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Auction Market: Definition, How It Works in Trading, and Examples

Photo: market auction Photo: market auction

What exactly is a market auction?

When a market is structured like an auction, buyers place competing bids, and sellers simultaneously present competitive offers to one another. The price at which a share of stock trades is the average of the highest price a buyer is ready to pay and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for that share of stock. After that, bids and offers compatible with one another are put together, and the orders are carried out. An example of an auction market is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), located in New York City.

The Market Mechanism of Auctions

The procedure in an auction market, as opposed to the process in an over-the-counter (OTC) market, is different. On the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), for instance, there are no direct discussions between individual buyers and sellers; nevertheless, conversations occur in OTC deals. In most cases, traditional auctions have several prospective purchasers or bids but only one seller. In contrast, auction markets for securities typically include several buyers and sellers, all eager to make agreements simultaneously.

Markets with a Double Auction Format

An auction market, also known as a double auction market, is a type of market that allows purchasers and vendors to add prices to a list that they consider to be acceptable. When a buyer’s expense and a seller’s asking price are judged to be comparable, the transaction moves forward at that price. Transactions that have no matching partners will not be carried out.

Illustrations illustrating How the Auction Market Functions

Imagine that there are four people interested in purchasing a share in firm XYZ and that they have placed the following bids: $10.00, $10.02, $10.03, and $10.06, respectively. On the other hand, four individuals have shown an interest in selling their shares of firm XYZ, and these individuals have filed proposals to sell their shares at the prices listed below: $10.06, $10.09, $10.12, and $10.13, respectively.

The individuals who placed bids or offers for firm XYZ at $10.06 will have their orders carried out if this scenario plays out. The current price of firm XYZ is going to be $10.06, and we will not immediately execute any of the orders that are still outstanding.

Auctions Held by the Treasury

The United States Treasury holds auctions to raise money for various government financial initiatives. The public and different more prominent investment firms can participate in the auction held by the Treasury. These bids are entered electronically and, depending on the individual or organization who puts the recorded bid, are categorized as competing or non-competing bids.

Non-competitive bids are handled first because the non-competitive bidders are assured of receiving a minimum quantity of securities equal to a specified sum, and this amount can go up to a maximum of $5 million. Individual investors or those acting on behalf of relatively modest organizations are the ones who most frequently participate in these.

After the conclusion of the auction time in a process known as competitive bidding, all of the submitted bids are analyzed to determine which one yielded the highest total price. The amount that is mentioned inside the request is used to determine which competing bidders receive the securities up for sale. If there are still competing bids after all the stakes have been purchased, those bidders will not be awarded any securities.


  • A market that is considered to be an auction market is one in which buyers and sellers simultaneously place competing bids.
  • The price at which a share of stock trades is the average of the highest price a buyer is ready to pay and the lowest price a seller is willing to accept for that share of stock.
  • A double auction market occurs when a buyer is willing to pay the, price that a seller asks for an identical item, and the transaction is completed at that price.
  • In contrast to over-the-counter (OTC) deals, which entail talks, auction marketplaces do not involve direct negotiations between individual buyers and sellers.
  • To finance various government financial activities, the Treasury Department of the United States runs auctions that are accessible to both the general public and significant investing companies.

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