Q&A 92 – Is The Google Finance Share Price Correct?

Question 92

Danielle asks: “The close price of shares on Google Finance is different to that on the Stock Exchange website. Is the data on Google Finance correct?”



Q&A 92 – Is The Google Finance Share Price Correct? – Shownotes

Danielle asks:

I’ve noticed the close price of shares on Google Finance is different to that on the Stock Exchange website. Google seems to take data from after 16:30 which could be the explanation, perhaps mopping up the rush of trades from just before close, whereas LSE is just showing the price as it was precisely at 16:30?

Is the data on Google Finance correct?

Good question Danielle. And, the answer is “no, not really”.


Bid/Offer vs Average

At any particular time, Google Finance shows the last trade as the price. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sell or buy. There is always a difference between the buy and sell price, known as the bid-offer spread.

Therefore, the price on google finance may be either the price to buy a share, or the price to sell, depending on the last transaction made. Usually, throughout the day, this isn’t really noticeable.

However, as you rightly say Danielle, the last price taken at the close of play is visible until the open the next day.

On the LSE website (London Stock Exchange), they always show the “mid price”, being the middle point between the bid and the ask.



Discrepancies At The End Of The Day

Therefore, at the end of the day, there will always be a discrepancy between the prices on Google Finance and on LSE. Both could be deemed to be “correct” depending on the viewpoint that you take and neither are likely to be hugely out, other than for shares in very small companies which are infrequently traded (as bid-offer spreads are higher for infrequently traded shares).

Also, none of this information is really relevant. Firstly, the only price relevant is your bid price or offer price with your broker when you actually buy or sell. Secondly, if you are a passive investor as per the Moneystepper way, then you wouldn’t care anyway.

Conclusion, yes the Google price is different to LSE, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it.




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