A discount spread is a type of forward spread in which the offer price associated with the investment is less than the bid price. This type of spread is often found in Forex trading, and will involve paying close attention to both the spot rate between the two currencies and the interest rates that apply for both currencies involved. Assessing the discount spread can also be very helpful when deciding to purchase some sort of asset using one currency but eventually realizing the value of that asset in a different currency.
To get some idea of the discount spread that is present between two currencies, it is necessary to gather several types of data related to each of those currencies. One of the first steps is to determine the spot rate involved with the two currencies that are part of the proposed transaction. A spot rate is the amount that would be paid immediately if the currency transaction occurred on the current date. The goal here is to identify the spot rate as it relates to each of the currencies involved and use that data to begin determining if a discount spread even exists between those currencies.
Another important aspect of determining the discount spread has to do with identifying the interest rates associated with each of the two currencies. This is important, since there is a good chance that the interest rate that applies to each of the currencies will be different. When combined with the spot rate information, the details of the interest rates involved will make it easier to determine if a discount spread actually exists or has the potential to develop over a specified period of time, if there is the potential for those interest rates to shift in some manner. This assessment will also make it easier to determine if some other type of spread is present or is likely to develop between the two currencies over the course of the period under consideration.
It is important to remember that a discount spread only exists if the offer price is less than the bid price. In other words, this means that the price a buyer is willing to pay must be greater than the price that the seller is asking for the asset. If the offer price is more than the bid price, this set of circumstances indicates that what is known as a premium spread currently exists between the two currencies.