I am using a currency exchange announcement as an example in an article I am writing, and I would like to make sure I have the Russian/English vocabulary nailed down. The English glosses are not central to my example, but of course, it would be silly to just rely on my own (or rather Google's) approximate translations when there is probably an established terminology I should be using.

This is a table of exchange rates for August 19 and 20 and it looks like this.

                       20 авг  19 авг
---------------------- ------- -------
Курс доллара           176.100 176.100
Объем торгов ($ млн)      4,33    2,83
Начальное предложение     4,44    3,01
Начальный спрос ($ млн)   4,33    2,83

Google translate gives these as "dollar excange rate" (that one I could even manage on my own :-), "trading volume" (makes sense), "introductory offer", and "initial demand". I'm wondering about these last two -- are these correct, idiomatic English translations for these terms, and what do they mean?

  • 1
    It's hard to know without knowing what the Russian truly means! Athough it sounds like it could be the 'offer premium' and the 'bid premium' respectively.
    – Charon
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:53
  • 1
    I believe you might be looking for "Bid" and "Ask"
    – Jim
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:53
  • I was vaguely thinking along those lines as well, but if they are prices, wouldn't the values then be similar to the exchange rate, instead of to the trading volume? Or is my understanding just too rudimentary?
    – tripleee
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:05
  • I think your understand is too rudimentary. While the Russian stock market will have many differences from the US, the principles will be roughly the same. The "bid-offer spread" is certainly what you're asking about. See my answer. Aug 26, 2014 at 17:21
  • 1
    @Cyber: look at the orders of magnitude of the numbers. The rate (viz price) is 176; the other values are all on the order of 4 (100x smaller). In other words, the other values are the bid size and ask (or offer) size, possibly qualified with initial, starting, or opening.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


Given the orders of magnitude of the numbers, the rate (viz price) is 176, but the other values are all on the order of 4 (100x smaller).

In other words, the other values are the bid size and ask (or offer) size (or quantity), possibly qualified with initial, starting, or opening.

From Investopedia:

Definition of 'Bid Size'

The number of shares being offered for purchase at a specified bid price, that a buyer is willing to purchase at that bid price. For example, if an investor wants to buy 200 shares of Company ABC at $10 per share, the bid size is 200 shares. A stock exchange would then quote this bid size in the hundreds, so the bid size for Company ABC would be two. If the bid size was 500 shares, the bid size quote would be five.

Investopedia explains 'Bid Size'

Bid size is the opposite of ask size. Ask size is the amount of a security that a company is offering to sale. Bid size and ask size are thought to have a relationship which imply that if bid sizes are higher than ask sizes, then there may be a high demand for the stock.

  • You are referring to shares, the table refers to currency. It is unusual to have initial or demand size for currency transactions.
    – user66974
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:48
  • That's not true at all. The rate corresponds to the price and the size is the same as always (only now the units are dollars or pounds or yen or euro or instead of shares). I built and sold FX systems for five years; this is standard terminology.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:51
  • (Note also the original table used the decimal pint for the rate, but a comma for the quantity, implying the quantity is abbreviated: denominated in thousands [for a retail site] or millions for the interbank rate, or yards for the big hitters [unlikely]).
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:53
  • What I find strange is that the two values in question more or less correspond to the total 'trading volume'.
    – user66974
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:57
  • @Josh61 Maybe it's not so strange. If there was 4,44M in orders and 4,33M for sale, supply exceeded demand, and all of the offered money was sold; so the offers and the traded volume can be expected to be equal in this scenario.
    – tripleee
    Aug 26, 2014 at 18:05

The two terms used in US stock exchanges are:

  • Bid (or Offer)
  • Ask

See MSFT for an example. "Bid" refers to a price that is being offered by prospective buyers; "ask" to a price that is being asked by stock owners. You'd do well to examine the Wikipedia article (and related articles) on bid-offer spread to get more information.

  • This is clearly not what is being asked, since "initial demand" is denominated in millions of dollars. I think OP will need to ask on a Russian site for the proper translation. Aug 26, 2014 at 17:33
  • I had googled similar resources, but all of the ones I've seen show the bid and ask numbers as a price ratio (a number close to the exchange rate) whereas the table has numbers which are close to the trading volume, and at least the latter is expressed in the same unit, i.e. millions of dollars. Is there a way to calculate one from the other?
    – tripleee
    Aug 26, 2014 at 17:39
  • @tripleee I wish I could tell you. My experience and knowledge with this subject is limited, as you can perhaps tell. Aug 26, 2014 at 23:10

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