What is a Pip?

What is a Pip?

A pip, short for "percentage in point" or "price interest point," is a standard unit of movement in the forex market, indicating the smallest price change that can occur in the exchange rate of a currency pair. Understanding the concept of a pip is fundamental for forex traders, as it plays a crucial role in measuring price movements, calculating profits and losses, and determining risk-reward ratios. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of a pip, exploring its significance, how it is calculated, and its role in forex trading.

1. Definition of a Pip:

A pip is a standardized unit of measurement that represents the smallest price move that can occur in the exchange rate of a currency pair. In most currency pairs, a pip is typically expressed as the fourth decimal place, except for currency pairs involving the Japanese yen, where it is the second decimal place. For example, if the EUR/USD currency pair moves from 1.1200 to 1.1201, it has experienced a one-pip movement.

2. Calculating Pips:

The calculation of pips depends on the decimal place convention of the currency pair. For most currency pairs, where the exchange rate is expressed with four decimal places, a one-pip movement is equivalent to 0.0001. In the case of currency pairs involving the Japanese yen, where the exchange rate is expressed with two decimal places, a one-pip movement is equivalent to 0.01.

3. Significance of Pips in Forex Trading:

  • Measuring Price Movements: Pips are used to quantify and measure the changes in price movements. Traders analyze pip movements to assess the volatility of currency pairs and make informed trading decisions.

  • Profit and Loss Calculation: Pips play a crucial role in calculating profits and losses in forex trading. The difference in the number of pips between the entry and exit points of a trade determines the monetary gain or loss.

  • Risk-Reward Ratio: Traders use pips to determine the risk-reward ratio of a trade. By assessing potential profit in pips against the potential loss, traders can make risk-conscious decisions.

4. Pipettes:

In addition to pips, the concept of "pipettes" is used to denote fractional movements in the exchange rate. A pipette represents a tenth of a pip and is often quoted to provide more precision in pricing. For example, if the EUR/USD moves from 1.12000 to 1.12001, it has experienced a one-pipette movement.

5. Pip Value:

The monetary value of a pip is influenced by the position size of the trade and the currency in which the trading account is denominated. The formula for calculating pip value is:

Pip Value=Position Size×Pip MovementExchange Rate×Account Currency Exchange Rate\text{Pip Value} = \frac{\text{Position Size} \times \text{Pip Movement}}{\text{Exchange Rate} \times \text{Account Currency Exchange Rate}}

Understanding pip value is essential for risk management, as it allows traders to determine the potential impact of price movements on their account balance.

6. Different Pip Sizes in Currency Pairs:

While most currency pairs follow the standard convention of a pip being the fourth decimal place, some exceptions exist. For example, in the case of the Japanese yen, where the exchange rate is expressed with two decimal places, a pip is the second decimal place. This variation in pip size emphasizes the importance of understanding the specific pip conventions for different currency pairs.

7. Pips in Cross Currency Pairs:

In cross currency pairs, where neither of the currencies is the U.S. dollar, the calculation of pips may involve converting the pip value into the account currency. Traders need to be aware of the pip conventions and potential currency conversions when trading cross currency pairs.


In the world of forex trading, a pip is a fundamental unit of measurement that underpins various aspects of trading, from assessing price movements to calculating profits and losses. Traders must have a solid understanding of pips, including their calculation, significance, and the variation in pip sizes among different currency pairs. Proficiency in handling pip-related calculations is essential for effective risk management and making informed trading decisions in the dynamic and fast-paced forex market.