Understanding "lotsize" for forex, FXCM vs Oanda


In the symbol-properties-database.csv file, I see two columns that I don't understand, relating to forex: contract_multiplier and lotsize. No idea what contract multiplier is but in my mind, lot size would represent the USD amount notional of 1 contract, i.e. $100,000. But in the case of FXCM, lot size is set to "1000" and in the case of Oanda, it's "1".

Why the difference? And what do these two columns represent? How should I translate this information into how many "traditional" lots I am buying and selling?

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In Forex trading, the order quantity should be a multiple of lot size. The specific lot size depends on the brokerage and currency pair. FXCM is commonly rounded to the nearest 1,000. OANDA has a lot size of 1. If you place an order for a lot size not supported by your brokerage it will be automatically rounded down to the nearest size. You can find details in this Bootcamp lesson.

The contract multiplier is the contract size. It is often used in option contract and is determined by each exchange. For example, the contract multiplier for one option is 100, it means that every 1 option contract gives the buyer the right to buy 100 shares from the option seller. For currency pairs, the contract multiplier is 1.  You can also trade CFD with FXCM and Oanda. For Cfd contract, the multiplier is the amount a trader would earn per 1 contract if the instrument moved one point. For details, you can refer to this link.


Hi Jing,

Thanks for explaining the contract multiplier.

Regarding lot size - I come from a world where (in FX), 1 lot is a standard amount that grants you $10 per pip move (as you're trading $100,000 of the quote currency). You're telling me FXCM rounds to the nearest one thousand lots, i.e. meaning the minimum contract size is $10,000 per pip?! That can't be right. Not sure about our terminology here but we must be talking about different things.


Hi Douglas,

For example, the lot size for EURUSD is 1000, it means when you place the order, the order quantity should be a multiple of 1000 like 1000, 2000, 3000, etc. If you use MarketOrder("EURUSD", 1005), your order quantity will be round to 1000. 

This order size means you purchase 1000 EUR. When the rate goes up 1 pip for example from 1.20 to 1.21, your portfolio value increases 0.01*1000=$10. 

The second paragraph is the explanation of contract multiplier, the contract multiplier of forex pairs with FXCM is 1, not 1000. 


Hey, thanks for discussing this with me on Slack. For everyone's benefit:

  • A pip is indeed $0.0001
  • Oanda does actually offer people the opportunity to trade anything down to a $1 contract, meaning $0.0001 per pip!
  • FXCM's minimum P&L per pip is $0.10

Update Backtest


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