Forex Trading: Spreads


Spreads play an important role in the world of Forex trading. For most traders, this is the first thing they encounter when starting to trade. Every trader needs to understand how spreads work in order to effectively manage risk and maximize profits. In this article we will look at the key aspects of this concept.

What are Spreads?

A spread in the context of financial markets and Forex trading is the difference between the purchase price (ask) and the sale price (bid) of a certain financial instrument, such as a currency pair, stock, bond or derivative. The spread is one of the main parameters that need to be taken into account when choosing a trading strategy and a Forex broker, through which you will conduct transactions.


Let’s assume the buy price for the EUR/USD currency pair is 1.1000 and the sell price is 1.0995. The spread in this case will be equal to 1.1000 – 1.0995 = 0.0005 or 5 points.

Types of Spreads

There are several types of spreads in Forex. Fixed spreads remain unchanged and are known to the trader in advance. Floating spreads change depending on market conditions. Traders should know what type of spread their broker offers as this affects their trading strategy. FFor example, you can get acquainted with the proposed spreads of the Alpari broker in a detailed review – Visit the Alpari website and find out whether it is right for you or not.There are also spreads based on time of day, which can be wider during periods of low liquidity. The difference between spreads for different currency pairs can also be significant, making some pairs less attractive to trade.

How are Spreads Formed?

Forex spreads are formed based on a number of factors. One of the main ones is market liquidity. In simple terms, the more participants in the market, the narrower the spread. Another important factor is the broker’s “markup” added to the base spread to generate a profit. Economic news and market volatility can significantly affect the size of the spread. For example, during periods of economic releases, spreads may widen.

Impact of Spread on Forex Trading

The size of the spread has a direct impact on the profitability of your trading. The smaller the spread, the faster you can close a trade with a profit. A wide spread can significantly reduce your profits, especially in short-term trading strategies such as scalping. For long-term investors choosing long-term investment strategies, the size of the spread is not as critical, but is still important. In every strategy, understanding and accounting for the spread is key to success.

How to Use Spreads Correctly?

  • Understanding Spreads

The first step to using spreads correctly is to understand how they work and how they are formed. The more you understand this issue, the easier it will be to understand how spreads affect your trading strategy. For short-term traders such as scalpers, low spreads are critical. Understanding this aspect of trading will help you choose the most suitable broker and trading platform for you.

  • Accounting for spreads in the strategy

Spreads can have a significant impact on your trading profitability. If you are using a strategy that involves entering and exiting the market frequently, like scalping, then you need to look for a broker with minimal spreads. It is important to consider the spread when calculating the potential profitability of a trade to determine whether it is worth entering into a position.

  • Analysis

Spreads may vary over different periods of time and for different currency pairs. For example, during periods of high volatility or low liquidity, spreads may widen. Identifying these periods and understanding which currency pairs have tighter spreads can help optimize trading.

  • Broker comparison

Not all brokers offer the same spreads. Analyzing the terms offered by different brokers can be very helpful. Some brokers may offer tight spreads but charge additional commissions that ultimately make trading less profitable.

  • Demo testing

Before you start trading on a real account, it is recommended to test your strategy on a demo account. This will give you the opportunity to understand how spreads affect trading results without the risk of losing real funds.


In conclusion, spreads are an integral part of Forex trading. They can have a significant impact on your trading profitability, especially in the short term. Understanding the mechanics of spread formation, as well as how to account for it in trading, can be a decisive factor in your success as a trader.