Limit Buys not triggering, instant orders buy for same price

I ran a bit of an experiment this morning.

I opened limit buy, the limit buy was listing as active.
I then placed an instant order for the same amount, on the same stock - much to my surprise the order went through at the price I had the limit buy at!

I then repeated this once more, same thing happened, instant order goes through immediately, at the price I had the limit buy at. Then I cancelled the limit buy, and put another instant order through for the same amount, also goes through at the same price.

Do they only try to fulfil periodically??

Did it go through at EXACTLY the same price?

What was the limit price, what was the instant order price?

If the limit order can be immediately matched with someone else’s order, it is fulfilled immediately. If the volume on the stock is fairly high, the price probably will be the same as a market order, but you can get caught out assuming this is always true.

I often use limit orders to buy at the current price, but to limit myself if the volume is too low, as a market order just accepts whatever the other person wants to do. So, e.g. if the current price is 206.7p, I might place a limit order for 207p and expect it to be fulfilled immediately, probably at a better price than 207p. But, it protects me against the price going up to 207.3p or higher, for instance.


Yes, each of the 3 instant orders I placed went through at EXACTLY the same price, EXACTLY the same amount/volume of shares - GPX1.09

Just to double check here… You know GBX is pence and limit orders in the app are in pounds?

For stocks where the prices are this low, the app is pretty useless for limit orders. You limit can either be 1p in which case you’ll never buy or 2p in which case you’ll always buy.

So, for very low-value stocks, you’re essentially no better off than using a market order anyway, unless you expect it to 100x in the future when being able to specify the price accurate to a penny is useful.

Hey Ralf,

Yes I know this, and no, that’s not entirely true, you can enter limit buys up to 3 or 4 decimal places, so I was able to, and did, enter £0.0109 which was listed as the limit buy price in the order

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Ooooh, good to know. I’ve stayed away from low value stocks because that doesn’t work when the stocks are higher value… Limit orders seem stuck to penny accuracy for me.

I suspect it’s related to whether the stock is GBP or GPX - to be honest I should probably stay away from low value stocks too, so far they haven’t been kind to me :grin:

If you compare the price to the exchange data, you may see that the market order went though at 0.01091, whereas the limit buy wouldn’t, it would have to be 0.0109 or less.

It’s difficult to find sources that show the value without rounding like this, but when you’re dealing with stocks <1p then limit orders can appear to not trigger due to this and the spread, i think the exchange deal in 6 dp, whereas trading users can only see 4 dp as standard across platforms. you can usually work out the actual price per share by dividing the cost and no. of shares, does it work out to exactly the price paid or is it a few p off?

There’s a separate issue with the FT app and items over £1 that it only allows 2 dp as discussed elsewhere

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That’ll be it, didn’t know the market was 6dp, just checked actual share amounts bought and there are small differences between each buy! Appreciate it would be less user friendly to show 6dp and 4 is the standard but would be nice to be able to toggle to 6dp or something