Using OANDA live exchange rates

How are OANDA's live exchange rates calculated?

OANDA is electronically connected to numerous global banks to access the best currency rates for its forex traders, and electronic algorithms on OANDA’s fxTrade servers update exchange rates tick-by-tick, in periods of less than a second. The currency rates shown on this page are updated less frequently, but are still a close reflection of the rates available to forex traders right now.

What is currency trading?

When you trade a currency pair, you enter into an agreement to trade a derivative based on an foreign exchange pair. The value of the trade shifts over time as the market rate for the currency pair changes. You realize a loss or gain at the time you close the trade.

The dealer charges you a different rate depending on if you place a long or short trade, and again when you close the open trade. When you long a pair, you are charged a higher rate, the 'Ask' rate. When you short the pair, you are charged a lower rate, the 'Bid' rate.

To learn more about currency trading, please visit the OANDA Academy at OANDA fxTrade.

Disclaimer: leveraged trading in foreign currency contracts or other off-exchange products on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for everyone. We advise you to carefully consider whether trading is appropriate for you in light of your personal circumstances. You may lose more than you invest. Information on this website is general in nature. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Trading through an online platform carries additional risks. Refer to our legal section here.

How do I read the fxTrade rate panel?

There are several ways of showing bid and ask rates, including the rate panel.

The first (lower) number is the bid rate; the second (higher) is the ask rate. The spread—the difference between the two rates—is shown below these two values.

What is a spread?

The difference between the ask and bid rates is the spread, and tight spreads make all the difference to successful trading strategies.

Spreads widen during market events or on weekends, when liquidity is scarce. OANDA always publishes our live tradable spreads, even when they are widened. We also publish our historical spreads.

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