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published-date Published: October 7, 2023
update-date Last Update: January 10, 2024

Ask Size

What Is Ask Size?

The ‘Ask Size’ refers to the quantity of a security that a seller is willing to sell at a specific ‘ask’ price. It represents the amount of stock, currency, or other financial instruments available for purchase at a given moment. The ask size is a crucial component of market data, providing insight into the supply side of the price equation.

Ask size contrasts with bid size. Bid size represents the amount people want to buy at the bid price.


Market makers engage in buying and selling securities, and they are required to declare their selling price, referred to as the ask price. Additionally, they need to specify the quantity of securities they are willing to sell, which is known as the ask size. Market makers are also responsible for stating their buying price (the bid price) and the quantity they are willing to buy (the bid size). When a customer places an order, it is executed by the market maker who offers the most competitive ask price for purchases and the highest bid price for sales.

Furthermore, in a typical price quote, the bid and ask prices are often displayed within brackets. These figures represent the number of shares available in multiples of 10 or 100 as limit orders, which are the bid and ask sizes. These numbers are indicative of the total volume of pending transactions at specific price points.

How Bid and Ask Prices Work

In financial markets, the ‘bid‘ price is the highest price a buyer is willing to pay for a security, while the ‘ask’ price is the lowest price a seller is willing to accept. The difference between these two prices is known as the ‘spread.’

  • Bid-Ask Spread: This spread is a critical indicator of the liquidity and efficiency of a market. Narrower spreads usually indicate high liquidity and lower transaction costs, whereas wider spreads suggest lower liquidity and higher costs.
  • Market Impact: Large ask sizes can indicate substantial supply, potentially putting downward pressure on prices if demand doesn’t match. Conversely, smaller ask sizes could signal limited supply, which might drive prices up if demand is strong.
  • Trading Decisions: Understanding the bid and ask size helps traders gauge market sentiment and depth. For instance, a large ask size at a particular price level might suggest a resistance level, whereas a large bid size might indicate a support level.

In the context of TradeLocker, this information is vital for day traders and risk takers, providing them with real-time data to make informed decisions. The platform’s advanced technology facilitates the display and interpretation of these market dynamics, ensuring traders can respond swiftly to changing market conditions.

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