What is a ‘handle’ in trading?

In trading, a handle is the whole number part of a price quote, disregarding the decimal. For example, if a quote for a stock is £78.42, the handle will be £78.

Traders often refer only to the handle of a price quote, as it is assumed that the other market participants know the remaining digits of the quote.

The handle in foreign exchange markets

In currency exchanges, the handle is the part of the price that is the same for both the bid and the offer. For instance, if in a GBP/EUR currency pair the bid is at 1.3118 and the ask is at 1.3121, the handle would be 1.31. This is often known as the “big figure” or “big fig” on foreign exchange markets.

Since many of the foreign exchange instruments are quoted out four or five decimal places, it is simpler to refer to the last two places when discussing the bids and asks, rather than include the handle, which tends to be known by the participants.

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Category: Financial Glossary

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