About Price and Tick Notations

About Price and Tick Notations

Price notations

Exchanges introduced points as a notation that allowed contract prices to be expressed in a shortened format. Exchanges define a Point Value for all contracts that they list, which enables you to convert from the full price of a contract to points by dividing the price by the Point Value. For example, the Point Value for the Eurex Euro Bund futures (FGBL) is defined as €1000. A FGBL futures contract with a price of €114,000 can also be expressed as 114 points (€114,000/€1000).

Exchanges also define a Tick Size for all contracts they list that represents the minimum allowable price movement in points. For example, the Tick Size for the FGBL futures is defined as 1/100 of a point. You can express a price in ticks by dividing the price in points by the Tick Size. You can express a FGBL futures price of 114 points as 11,400 ticks (114/(1/100)).

The following table lists a sample of the allowable trading prices for FGBL futures in these various formats.

Full Price Points (Fractional) Points (Decimal) Ticks
€100,020.00 100 2/100 100.02 10,002
€100,010.00 100 1/100 100.01 10,001
€100,000.00 100 0/100 100.00 10,000
€99,990.00 99 99/100 99.99 9,999
€99,980.00 99 98/100 99.98 9,998

Tick value

The Tick Value is the dollar value of the minimum allowable price movement. It is calculated by multiplying the Point Value by the Tick Size. The Tick Value of an FGBL futures is €10, calculated as follows:

Tick Value = €1000 x (1/100) = €10

The Tick Value is used to calculate P&L in contract currency as follows:

P&L (contract currency) = Qty x (sell price in ticks - buy price in ticks) x Tick Value

So, for example, if you bought 2 FGBL-Dec13 futures contracts at 99 99/100 and sold 2 FGBL-Dec13 futures contracts at 100 2/100, your P&L in contract currency would be €60:

P&L (contract currency) = 2 x (10002 - 9999) x €10 = €60

P&L calculations use Tick Values because integer math is faster and not prone to rounding errors.