What is market liquidity? Definition, calculation, and examples

Market liquidity may be a key component of a functioning financial market, because it determines how briskly trades are often executed at the well-liked price. Discover what market liquidity is, how it’s measured and what the foremost liquid markets are.
What is meant by market liquidity?
Market liquidity is that the extent to which an asset are often bought or sold at the present market value , without impacting its value. it’s simply how briskly you’ll exchange something for cash. Liquidity applies to any financial market, from stocks to precious metals, but some are more liquid than others.

When people mention liquidity, they’re usually either pertaining to market liquidity or accounting liquidity.

Market liquidity – this is often the measure of how efficiently a market (such because the stock exchange or forex market) enables participants to shop for and sell assets at stable prices. it’ll be characterised by high trading volumes and an in depth bid-ask spread
Accounting liquidity – this is often a term wont to describe whether a corporation can meet its financial obligations with the assets available to them. This metric is usually employed by investors and analysts to work out how strong a company’s record is
What causes market liquidity?
Market liquidity is caused by trading activity. When there are high levels of trading activity – meaning there’s both supply of, and demand for, the asset in question – individuals are going to be ready to easily complete transactions. Finding someone willing to require the opposite side of an exchange is simpler , so there’ll be little effect on the market value .

In a market with low activity, one sale can take tons longer to finish thanks to a scarcity of willing buyers and sellers. Once a transaction has taken place, it can have a way larger impact on the market value to account for the shortage of willing participants.

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How to measure liquidity within the market
Market liquidity is difficult to live because it doesn’t have a hard and fast value. But there are a couple of indicators which will be wont to assess how liquid a market is. These are:

Trading volume – this is often a measure of the entire number of a given asset that was traded over a particular period. High volume typically mean more liquidity and better execution, while low volume means there’ll be fewer counterparties available
Bid/ask spreads – the difference between the costs buyers and sellers are willing to simply accept will lessen in liquid markets and widen in illiquid markets. When the spread within the underlying market is lower, it means your provider are going to be ready to charge you lower spreads to execute your trade
Turnover ratios – share turnover may be a means of calculating liquidity in equity markets by dividing the entire number of shares traded during a period by the typical number of outstanding shares for an equivalent period. In theory, the upper the share turnover, the more liquid the market
Accounting liquidity is measured with specific ratios. The three commonest are:

Current ratio – the amount of current assets divided by current liabilities
Quick ratio – the entire sum of money , assets and equities divided by liabilities
Cash ratio – the entire amount of money divided by liabilities
Is market liquidity good or bad?
Liquidity may be a excellent thing. Financial markets need enough market liquidity to make sure that traders can efficiently exchange assets and investment instruments. High levels of liquidity will make it easier to open and shut positions quickly and cause a tighter bid-ask spread. These favourable conditions then only increase the amount of active market participants, which successively adds to liquidity.

When a market isn’t liquid, it becomes difficult to shop for or sell goods, so you’ll either need to wait an extended time for a counterparty to return along or hand over on your transaction altogether. In an illiquid market, buyers and sellers cannot agree on the worth of the market, which usually results in wider bid-ask spreads and better execution costs.

What are the foremost liquid markets?
The most liquid market is cash because it can instantly be converted into other assets. Meanwhile, markets that deal in physical assets are less liquid – like land and art – because the sale process takes for much longer .

Here are a number of the opposite most liquid markets:

Forex – the forex market is assumed of because the most liquid market within the world. Major pairs are traded by governments, banks, and even individuals when they’re happening holiday. Unlike other highly liquid markets, the forex market doesn’t have stable pricing. The forex market is legendary for its volatility, which is what makes it so exciting to traders. Minor pairs and exotic pairs are less well traded, which makes them less liquid
Stocks – the stock exchange as an entire varies in terms of liquidity, with large-cap stocks being generally more liquid than small caps. These more liquid shares will have more stable prices and are likely to possess a better number of active traders willing to shop for and sell them
Commodities – each commodity market will have different levels of liquidity. Oil is that the most highly traded commodity, which usually means it’s a liquid market – although issues like storage shortages are known to steer to liquidity risk when nobody is willing to shop for the commodity.