Forex Basics: The Difference Between Pips and Points

Key Takeaways

  • Pips, or “percentage in point,” represent the smallest price movement in a currency pair and are measured to the fourth decimal point.

  • Points refer to the whole number part of a price quote and can denote larger price changes in forex trading, but they are not standardized like pips.

  • Pips offer precision for calculating profits or losses, while points provide a broader perspective on market movements, aiding in understanding trends and significant price changes.

With its complex terminology, investors learning about trading can find the world of forex trading very puzzling. One of the fundamental concepts that traders encounter is the difference between pips and points. Both terms play a crucial role in understanding forex price movements, but they are not interchangeable. Understanding basic forex trading concepts such as pips and points is essential for traders aiming to successfully play in the financial markets. 

What is a pip in forex?

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What is a Pip in Forex?

A pip, short for “percentage in point,” represents the smallest price movement in the exchange rate of a currency pair. It is typically measured to the fourth decimal point in most currency pairs, except for currency pairs involving the Japanese Yen, where it’s measured to the second decimal point. For instance, if the EUR/USD currency pair moves from 1.3000 to 1.3001, it has moved one pip. Pips are the standard unit of measurement in forex trading and are used to calculate profits or losses.

What is a Point in Forex?

Points refer to the whole number part of a price quote and do not include decimals. Unlike pips, points are not standardized and can vary across different assets. In forex trading, points can also denote a price change on a larger scale, typically referring to a one-point change in the exchange rate. However, the precise value of a point can differ based on the asset being traded.

Pips vs Points: Understanding the Difference

The key distinction between what is a pip in forex and what is a point lies in precision. While pips offer a more granular view of price movements, points provide a broader perspective, usually indicating larger price shifts. Traders use pips for precise calculations, especially when determining entry and exit points and setting stop-loss or take-profit levels. Points, with their broader scope, are often referenced in a more general sense when discussing market trends or significant price changes.


In summary, pips and points are vital concepts in forex trading, each serving specific purposes. Pips offer precision, allowing traders to make accurate calculations for profit and loss. Points encompass a wider price range, and provide a more general overview of market movements. Understanding the difference between what is a pip in forex and what is a point equips traders with the knowledge needed to navigate the forex market effectively. As with any trading terminology, mastering these concepts enhances a trader’s ability to make informed decisions in the dynamic world of forex trading.

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Jeff Sekinger

Founder & CEO, Nurp LLC

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