What does BBO mean?

Best-bid-offer (BBO) refers to the best bid and ask price on the order book at any given time. It's used to quickly set limit order prices that match the best market quotes.

Let's break down the two key components of the BBO:

  • Best bid: This is the highest price a trader is willing to pay to buy a specific quantity of an asset. The best bid is the most competitive buy order in the order book, and it's considered a good price for sellers.

  • Best offer (ask): The best offer (also known as the 'ask') is the lowest price at which a trader is willing to sell a specific quantity of an asset. It represents the most competitive sell order in the order book, providing the best price for buyers.

While placing limit orders, traders can set their preferred prices. However, these orders only get filled if the specified prices align with the prices the market is prepared to offer. Here lies the magic of the BBO. It allows traders to align their desire for the best prices with the need to fill their orders quickly.

When using the BBO option while placing a limit order, the system automatically selects the best market quote for the order's execution. This can be invaluable in dynamic markets where prices fluctuate rapidly. By using BBO, traders can make sure they capture the most beneficial market prices without constantly monitoring the order book.

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