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A tick is a term used in finance to denote a minuscule change in the price of a financial asset, like a stock or currency. Size of a tick can vary depending on the specific market or asset. A tick can move up (positive tick) or down (negative tick), depicting the shift in price.


The phonetics of the keyword “Tick” is /tɪk/.

Key Takeaways

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The term “tick” is significant in finance and business as it represents the smallest possible price movement of a trading instrument on an exchange. The size of the tick dictates the minimum fluctuation in the asset’s price. Understanding ticks is essential for traders, especially in day trading or high-frequency trading, as these changes directly correlate to financial gains or losses. Ticks can also provide valuable information about market trends and liquidity. Traders who keenly observe tick-by-tick movements can identify trading opportunities, assess investment risks, and make more informed decisions.


In the realm of finance and business, a tick refers to the smallest possible price movement up or down in the value of a security, such as a stock or a bond. The purpose of ticks is to provide a clear and standardized measure of minimum price variations. With this granular detail, market participants can accurately gauge the volatility of different markets and implement effective investment strategies. The specific value of a tick depends on the market or particular security you’re dealing with, and different exchanges will have different tick values.Ticks are vital as they establish the lowest possible movement in price that any given security, commodity, or futures contract can make. Therefore, even the smallest fluctuation can indicate to traders and investors any shifting trends in the market. A series of related ticks can also provide a snapshot of market movement over time and make clear decipherable patterns. Furthermore, they also help bring some form of order to markets by reducing price discrepancies, facilitating the setting of stop-loss orders, and nurturing a more efficient and liquid market.


1. Stock Market Trading: The use of ticks is common in the world of stock trading. For instance, if the price of a security, say shares in Company XYZ, goes from $10.00 to $10.01, this is considered a tick upward. On the other hand, if the stock price drops to $9.99, this is considered a downward tick.2. Futures Market: In futures trading, a tick is the smallest price increment that a futures contract can move. For example, if the price of a crude oil futures contract moves from $70.00 to $70.01, that’s one tick. The specific value of a tick can vary depending on the futures contract. For some contracts, a one tick movement can be worth $10, others it can be worth $12.50.3. Forex Trading: A tick can also be used in the foreign exchange (forex) market. When trading currency pairs, a tick is the smallest change in exchange rate. For most currency pairs, a tick is 0.0001 or one basis point. For example, if the EUR/USD pair moves from 1.2000 to 1.2001, this represents a single tick increase. In this context, ticks can help traders to make decisions about buying or selling currencies.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Tick in finance?

A tick is the minimum upward or downward movement in the price of a security, such as a stock, option, or futures contract.

How does a Tick affect traders?

Traders monitor ticks closely as even small actions can impact their trades significantly. Ticks are also used to determine price moves and trends and can influence a trader’s decision on when to buy or sell a security.

Is a Tick always the same size?

Not always. The size of a tick can depend on the market in which the security is traded. For example, in the futures market, a tick might equal a minimum price move of $0.01.

What is a Tick Size?

Tick size refers to the smallest incremental movement a specific trade or contract can move. The value varies depending on the market the financial instrument is trading in.

How is a Tick different from a Pip?

A tick refers to a minimum change in the price of financial instruments, while a pip is specifically used in the Forex market to represent the smallest price movement a currency pair can make.

What does a Tick Chart represent?

A tick chart tracks price changes and displays them as individual points, or ticks, on a graph. Modern electronic trading platforms can generate tick charts in real-time for any trading instrument available.

How do Ticks affect the decision-making process in trading?

Ticks provide valuable information about the changes in the price of a security. By monitoring these changes, traders can identify patterns and trends, enabling them to make better-informed decisions in buying, selling, or trading a security.

Related Finance Terms

  • Ask Price: The minimum price a seller is willing to accept for a security.
  • Trading Volume: The number of shares or contracts traded in a security or an entire market during a given period.
  • Spread: The difference between the bid and the ask price in trading, often used to measure market liquidity.
  • High Frequency Trading (HFT): A type of algorithmic trading characterized by short portfolio holding periods and high volumes of transactions.
  • Bid Price: The highest price that a buyer is willing to pay for a security.

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