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Trading financial products on margin carries a high degree of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

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Trading Terms

Order book: what is it?

Order book: A book placed on a table with a blue background.

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes during a stock, Forex, or Crypto trade such as Ethereum price? One important tool that helps make these trades possible is called an "order book." An order book is like a list that shows all the current buy and sell orders for a specific asset, such as a stock, currency, or cryptocurrency, along with the prices people are willing to accept.

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What is an order book and what does it tell you?

Think of an order book as a big chart that organises all the offers to buy and sell. It has two main parts: "bids" and "asks." Bids are the prices people want to pay to buy the asset, and asks are the prices people want to receive to sell the asset. The highest bid is the most someone is willing to pay, and the lowest ask is the least someone is willing to accept.

When the highest bid and the lowest ask match, a trade happens. This means a buyer and a seller agree on a price, and the asset changes hands. This matching process helps keep the market running smoothly and ensures everyone knows the current prices and how much is available to buy or sell.

Order books are essential in many types of trading, including stock markets, Forex (foreign exchange, and cryptocurrency exchanges. They help make trading fair and transparent by showing everyone the same information so they can make informed decisions.

In short, an order book is a crucial tool in trading that lists all the buy and sell orders, showing the prices and amounts available. It helps buyers and sellers find each other and agree on fair prices for their trades.

Example of the order book

Imagine you want to trade Bitcoin with a CFD broker like Skilling. This broker allows you to speculate on the Bitcoin price movement without actually owning it.

On one side of the order book, you have the "buy orders," where traders want to purchase Bitcoin at a specific price. On the other side, you have the "sell orders," where traders want to sell Bitcoin at a specific price.

For instance, let's say Alice wants to buy 0.1 Bitcoin at $45,000, and her order joins the buy orders list. Meanwhile, Bob wants to sell 0.05 Bitcoin at $46,000, and his order joins the sell orders list.

The order book continuously updates in real time, reflecting the changing interests of traders. It helps traders gauge market sentiment and decide when to enter or exit their positions based on the prevailing demand and supply dynamics.

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Types of order book

Order books primarily deal with three types of orders:

  1. Market Order: A market order is an order to buy or sell an instrument immediately at the best available current price. When you place a market order, you are willing to pay the prevailing price for the instrument. Market orders are executed as quickly as possible, often at the best available price at the time the order is received.
  2. Limit Order: A limit order is an order to buy or sell an instrument at a specific price or better. When you place a limit order, you specify the price at which you are willing to buy or sell, and your order will only be executed if the market reaches that price. Limit orders can help investors control the price at which they buy or sell instruments, but there's no guarantee that the order will be executed if the market doesn't reach the specified price.
  3. Stop Order (or Stop-Loss Order): A stop order is an order to buy or sell an instrument once it reaches a specific price, known as the stop price. Once the stop price is reached, the stop order becomes a market order or a limit order, depending on the type specified, and is executed at the best available price. Stop orders are often used by investors to limit losses or protect profits by automatically selling an instrument if its price falls below a certain level (for stop-loss orders) or buying an instrument if its price rises above a certain level (for stop-buy orders).
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Trade global with an award-winning CFD broker

With Skilling, an award-winning CFD broker, you have access to 1200+ global assets in the form of CFDs to trade. Here's how you can start trading with Skilling:

  1. Sign up: Visit the Skilling website and sign up for an account by providing your basic details and verifying your identity.
  2. Deposit funds: Deposit funds into your Skilling trading account using one of the available payment methods, such as bank transfer, credit/debit card, or e-wallet.
  3. Choose an asset: Explore the wide range of global assets available on Skilling's platform, including stocks, indices, commodities, forex, and cryptocurrencies. Choose the asset you want to trade.
  4. Analyse the market: Use Skilling's tools and resources to analyse the market and make informed trading decisions. You can access real-time charts, technical indicators, and market news to help you analyse price movements.
  5. Place a trade: Once you've decided on a trading opportunity, select the asset, choose your position size, and decide whether to buy (go long) or sell (go short). Enter the desired price level and any additional parameters, such as stop-loss and take-profit orders.
  6. Monitor your trade: Keep an eye on your trade as it progresses. Skilling provides real-time updates on your positions, including profit and loss calculations.
  7. Close your trade: When you're ready to exit your trade, you can close it manually or set up automated orders to take profits or limit losses.
  8. Withdraw profits: If your trade is successful, you can withdraw your profits from your Skilling account to your bank account or e-wallet.

FAQs

1. What is an order book?

An order book is a real-time list of buy and sell orders for a specific financial instrument, displayed in a two-sided ledger format. It shows the number of orders and the price levels at which traders are willing to buy or sell.

2. ow does an order book work?

An order book works by listing all active buy and sell orders for a financial instrument. When a new order is placed, it is matched with existing orders based on price and time priority. If a match is found, a trade is executed, and the order book is updated accordingly.

3. What is the difference between a bid and an ask in an order book?

The bid represents the highest price that buyers are willing to pay for an instrument, while the ask is the lowest price that sellers are willing to accept. The difference between the bid and ask prices is known as the spread.

4. How can I use the order book to inform my trading decisions?

Traders use the order book to gauge market sentiment, identify potential support and resistance levels, and assess the liquidity of an instrument. By analysing the order book, traders can make more informed decisions about when to enter or exit trades.

5. Can I see other traders' orders in the order book?

Yes, the order book displays aggregated buy and sell orders at various price levels, but it does not show the identity of the traders. It provides a summary of the total quantity of orders at each price level.

6. How often is the order book updated?

The order book is updated in real-time as new orders are placed, existing orders are cancelled or modified, and trades are executed. This continuous updating helps provide a current snapshot of market activity.

This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.

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22/07 - 26/07
AMZN.US: 00:00 - 20:00 UTC
SANDUSD: 00:00 - 20:00 UTC
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Start trading with a $30 bonus on your first deposit.

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Capitalise on volatility in cryptocurrency markets
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