Fixed spreads vs. floating spreads

Forex brokers offer a choice of fixed and floating spreads. So, what's best? The answer to this question depends on your experience and trading strategies.

Fixed spreads

If your broker quotes fixed spreads, the bid-ask spread will be constant at all times, regardless of market conditions. You'll find that spreads may vary across currency pairs: they can be as low as 2 to 3 pips for Major currency pairs and wider for exotic currency pairs.

Floating spreads

If your broker quotes floating spreads, the bid-ask spread will change with market conditions. For example, the typical EUR/USD spread may vary between 1 and 4 pips under normal market conditions. However, it can widen to 8 pips and beyond under volatile market conditions.

Fixed or floating spreads?

The answer to this question depends on your experience and trading style.

Because floating spreads tend to be lower than fixed spreads during normal market conditions, they can be more cost effective if you are a medium to long term investor, tend to keep your positions open overnight or trade during quiet market conditions. AvaTrade, and HotForex quote particularly competitive spreads across most Majors.

However, fixed spreads will work for you if you are new to Forex trading, as they provide a more predictable trading environment: you know exactly how many pips you need to make to net a profit on your trade. You might also prefer a fixed spread trading environment if you're a day trader, engage in algorithmic trading or want to trade around news events.

If you're looking for low fixed spreads, read our guide to Forex brokers with fixed spreads.

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Trading foreign exchange, contracts for differences or spread bets on margin carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. You could sustain a loss of some or all of your funds if the markets move against you. For this reason, you should not invest more than you could afford to lose. does not accept deposits, advise on investments, deal in investments (as agent or principal) or arrange deals in investments. Information published on this website and in our external communications is factual and for information purposes only. It does not constitute financial advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. is owned by Hades Capital Limited, a company registered in England under number 08176698.