# Tick size

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In financial markets, the tick size is the smallest price increment in which the prices are quoted. The meaning of the term varies depending on whether stocks, bonds, or futures are being quoted.

## Bonds

U.S. mortgage bonds and certain corporate bonds are quoted in increments of one thirty-second (1/32) of one percent. [1] That means that prices will be quoted as, for instance, 99-30/32 - "99 and 30 ticks", meaning 99 and 30/32 percent of the face value. Prices can also be quoted with a "plus", meaning one sixty-fourth (1/64) of one percent or half a tick. [2] That means that a price is quoted as, for instance, 99-30+, meaning 99 and 61/64 percent (or 30.5/32 percent) of the face value. As an example, "par the buck plus" means 100% plus 1/64 of 1% or 100.015625% of face value.

Most European and Asian bond and futures prices are quoted in decimals so the "tick" size is 1/100 of 1%. [3]

## Stocks and futures

Tick size is the smallest increment (tick) by which the price of stocks, [4] futures contracts [5] or other exchange-traded instrument can move.

The stock of a corporation is all of the shares into which ownership of the corporation is divided. In American English, the shares are commonly known as "stocks." A single share of the stock represents fractional ownership of the corporation in proportion to the total number of shares. This typically entitles the stockholder to that fraction of the company's earnings, proceeds from liquidation of assets, or voting power, often dividing these up in proportion to the amount of money each stockholder has invested. Not all stock is necessarily equal, as certain classes of stock may be issued for example without voting rights, with enhanced voting rights, or with a certain priority to receive profits or liquidation proceeds before or after other classes of shareholders.

In finance, a futures contract is a standardized forward contract, a legal agreement to buy or sell something at a predetermined price at a specified time in the future, between parties not known to each other. The asset transacted is usually a commodity or financial instrument. The predetermined price the parties agree to buy and sell the asset for is known as the forward price. The specified time in the future—which is when delivery and payment occur—is known as the delivery date. Because it is a function of an underlying asset, a futures contract is a derivative product.

Financial instruments are monetary contracts between parties. They can be created, traded, modified and settled. They can be cash (currency), evidence of an ownership interest in an entity (share), or a contractual right to receive or deliver cash (bond).

The purpose of having discrete price levels is to balance price priority with time priority. If the tick is too small then too much of a preference is given to price priority meaning that market makers and the general public will have less of an incentive to post their orders well in advance since people can jump ahead of them by increasing their price by a small, virtually inconsequential, fraction. If the tick is too big then the opposite happens and time priority is given far too much of an advantage. The size of a tick is picked to basically balance those two priorities.

Tick sizes can be fixed (e.g., USD 0.01) or vary according to the current price (common in European markets) with larger increments at higher prices. Heavily-traded stocks are given smaller tick sizes. An instrument price is always a rational number and the tick sizes determine the numbers that are permissible for a given instrument and exchange.

In mathematics, a rational number is any number that can be expressed as the quotient or fraction p/q of two integers, a numerator p and a non-zero denominator q. Since q may be equal to 1, every integer is a rational number. The set of all rational numbers, often referred to as "the rationals", the field of rationals or the field of rational numbers is usually denoted by a boldface Q ; it was thus denoted in 1895 by Giuseppe Peano after quoziente, Italian for "quotient".

In Europe, Mifid has resulted in a variety of multilateral trading facilities (MTF) with distinct tick size regimes for the same stocks. These differences mean that order routing systems must be aware of every MTF's tick size regime and adjust outgoing orders accordingly. There is now an industry effort underway to harmonise tick sizes. [6] As of 2019, the article 49 of the new MiFID II directive requires trading venues to adopt minimum tick sizes in relation to equity and certain equity-like instruments.

A multilateral trading facility (MTF) is a European regulatory term for a self-regulated financial trading venue. These are alternatives to the traditional stock exchanges where a market is made in securities, typically using electronic systems. The concept was introduced within the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), a European Directive designed to harmonise retail investors protection and allow investment firms to provide services throughout the EU.

An order is an instruction to buy or sell on a trading venue such as a stock market, bond market, commodity market, financial derivative market or cryptocurrency exchange. These instructions can be simple or complicated, and can be sent to either a broker or directly to a trading venue via direct market access. There are some standard instructions for such orders.

## Why are price increments limited to ticks?

In theory, the price for a stock could be any fraction of a dollar (or euro, yen, ...). American stocks could be traded on 1/100 of a cent: the usual trade is 100 shares and a penny in the trade price would be 1/100 of a cent when calculated per share. But that's not the case: per share, it is still traded in cents. The reason is that if the difference between two prices was very small, it would be easier to do "penny jumping", which is a small scale version of front running.

## Related Research Articles

In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include municipal bonds and corporate bonds.

Speculation is the purchase of an asset with the hope that it will become more valuable in the near future. In finance, speculation is also the practice of engaging in risky financial transactions in an attempt to profit from short term fluctuations in the market value of a tradable financial instrument—rather than attempting to profit from the underlying financial attributes embodied in the instrument such as capital gains, dividends, or interest.

London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London, England. As of April 2018, London Stock Exchange had a market capitalisation of US\$4.59 trillion. It was founded in 1571, making it one of the oldest exchanges in the world. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. It is part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

In finance, the underlying of a derivative is an asset, basket of assets, index, or even another derivative, such that the cash flows of the (former) derivative depend on the value of this underlying. There must be an independent way to observe this value to avoid conflicts of interest.

In finance, an equity derivative is a class of derivatives whose value is at least partly derived from one or more underlying equity securities. Options and futures are by far the most common equity derivatives, however there are many other types of equity derivatives that are actively traded.

Preferred stock is a form of stock which may have any combination of features not possessed by common stock including properties of both an equity and a debt instrument, and is generally considered a hybrid instrument. Preferred stocks are senior to common stock, but subordinate to bonds in terms of claim and may have priority over common stock in the payment of dividends and upon liquidation. Terms of the preferred stock are described in the issuing company's articles of association or articles of incorporation.

In finance, the yield curve is a curve showing several yields or interest rates across different contract lengths for a similar debt contract. The curve shows the relation between the interest rate and the time to maturity, known as the "term", of the debt for a given borrower in a given currency. For example, the U.S. dollar interest rates paid on U.S. Treasury securities for various maturities are closely watched by many traders, and are commonly plotted on a graph such as the one on the right which is informally called "the yield curve". More formal mathematical descriptions of this relation are often called the term structure of interest rates.

Fixed income refers to any type of investment under which the borrower or issuer is obliged to make payments of a fixed amount on a fixed schedule. For example, the borrower may have to pay interest at a fixed rate once a year, and to repay the principal amount on maturity. Fixed-income securities can be contrasted with equity securities – often referred to as stocks and shares – that create no obligation to pay dividends or any other form of income.

A currency future, also known as an FX future or a foreign exchange future, is a futures contract to exchange one currency for another at a specified date in the future at a price that is fixed on the purchase date; see Foreign exchange derivative. Typically, one of the currencies is the US dollar. The price of a future is then in terms of US dollars per unit of other currency. This can be different from the standard way of quoting in the spot foreign exchange markets. The trade unit of each contract is then a certain amount of other currency, for instance €125,000. Most contracts have physical delivery, so for those held at the end of the last trading day, actual payments are made in each currency. However, most contracts are closed out before that. Investors can close out the contract at any time prior to the contract's delivery date.

An interest rate future is a financial derivative with an interest-bearing instrument as the underlying asset. It is a particular type of interest rate derivative.

The secondary market, also called the aftermarket and follow on public offering is the financial market in which previously issued financial instruments such as stock, bonds, options, and futures are bought and sold. Another frequent usage of "secondary market" is to refer to loans which are sold by a mortgage bank to investors such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A per ten thousand sign or basis point is one hundredth of a percent or equivalently one ten thousandth. The related concept of a permyriad is literally one part per ten thousand. Figures are commonly quoted in basis points in finance, especially in fixed income markets.

In finance, market depth is a real-time list displaying the quantity to be sold versus unit price. The list is organized by price level and is reflective of real-time market activity. Mathematically, it is the size of an order needed to move the market price by a given amount. If the market is deep, a large order is needed to change the price.

Securities market is a component of the wider financial market where securities can be bought and sold between subjects of the economy, on the basis of demand and supply. Securities markets encompasses equity markets, bond markets and derivatives markets where prices can be determined and participants both professional and non professionals can meet.

The bond market is a financial market where participants can issue new debt, known as the primary market, or buy and sell debt securities, known as the secondary market. This is usually in the form of bonds, but it may include notes, bills, and so on.

Futures exchanges establish a minimum amount that the price of a commodity can fluctuate upward or downward. This minimum fluctuation is known as a tick or commodity tick. Hence, a tick is any fluctuation in the price of a security.

In finance, specifically in foreign exchange markets, a percentage in point or price interest point (pip) is a unit of change in an exchange rate of a currency pair.

The Ukrainian Exchange is one of the largest stock exchanges in Ukraine. The exchange is located in Kyiv and is the main trading venue for equities and derivatives in the country.

In finance, a dividend future is an exchange-traded derivative contract that allows investors to take positions on future dividend payments. Dividend futures can be on a single company, a basket of companies, or on an Equity index. They settle on the amount of dividend paid by the company, the basket of companies, or the index during the period of the contract.

The Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act of 2013 is a bill that is intended to increase the liquidity on the stock market of stocks belonging to emerging growth companies. It would allow small companies to choose a tick size of \$0.05 or \$0.10 instead of the standard \$0.01. To participate, companies would need to have stock prices of over \$1.00 and revenues of less than \$750 million.

## References

1. Glossary of Fixed Income Market Terminology. Freddie Mac.
2. Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives Handbook: Analysis and Valuation. Moorad Choudhry. Wiley 2010. p. 376
3. Interest Rate Derivatives: Fixed Income Trading Strategies. Eurex Frankfurt AG. p.7
4. "Understanding The Ticker Tape", Investopedia
5. Futures Contract Specifications (Tick Values) , retrieved 26 September 2009
6. "BATS Europe Newsletter - 10th June 2009" (PDF). BATS Europe . Retrieved 26 June 2009.