What Does a Spread Indicator Tell You?

by Investing School on July 8, 2011

Much as you might expect, a spread indicator defines the difference between a bid and the asked price of a particular asset. The spread indicator demonstrates, usually in chart form, the spread with a simple-to-understand graphic. This is a very popular method used among traders working in the foreign exchange market.

Shown in a curve, the direction for the spread explains, to those who know how to read the graph, both the bid and ask price. Generally speaking, very liquid currencies have lower spread values.

Since forex trading usually depends upon very small differences between currency values, often extending into the fourth place or more beyond the decimal, traders search for small fluctuations in the spread when determining which currencies to purchase or sell.

The larger question is just how well the equations used by forex traders work, whether they try to employ metrics programs or do the work manually. Indicators are supposed to help investors anticipate specific market changes, not just the immediate spread.

The general opinion is that a wise investor would be foolish to ignore indicators, but they would be just as incautious to count entirely upon spread indicators to determine their investment policies. In fact, information overload is one of the most significant problems young investors experience when trying to figure out which indicators are most valid.

Since forex trading does require an understanding of much more than just simple math, spread indicators can help an investor determine which currencies to purchase, which to sell and how to balance the two activities.

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