Forex Assets

Everything You Should Know To Trade The GBP/USD Forex Pair


Currency pairs are classified as major, minor, exotic, etc. Major currencies pairs are those pairs that involve the US dollar as one of the currencies. These currencies typically have high liquidity and volatility. GBPUSD is one such example. It is the currency pair where Great Britain Pound is traded against the US dollar.

In this article, we shall be covering all the basic fundamentals which are essential to know before trading this pair. And before getting into the specifications of this pair, let us first understand what actually the price of GBPUSD signifies.

In GBPUSD, GBP is the base currency, and USD is the quote currency. The value (price) of the pair determines the units of USD required to purchase one unit of GBP. For example, if the current value of GBPUSD is 1.3100, then the trader must possess the US $1.3100 to buy 1 Pound.

GBP/USD Specification


Spread is simply the difference between the bid price and the ask price. The spread depends on the type of account.

Spread on ECN: 0.7

Spread on STP: 1.3


Again, the fee depends on the type of account. Typically, there is no fee charged by STP accounts. There is a trading fee on ECN account, which depends from broker to broker.


Forex is very liquid and volatile. Hence, this causes slippage. Slippage is the difference between the price requested by the trader and the actual price the trader received. And this depends on the broker’s execution speed and volatility of the market. The slippage in major currency pairs is usually within 0.5 and 5 pips.

Trading Range in GBPUSD

As a trader, it is vital to know the number of pips a currency pair moves in a period of time. This is basically the volatility in the currency pair. And volatility is one of the factors which are helpful in risk management.

The volatility is measured in terms of percentage or pips. For example, if the volatility on the 1H timeframe of GBPUSD is 15 pips, then one can expect to gain or lose $150 (15 pip x $10 per pip) within a time period of few fours.

Below is a table that depicts the minimum, average, and maximum volatility (pip movement) on different timeframes.


Procedure to assess Pip Ranges

  1. Add the ATR indicator to your chart
  2. Set the period to 1
  3. Add a 200-period SMA to this indicator
  4. Shrink the chart so you can assess a large time period
  5. Select your desired timeframe
  6. Measure the floor level and set this value as the min
  7. Measure the level of the 200-period SMA and set this as the average
  8. Measure the peak levels and set this as Max.

(originally posted in our article here)

GBPUSD Cost as a Percent of the Trading Range

A Forex broker usually levies three type of charges for each trade. They are:

  • Slippage
  • Spread
  • Trading Fee

The sum of all the three costs will generate the total trading cost for one trade.

Total cost = Slippage + Spread + Trading Fee

Note: All costs are in terms of pips.

To bring up an application to the above volatility table, we bind these values with the total cost and find the cost variations (in terms of percentages) on different timeframes. And these percentages prove to be helpful in choosing the right timeframe with minimal costs.

ECN Model Account

Spread = 0.7 | Slippage = 2 | Trading fee = 1

Total cost = Slippage + Spread + Trading Fee = 2 + 0.7 + 1

Total cost = 3.7

STP Model Account

Spread = 1.3 | Slippage = 2 | Trading fee = 0

Total cost = Slippage + Spread + Trading Fee = 2 + 1.3 + 0

Total cost = 3.3

The Ideal Timeframe to Trade GBPUSD

Above are tables that illustrate the cost ranges in terms of percentage. Let us now comprehend the tables and figure out the ideal timeframe to trade this currency pair. From the above table, it is evident that the cost is highest (74% and 66%) in the 1H timeframe when the volatility is low. Hence, it is not ideal to pick the 1H timeframe when the volatility is around 5 pips (minimum).

On the flip side of things, the cost percentages are minimal on the 1M timeframe. Traders with a long term perspective on the market can invest with minimum costs.

Intraday traders, on the other hand, can pick the 1H, 2H, 4H, or the 1D timeframe when the volatility of the market is above average.

Another point to consider is that slippage eats up the costs significantly. So, it is recommended to plan strategies that involve placing of limit orders and not market orders.

As proof, below is a table that clearly shows the reduction in the cost percentages when the slippage is made NIL.

Total cost = Slippage + Spread + Trading fee = 0 + 0.7 + 1

Total cost = 1.7

Comparing these values to the table with slippage=2, it can be ascertained that the cost percentage has reduced by a considerable amount. Hence, all in all, it is ideal to trade by placing limit orders rather than executing at the market price.

By Reddy Shyam Shankar

I am a professional Price Action retail trader and Speculator with expertise in Risk Management, Trade Management, and Hedging.

2 replies on “Everything You Should Know To Trade The GBP/USD Forex Pair”



Thanks for your comments. The idea of this series of articles was to analyze them in terms of the cost of trading. The articles explain the method for you to do it yourself. Use the 10-period Average True range and analyze the current situation of the ranges. ATR values will tell you the average price movement you can expect for the timeframe of choice. Thus, if you know your costs, you can tell the percent of costs of the trade, and also extrapolate the amount of time, on average, it will take your trade to just cover the costs, as the ART is given in price, you can translate it into pip movements. It is better not to let the cost be more than 10 percent of the profit. But, you can define your own metric for this. ALso, by knowing the ATR of your forex pair, you can also measure the average time it will take you to reach the target, and also reach the stop loss… You may find the following articles interesting:

Hope this helps.

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