How to Read Bond Quotes?

In the bond markets, the prices are quotes as a percentage of par. For example, assume that the par value of a bond is $100. If the quoted offer price for the bond is $98.75, this means that the investor will have to pay $98.75 for the bond with $100 nominal value.

The bond selling at below the par value is said to be trading at a discount. The bond whose price is above the par value is said to be trading at a premium.

Most bond markets quote prices in decimals, which a minimum increment of 0.01. Examples are Eurobonds, gilds, and Euro denominated bonds. A good example is US Treasury bonds.

Some markets quote prices in ticks. In this case the minimum increment is 1/32. For example, if a US Treasury is priced at 98-8, this means 98 and 8 ticks, i.e., 98 + 8/32 = 98.25.

You should also know how to read bond tables as given in newspapers.