# Basis points (bp) related to bonds

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## What is a basis point?

Basis points (bps) refer to the percentage change in price or yield of a financial instrument. Each 1% change in price is equal to 100 basis points. A basis point is therefore 1/100th of 1%.

For example, if the price of a 10-year bond increases from \$101 to \$102, the bond has gained 1% or 100 basis points. If the bond’s yield decreases from 5% to 4%, the yield has declined by 1% or 100 basis points.

Basis points are used on a daily basis by traders and investors in the financial markets. They are also commonly used when referencing changes in interest rates, specific to bonds and other debt instruments.

## How do basis points relate to bonds?

A basis point is a unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01%. This unit is used to measure very small changes in the value or interest rate of a financial instrument. One basis point is equivalent to 0.0001 (i.e., 1/10,000th) when referring to percentages. For example, if the interest rate on a loan rises from 5% to 5.05%, that 5 basis points increase equals a 0.05% increase in the interest rate (5 x 0.0001 = 0.005).

In the bond market, changes in yields are often quoted in terms of basis points. For example, if the yield on a 10-year Treasury bond rises from 2% to 2.10%, that 10 basis points increase equals a 0.10% increase in yield (10 x 0.0001 = 0.010).

Basis points are also used to calculate changes in the price of a bond. For example, if the price of a bond with a face value of \$1,000 rises from \$950 to \$960, that 10-point change equals a 1% increase in price (\$1,000 x 0.01 = \$10).

## How do I calculate the value of a basis point?

To calculate the value of a basis point, divide the value of the bond by 100,000. This will give you the value of a 0.01% change in interest rates. For example, if a bond has a face value of \$1,000 and is currently yielding 5%, a 1 basis point change in interest rate (0.01%) would change the yield to 5.01% or 4.99%.

## What is the difference between a basis point and a percent?

A basis point is one-hundredth of a percent, or 0.01%. In other words, 1 basis point is equal to 0.0001, or 1/10,000. In finance, changes in interest rates are often quoted in basis points. For instance, if the yield on a 10-year Treasury note rises from 4% to 4.05%, that’s a 5-basis point rise. You’ll also see basis points represented as “bp,” so a 5-basis point rise would be expressed as “5 bps.”

While most investors are probably more familiar with percentages than basis points, it’s important to understand both when you’re dealing with investments that are sensitive to changes in interest rates. That’s because a small change in percentage terms can translate into a much larger change in basis points.

For example, let’s say that you have a \$10,000 investment that pays 10% annually. If the rate rises by 1 percentage point to 11%, your annual return increases by \$1,000 to \$11,000. That may not seem like much of an increase, but it represents a 10% gain (1/10th of the original investment). In other words, the percentage gain on your investment doubled even though the absolute dollar gain was just \$1,000.

Now let’s look at how this works with Treasury yields. If the yield on the 10-year Treasury note goes from 4% to 5%, it has risen by 100 basis points (one percentage point). At first glance, this doesn’t seem like much of a move either — after all, it’s just 1%. But when you consider that bond prices and yields move in opposite directions, this 100-basis point increase actually translates into a 20% decline in price! So while a 1% increase in your investment return might not seem like much, a 1% increase (or decrease) in yields can have a pretty significant impact on bond prices — and consequently on your portfolio value.

## How do basis points affect bond prices?

Basis points (bps) are a unit of measurement often used in finance to describe the percentage change in the price of a financial instrument. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01%.

Basis points are used to describe the interest rate on bonds, loans, and other fixed-income instruments. For example, if the interest rate on a bond increases from 5% to 5.5%, we would say that the bond’s interest rate has increased by 50 basis points.

While basis points are a small unit of measure, they can have a significant impact on bond prices. For example, a 100 basis point increase in the interest rate on a bond will cause the price of the bond to fall by approximately 10%.

The relationship between basis points and bond prices can be affected by other factors such as the time to maturity and the coupon rate. Nevertheless, understanding how basis points work is important for anyone who wants to invest in bonds.