

This Fast Track trading program provides new traders with all of the tools and support they need to reach their financial objectives through the financial markets.

3-Day Forex Masterclass:

Spend three full days on our trading floor or online learning all of the components to trading success as well as five additional high-profit tactics.

Advanced Trading Course:

Increase your return by trading 60 additional assets, including stocks, commodities, and metals, by today’s market leaders.

Once you understand the basics of a course, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest forex news and price movements. Follow expert analysts, read forex blogs, listen to forex podcasts, and stay active in forex trading communities. 

Never stop learning! With diligent study and practice, you’ll be placing winning forex trades in no time and making a good living as a forex trader in London.


You now have all the basics covered when it comes to understanding pips in forex trading. Remember, a pip is the smallest price increment in a currency pair and allows you to calculate your profits and losses to the penny. The value of a pip depends on which currency pairs you’re trading and you’ll want to determine the pip value for each pair to properly evaluate your risk.

Once you’ve got a handle on pips and pip values, you’ll be well on your way to making smarter trades. Keep practising your skills, follow the markets closely, and keep learning from the best forex traders at Financial Markets Online. Before you know it, you’ll be a pro forex trader calculating pips and profits like a boss. Now isn’t that an exciting thought? You’ve got this, just take it one pip at a time!


1. What determines a pip value?

The pip value depends on the currency pair you’re trading and your lot size. The pip value is calculated by multiplying the lot size by 0.0001 (for most pairs). For example, if you trade a standard lot of 100,000 units in the EUR/USD, each pip movement is worth $10. If you trade a mini lot of 10,000 units, each pip is worth $1. Pip value is important because it determines your profit or loss for a trade.

2. Are pips the same for all pairs?

No, pip values differ between currency pairs based on the exchange rate and lot size. The pip value will be higher for pairs where the U.S. dollar is the quote currency (like USD/JPY or GBP/USD), and lower for pairs where the dollar is the base currency (like EUR/USD or AUD/USD). Pip values are the largest for pairs involving the Japanese yen.

3. How are pips calculated?

Pip values are calculated based on the current market price of the currency pair, the lot size you want to trade, and the exchange rate of the two currencies. The pip value formula is (1 pip) x (lot size) / (exchange rate). For example, if the EUR/USD is trading at 1.1200, the exchange rate is 1 EUR = $1.12 USD. For a standard 100,000 unit lot, the pip value would be $10 per pip (0.0001 x 100,000) / 1.12.

4. Are there different types of pips?

Yes, there are a few types of pips:

  • Standard pips – Referenced above, the smallest price increment, usually 0.0001.
  • Pipettes – One-tenth of a standard pip, 0.00001. Some brokers provide pricing to the pipette level.
  • Percentage in points (pip%) – Used for certain currency pairs to represent 0.01% of the exchange rate, can be larger than a standard pip. For example, a 0.5 pip% move in USD/JPY is 5 pips.
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