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bid-ask spread

What Is a Bid-Ask Spread, and How Does It Work in Trading?

A bid-ask spread is the difference between the highest price that a buyer is willing to pay for a security (the “bid price”) and the lowest price that a seller is willing to accept for the same security (the “ask price”). The bid-ask spread is a measure of the supply and demand for a particular security, and it reflects the cost of buying and selling that security in the market.

In the context of trading, the bid-ask spread is important because it determines the cost of buying or selling a security. For example, if the bid price for a stock is ₹50 and the ask price is ₹50.50, the bid-ask spread is ₹0.50. This means that if you wanted to buy the stock, you would have to pay ₹50.50 for it, and if you wanted to sell the stock, you would receive ₹50 for it.

The bid-ask spread can vary depending on a number of factors, including the liquidity of the security, the level of supply and demand for the security, and the overall level of activity in the market. In general, securities that are highly liquid and have a lot of buyers and sellers tend to have smaller bid-ask spreads, while securities that are less liquid and have fewer buyers and sellers tend to have larger bid-ask spreads.

Bid-ask spreads are typically quoted in units of the underlying security’s currency, such as dollars or euros, and they are usually expressed as a percentage of the security’s price. For example, a bid-ask spread of 0.50% for a security that is trading at ₹100 would be quoted as ₹0.50, or 50 cents.

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