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Going from Oanda Forex (very cool python API) to BTC trading. Which platform is trusted + has a cool Python API + historical data?

Which big BTC broker is trusted + has a cool Python API?
Thanks in advance.
submitted by basjj to algotrading [link] [comments]

Which is the best platform for forex trading? I was thinking IG

Hi guys
i am looking to get into forex trading and am trying to find a platform to trade on, I was thinking IG because it is compatible with my mac and also the software i am more used to cause i use the free version for stocks. But i hear once you actually join there is a lot of headaches with IG, is that true? and if so what forex broker do you suggest i join?
submitted by trojanbanks to Forex [link] [comments]

What's the best platform for forex trading?

Im on trading 212 at the moment but am not sure if it matters what platform I'm on
submitted by Fitim2002 to Forex [link] [comments]

Opening an account with OANDA. Better to use their platform or MetaTrader 4?

Which is better?
submitted by Thunder_Cnt to Forex [link] [comments]

APIs offered by brokers and data platforms

I’ve been looking for a broker that has an API for index futures and ideally also futures options. I’m looking to use the API to build a customized view of my risk based on balances, positions, and market conditions.
Searching the algotrading sub I found many API-related posts, but then when I actually read them and their comments, I found they’re often lacking in real substance. It turns out many brokers or data services that have APIs don’t actually support index futures and options via the API, and instead they focus on equities, forex, or cypto. So here’s the list of what I’ve found so far. This isn’t a review of these brokers or APIs and note that I have a specific application in mind (index futures and futures options). Perhaps you’re looking for an API for equities, or you just want data and not a broker, in which case there may be a few options. Also, I’m based in the US so I didn’t really look for brokers or platforms outside the US.
If you have experience with these APIs, please chime in with your thoughts. Also, I may have missed some brokers or platforms. If I did or if you see anything that needs correction please let me know.

Platform Notes
ADM Investor Services No API
Ally Invest Does not support futures instruments
Alpaca Only supports US Equities
Alpha Vantage Does not support futures instruments
AMP Broker with a huge number of platforms available including some with APIs
ApexFutures No API
Arcade Trader No API
AvaTrade Does not support futures instruments
Backtrader Not a data feed; otherwise looks cool but also looks like a one-man shop
Cannon Trading Broker with a variety of platforms, some have API access such as TT
Centerpoint No API
Charles Schwab API does not support futures instruments
Cobra No API
Daniels Trading No API
Discount Trading Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs
Edge Clear Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs
Eroom Now part of Dashprime. Offer a variety of APIs including CQG, TT, CBOE's Silexx, and others via FIX.
ETNA Trader Only supports equities, options (including multi-legs), ETFs, Mutual Funds (Forex with cryptocurrencies coming soon)
ETrade API seems robust but OAuth authorization needs to be refreshed via login once per 24 hours
Futures Online No API
Gain Capital Futures API available, based on .NET; unsure if they are open to retail clients
GFF Brokers Broker with a large number of platforms including some with API access
High Ridge Futures Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs
iBroker API available; contact them for more info
IEX Cloud Looks great but does not support futures instruments
Infinity Futures JSON API available; contact them for more info
Interactive Brokers Client Web API looks promising if clunky
Intrinio Supports futures instruments but is expensive
Koyfin No API
Lightspeed C++ API available
marketstack API for equities available. Does not support futures instruments.
Medved Trader Windows app with a streaming API to various data sources and brokers. See comment below about API beta access.
NinjaTrader Does not support futures options
Norgate Data Not a broker; supports futures data for $270/year
Oanda Forex only; API last updated in 2018
Optimus Futures Broker with a large number of available platforms including some with API access
Phillip Capital Broker with a large number of available platforms including some with API access
polygon.io Expensive but looks slick; does not support futures instruments
Quandl API looks solid; $49/monthly for personal use, does not allow distributing or sharing data; not a broker
Quantconnect Does not expose raw data
Quantopian Does not expose raw data
Quantower Software that connects to multiple brokers and data feeds; API to their software via C# interface
Saxo Markets Broker with extensively documented API
Stage 5 Trading API available through Trading Technologies
Straits Financial Broker with several platforms available including some with APIs such as CQG, R
Sweet Futures Broker with a large number of available platforms including some with API access
TastyWorks There's an unofficial Python API
TenQuant.io Does not support futures instruments
ThinkorSwim Does not support futures instruments via the API
Tiingo Free account tier but does not support futures instruments
TradePro Broker with a number of platforms available; unclear if any are available with API access
Tradier Free developer API account for delayed data but does not support futures instruments
TradeStation Nice looking API docs and supports futures instruments; requires opening an account and a minimum balance of $100k and there’s no trial available
TradeFutures4Less Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs
TradingTechnologies API looks robust; pricing starts at $700/month
TradingView Does not expose data API
Tradovate Technologies API exists, documentation unknown; need to talk to their account team
Wedbush Futures Broker with several platforms offered, a few of which have API access
WEX .NET/COM only; pricing not disclosed on website
Xignite Pricing not disclosed on website but they do support futures instruments
Yahoo Finance API Available through RapidAPI or via direct access; but it’s discontinued and unreliable
Zaner Broker with a variety of platforms including CQG, Rithmic, TT, some with APIs

Wow, this list grew longer than I originally thought it would be. If you spot a mistake, please let me know and I’ll correct it.
Edit:
- added Lightspeed API - updated Dashprime to indicate some of the APIs available - added Medved Trader to table - added marketstack to table
submitted by theloniusmunch to thewallstreet [link] [comments]

Does anyone use IG in the US ?

submitted by Daddysour55 to Forex [link] [comments]

How do I automate tradingview alerts into trades?

I have a script that runs on the 1 minute time frame that generates signals based on the RSI conditions. I have several oanda accounts that I want to run the strategy on, automatically. What platforms exist for Forex that will turn these alerts sent via webhook url into real trades?
submitted by Less_Surprise1594 to algotrading [link] [comments]

Find The Best Brokers in the UK| CompareThemFX

As we know that the UK is the most competitive region for the forex industry because it's an FCA motherland and Also many brokers want to get into that market. So, if you are searching for the best brokers in the UK. Just reach CompareThem Fx. We provide you the best trading platforms. OANDA, Etoro, Plus500, Fx Pro etc to trade successfully. Visit our website for further details.
submitted by comparethemfx to u/comparethemfx [link] [comments]

Forex in the PH

Meron ba ditong sobrang marunong about sa laws? Nalalabuan kasi ako sa mga nababasa ko, illegal daw mag forex trading sa pinas. Pero bakit meron ditong IQ Option at Oanda? Ibig sabihin ba nun kapag nagtrade ako gamit platform nila illegal na? Or dahil ba foreign entity sila allowed yun? Thanks hahaha
submitted by yacdeguzman to Philippines [link] [comments]

Is FXCM worth it?

I've been demo trading for months now and i have discovered that i really like scalping as my trading style. I'm impressed with tradingview's platform especially the part where you could just input the risk you wanted to provide and the lot size would be automatically computed.
Among the forex brokers from the tradingview, fxcm provides the tightest spread + they offer free pro trial for a year. I could say from my perspective that fxcm is way ahead compared to oanda. BUT, as i researched for a few hours, i discovered that fxcm was banned from the US due to executing trades against the client.
Because of this discovery, im now quite hesitant and unimpressed to pursue fxcm as my broker.
Do you guys think fxcm still practices this false methods despite getting caught red-handed? Would it still be worth it using fxcm?
submitted by izner82 to Forex [link] [comments]

What are the best platforms for both Forex and Futures trading?

Hey guys, hope everyone is doing well! I have searched on this sub to help find this answer, however every post is in regards to only Futures or only Forex platforms.
Seeing if you could please offer some feedback in regards to the best platform to use that includes both Forex and Futures trading? I understand that I would probably need to have different brokers for each, but I would like the simplicity of having both in one.
For instance, is trading-view a platform that you can trade both Forex & Futures? If so, do you personally use it for both, or do you have separate platforms for each?
I have been paper trading Futures on Ninja Trader 8, and do enjoy it, however I never read any info/reviews about using Ninja Trader 8 with Forex trading so I am skeptical.. although they say they can with; Oanda and Forex.com.
FYI - I have my TDAmeritrade/TOS account for Equities and Options. (I wouldn't use TOS for Futures at this moment due to the high margins, and looking for low margins as I will be using small capital to start <$2,000.)
Any help will be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance!
submitted by cooliomattio to Daytrading [link] [comments]

Stop Entry (and Stop Loss) triggering from Bid/Ask rather than mid

TD Ameritrade user here. I've been using ThinkOrSwim for quite a while for forex and equities and only just recently branched out to look at other brokers because I've started trading more minors/crosses lately and TD's spreads on those are awful(some are double Oanda's!).
Anyways, one thing that's great about ToS is that you can trigger your stop orders on any price type you'd like: Mark(mid), Bid, or Ask.
I've noticed on every other broker platform(Oanda, IG, Forex.com, so far) that when you set up a stop order - either for entry or loss - it triggers based on the bid/ask price rather than the mid price, so you might enter or exit the trade when the actual price is very different(depending on spread) from where your analysis said you should enter or exit the trade.
It doesn't look like something that can be adjusted in any of their platforms from the settings I could find, and the support reps said it wasn't something they could change.
This seems like a particularly rough problem if you are holding a position past market close - since spreads can double/triple/more during that time. You might get stopped out of a trade without the mid price actually having changed at all.
Has anyone else run into this problem? How do you typically deal with it? Or is this just a cost of doing business and you hope your positions aren't anywhere near your SL at market close/open?
submitted by ForexBorex to Forex [link] [comments]

Ninjatrader - Selected Dorman, but now which broker for license key?

Having been approved by Dorman and receiving the green light to fund a Ninjatrader8 account, I now must purchase a license key.
When purchasing the license key, I must once again select a broker. My options are:
"NinjaTrader Brokerage" "City Index" "FOREX.com" "FXCM (non-US)" "Interactive Brokers" "Oanda" "TD AMERITRADE" "Multi Broker (Includes all above)" "CQG (for existing customers only)"
I'm not really sure what I'm selecting at this stage. Is there any advantage between one and another? Does choosing something like "TD Ameritrade" change anything about the platform or chart-trading abilities I've gotten used to on the Ninjatrader Demo? Does Dorman fall under "NinjaTrader Brokerage"? Is it advantageous to select "Multi Broker" so that my trades can execute on any of the above brokerages, allowing for increased liquidity?
submitted by juniperlee9 to FuturesTrading [link] [comments]

Oanda users: Has anyone else noticed a sudden and dramatic loss in quality?

I've been trading forex off and on for a few years with Oanda and never had a problem. Over the last 4 months or so I have been testing a new strategy in the Oanda practice account. Everything has been good. But within the last few weeks every part of there platform seems to suddenly be filled with bugs.
This is all in the practice account, I have not tried it on the live platform, but I'm hesitant to move my strategy to live trading because of all of the bugs that seem to be coming out of nowhere. Right now I have 2 trades where I included a stop loss, the trade went through but the stop loss is not included. And I can't modify the trade to add a stop loss because that doesn't work on any of their platforms for the various reasons mentioned above.
Is this just me or is anyone else having a bunch of issues all of a sudden?
submitted by aaron_wright to Forex [link] [comments]

College forex trader - would appreciate some help!

So a few months ago, someone I had met in the first few weeks of my first semester at college, had been posting pictures of his MT4 account with his profits, and I was pretty intrigued. I asked him what it was, and he said it was the Forex market, so I wanted to learn more and asked to meet up with him. When we met he was explaining it a little more and told me that he was in this networking trade group called IMarketsLive and went on to offer for me to sign up, upon which I said I wanna do a little research before I sign up for anything. And so I did, and saw a lot of different opinions about IML and the things they do, and I wasn't really attracted to the networking aspect and also did not want to start paying $275 a month just to be in the group. It seemed to me like it was kind of a pyramid scheme, so I turned down the offer but decided to try to learn about the Forex market for free on my own.
I started doing more research about it in my free time, and eventually I discovered the BabyPips website where you can go through around a 330 lesson course, which goes through a lot of the basics and foundations of Forex trading. I made it through that in about a month and a half or so, and then opened up a demo account with IG. I watch a lot of youtube so more and more videos about forex started popping up in my recommended and have definitely helped along the road.
One thing I saw is not to have a demo account for too long, so after around a month of having the demo and getting a little profit, I opened a live account with $300 on Oanda. I use their online trading platform and it's alright, there are some things I liked better with IG but that's besides the point.
I've been trading with lots of 500 units or less so I'm only down about $6, but I feel like I'm kind of stuck. After all the stuff I've read and watched so far, I've come to understand that there are some key things every trader needs to do. From what I've seen, it's
Among a few other things I might be forgetting, I understand these are crucial points to follow to become a successful trader. The only thing is I feel like I've flooded myself with so much information and I really don't know where to go from here. I don't have a trading plan mainly because the best thing I've heard to do is make one that fits my trading style, but simply put I don't know what my trading style is and don't know how to actually construct a usable plan.
I know many people join the market because of the dream of turning $25 into a million dollars, however I don't have that mindset. Also I know I should focus first on preserving my capital and being consistent rather than focus on getting a lot of money, I just don't know how to do this. I am ready to put more effort into the market, I just don't know where to put it.
Another thing to note is that for when I am ready and have developed a proper strategy and everything, I have sufficient capital (around $3k) to actually start making some serious profit. (for a 19 y/o!)
Anyways, if you would like to give any advice, tips, things to avoid, stories, anything - that would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for reading👍
EDIT: This is my first time using reddit so I can't reply to anything because I don't have enough karma whatever that means. But thanks for your responses, they will definitely help me to start building my own strategy.
submitted by sender27 to Forex [link] [comments]

Best Forex Broker for Day Trading?

Best Forex Broker for Day Trading?
I am looking for an alternative to Think Or Swim since they don't offer forex trading in my state. I want to be able to scalp using order templates straight from the DOM. I couldn't find this feature on Forex.com or Oanda desktop platforms which I thought was odd since that is the only way to scalp these markets quickly. I don't have time to type out orders and stop losses I need a quicker way.


Using an order template on DOM
submitted by fdjdsfgndsiufgsn to Daytrading [link] [comments]

USA - TD Ameritrade vs OANDA?

Hello, I am located in the US and have opened a demo account on both Oanda and TD for the past 2 years. I have found both platforms suitable to my needs (fxTrade and ToS), but am confused by all the fine print and am looking for pros and cons of each brokerage?
I use TD for my IRA and at one point another investment account, I like the fact they have physical locations in my area, customer service reps, established company, etc. On the other hand I know Forex trading is just one service they offer (not a primary focus I am sure) and dislike the $2,000 minimum requirement.
I understand Oanda to be a reputable broker with great service, but my primary concern is getting my money out, associated fees, finance charges, etc. I would ideally like to keep withdraw money as I make it (i.e. I make $100, I would like to be able to easily transfer that $100 to my bank account with NO FEEs at anytime).
My plan is to fund an account with $2,000, but I do not want to re-buy in if I lose it all, and in the case with TD if I lose $500, I can no longer trade on margin (I believe). I also do not want to be on the hook for additional money if I lose it all as well. I plan to scalp/swing/day trade (in my demo accounts I think the longest I have held an open position is like 3 hours), and when I trade I do not plan on leaving my computer screen and monitoring my trade in addition to setting limits, so I will hopefully catch myself before I fall too far.
I guess I am looking for anyone's experience (located in the USA), positive and negative, with either or both brokerages.
Thank you.
submitted by SuccessfulCable0 to Forex [link] [comments]

Beginner Information

Recommended STOCK brokers (get a free stock if you open a robinhood account): Robinhood http://join.robinhood.com/paolac2 tdameritradehttps://www.tdameritrade.com/home.page Recommended FOREX brokers, DO NOT use any brokerage offering 500:1 leverage! Oanda https://www.oanda.com/us-en/ fxcm https://www.fxcm.com/uk/(edited)📷12You do not have permission to send messages in this channel.
Recommended Platforms TradingView.com: https://www.tradingview.com/gopro/?share_your_love=Tradertoks Ninjatrader: https://ninjatrader.com/ MetaTrader4: https://www.metatrader4.com/en
submitted by OnTheGeorge to TraderToks [link] [comments]

Looking for a broker with proprietary online trading platform that allows you to determine quantities for SL and TP

Hi to all the trading gurus here, can anyone please help me out?
I'm looking for another broker with an online trading platform that specifically allows you (at the moment you place a trade, not afterwards) to determine the quantity of your SL and of your 1st Take Profit for the purpose of scaling out.
Referring to my screenshot, let's say I'm placing a 20,000 unit trade. For my initial SL, I set it at 20,000 quantity at whatever pips loss. No issues here and it's very standard.
For my TP1, to scale out by 50%, I would sell/buy 10,000 from my original 20,000. I DON'T have to place a separate countertrade at 50% later in order to scale out as my TP1 and then move my SL to breakeven. This feature lets you do it from the start. Other platforms that I have demo'ed don't allow you to set the TP1 at 50% of the position's initial volume.
I have tried Saxo, CTrader, Markets.com, IG, PLus500, XTB, FxPro, Oanda, Etoro, Dukascopy, CMC Markets, XM, FXCM, and a few others. None of them has this exact feature. Can anyone else let me know which other FX online platform has this feature?
Please don't ask me to stick to MT4/MT5 because I really hate their UI/UX/U-whatever. It's why I'm hunting for good online trading platforms that have the stuff I need.
I can only see the feature I've described on FOREX.com. And it also has all the indicators I use in my algorithm for FX.
But to be safe and diversify my funds, I'd like to use another trading platform similar to my current one.
Thanks much in advance, I appreciate the advice yeah
submitted by elkay79 to Forex [link] [comments]

Where do you trade after FXCM gone?

Im not really a trader or anything like that, more like a learner, doing it for fun. I used to trade on FXCM platform, but now they are out of US and they transfer me to FOREX.com, for some reason i cant get use to it. What do you use for trading Forex? Im sorry if this is stupid question, plus English is not my first language.
submitted by Androniy to Forex [link] [comments]

Broker fees

Hi, I really like the TradingView platform, and would love to connect a broker with them and trade in real time. I'm disappointed that Coinbase Pro isn't an available broker, but I am open to the idea of opening up a separate account with the brokers that TradingView provides. Are fees across all brokers the same for trading cryptocurrency? If not, which broker is the best overall? (Out of CQG, FXCM, OANDA, forex.com). I live in the US btw.
submitted by moutheaters to TradingView [link] [comments]

[Not my post] The Structure of Forex Brokers

Originally posted by Darkstar at Forex Factory.
Disclaimer: I did not write this. I found this post on ForexFactory written by a user called DarkStar, which I believe a lot of redditors will benefit from reading.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________
There has been much discussion of late regarding borker spreads and liquidity. Many assumptions are being made about why spreads are widened during news time that are built on an incomplete knowledge of the architecture of the forex market in general. The purpose of this article is to dissect the market and hopefully shed some light on the situation so that a more rational and productive discussion can be undertaken by the Forex Factory members.
We will begin with an explanation of the purpose of the Forex market and how it is utilized by its primary participants, expand into the structure and operation of the market, and conclude with the implications of this information for speculators. With that having been said, let us begin.
Unlike the various bond and equity markets, the Forex market is not generally utilized as an investment medium. While speculation has a critical role in its proper function, the lion’s share of Forex transactions are done as a function of international business.
The guy who buys a shiny new Eclipse more then likely will pay for it with US Dollars. Unfortunately Mitsubishi’s factory workers in Japan need to get their paychecks denominated in Yen, so at some point a conversion needs to be made. When one considers that companies like Exxon, Boeing, Sony, Dell, Honda, and thousands of other international businesses move nearly every dollar, real, yen, rubble, pound, and euro they make in a foreign country through the Forex market, it isn’t hard to understand how insignificant the speculative presence is; even in a $2tril per day market.
By and large, businesses don’t much care about the intricacies of exchange rates, they just want to make and sell their products. As a central repository of a company’s money, it was only natural that the banks would be the facilitators of these transactions. In the old days it was easy enough for a bank to call a foreign bank (or a foreign branch of ones own bank) and swap the stockpiles of currency each had accumulated from their many customers.
Just as any business would, the banks bought the foreign currency at one rate and marked it up before selling it to the customer. With that the foreign exchange spread was born. This was (and still is) a reasonable cost of doing business. Mitsubishi can pay its customers and the banks make a nice little profit for the hassle and risks associated with moving around the currency.
As a byproduct of transacting all this business, bank traders developed the ability to speculate on the future of currency rates. Utilizing a better understanding of the market, a bank could quote a business a spread on the current rate but hold off hedging until a better one came along. This process allowed the banks to expand their net income dramatically. The unfortunate consequence was that liquidity was redistributed in a way that made certain transactions impossible to complete.
It was for this reason and this reason alone that the market was eventually opened up to non-bank participants. The banks wanted more orders in the market so that a) they could profit from the less experienced participants, and b) the less experienced participants could provide a better liquidity distribution for execution of international business hedge orders. Initially only megacap hedge funds (such as Soros’s and others) were permitted, but it has since grown to include the retail brokerages and ECNs.

Market Structure:
Now that we have established why the market exists, let’s take a look at how the transactions are facilitated:
The top tier of the Forex market is transacted on what is collectively known as the Interbank. Contrary to popular belief the Interbank is not an exchange; it is a collection of communication agreements between the world’s largest money center banks.
To understand the structure of the Interbank market, it may be easier to grasp by way of analogy. Consider that in an office (or maybe even someone’s home) there are multiple computers connected via a network cable. Each computer operates independently of the others until it needs a resource that another computer possesses. At that point it will contact the other computer and request access to the necessary resource. If the computer is working properly and its owner has given the requestor authorization to do so, the resource can be accessed and the initiating computers request can be fulfilled. By substituting computers for banks and resources for currency, you can easily grasp the relationships that exist on the Interbank.
Anyone who has ever tried to find resources on a computer network without a server can appreciate how difficult it can be to keep track of who has what resources. The same issue exists on the Interbank market with regard to prices and currency inventory. A bank in Singapore may only rarely transact business with a company that needs to exchange some Brazilian Real and it can be very difficult to establish what a proper exchange rate should be. It is for this purpose that EBS and Reuters (hereafter EBS) established their services.
Layered on top (in a manner of speaking) of the Interbank communication links, the EBS service enables banks to see how much and at what prices all the Interbank members are willing to transact. Pains should be taken to express that EBS is not a market or a market maker; it is an application used to see bids and offers from the various banks.
The second tier of the market exists essential within each bank. By calling your local Bank of America branch you can exchange any foreign currency you would like. More then likely they will just move some excess currency from one branch to another. Since this is a micro-exchange with a single counterparty, you are basically at their mercy as to what exchange rate they will quote you. Your choice is to accept their offer or shop a different bank. Everyone who trades the forex market should visit their bank at least once to get a few quotes. It would be very enlightening to see how lucrative these transactions really are.
Branching off of this second tier is the third tier retail market. When brokers like Oanda, Forex.com, FXCM, etc. desire to establish a retail operation the first thing they need is a liquidity provider. Nine in ten of these brokers will sign an agreement with just one bank. This bank will agree to provide liquidity if and only if they can hedge it on EBS inclusive of their desired spread. Because the volume will be significantly higher a single bank patron will transact, the spreads will be much more competitive. By no means should it be expected these tier 3 providers will be quoted precisely what exists on the Interbank. Remember the bank is in the business of collecting spreads and no agreement is going to suspend that priority.
Retail forex is almost akin to running a casino. The majority of its participants have zero understanding how to trade effectively and as a result are consistent losers. The spread system combined with a standard probability distribution of returns gives the broker a built in house advantage of a few percentage points. As a result, they have all built internal order matching systems that play one loser off against a winner and collect the spread. On the occasions when disequilibrium exists within the internal order book, the broker hedges any exposure with their tier 2 liquidity provider.
As bad as this may sound, there are some significant advantages for speculators that deal with them. Because it is an internal order book, many features can be provided which are otherwise unavailable through other means. Non-standard contract sizes, high leverage on tiny account balances, and the ability to transact in a commission free environment are just a few of them…
An ECN operates similar to a Tier 2 bank, but still exists on the third tier. An ECN will generally establish agreements with several tier 2 banks for liquidity. However instead of matching orders internally, it will just pass through the quotes from the banks, as is, to be traded on. It’s sort of an EBS for little guys. There are many advantages to the model, but it is still not the Interbank. The banks are going to make their spread or their not go to waste their time. Depending on the bank this will take the form of price shading or widened spreads depending on market conditions. The ECN, for its trouble, collects a commission on each transaction.
Aside from the commission factor, there are some other disadvantages a speculator should consider before making the leap to an ECN. Most offer much lower leverage and only allow full lot transactions. During certain market conditions, the banks may also pull their liquidity leaving traders without an opportunity to enter or exit positions at their desired price.

Trade Mechanics:
It is convenient to believe that in a $2tril per day market there is always enough liquidity to do what needs to be done. Unfortunately belief does not negate the reality that for every buyer there MUST be a seller or no transaction can occur. When an order is too large to transact at the current price, the price moves to the point where open interest is abundant enough to cover it. Every time you see price move a single pip, it means that an order was executed that consumed (or otherwise removed) the open interest at the current price. There is no other way that prices can move.
As we covered earlier, each bank lists on EBS how much and at what price they are willing to transact a currency. It is important to note that no Interbank participant is under any obligation to make a transaction if they do not feel it is in their best interest. There are no “market makers” on the Interbank; only speculators and hedgers.
Looking at an ECN platform or Level II data on the stock market, one can get a feel for what the orders on EBS look like. The following is a sample representation:
You’ll notice that there is open interest (Level II Vol figures) of various sizes at different price points. Each one of those units represents existing limit orders and in this example, each unit is $1mil in currency.
Using this information, if a market sell order was placed for 38.4mil, the spread would instantly widen from 2.5 pips to 4.5 pips because there would no longer be any orders between 1.56300 and 1.56345. No broker, market maker, bank, or thief in the night widened the spread; it was the natural byproduct of the order that was placed. If no additional orders entered the market, the spread would remain this large forever. Fortunately, someone somewhere will deem a price point between those 2 figures an appropriate opportunity to do something and place an order. That order will either consume more interest or add to it, depending whether it is a market or limit order respectively.
What would have happened if someone placed a market sell order for 2mil just 1 millisecond after that 38.4 mil order hit? They would have been filled at 1.5630 Why were they “slipped”? Because there was no one to take the other side of the transaction at 1.56320 any longer. Again, nobody was out screwing the trader; it was the natural byproduct of the order flow.
A more interesting question is, what would happen if all the listed orders where suddenly canceled? The spread would widen to a point at which there were existing bids and offers. That may be 5,7,9, or even 100 pips; it is going to widen to whatever the difference between a bid and an offer are. Notice that nobody came in and “set” the spread, they just refused to transact at anything between it.
Nothing can be done to force orders into existence that don’t exist. Regardless what market is being examined or what broker is facilitating transactions, it is impossible to avoid spreads and slippage. They are a fact of life in the realm of trading.

Implications for speculators:
Trading has been characterized as a zero sum game, and rightly so. If trader A sells a security to trader B and the price goes up, trader A lost money that they otherwise could have made. If it goes down, Trader A made money from trader B’s mistake. Even in a huge market like the Forex, each transaction must have a buyer and a seller to make a trade and one of them is going to lose. In the general realm of trading, this is materially irrelevant to each participant. But there are certain situations where it becomes of significant importance. One of those situations is a news event.
Much has been made of late about how it is immoral, illegal, or downright evil for a broker, bank, or other liquidity provider to withdraw their order (increasing the spread) and slip orders (as though it was a conscious decision on their part to do so) more then normal during these events. These things occur for very specific reasons which have nothing to do with screwing anyone. Let us examine why:
Leading up to an economic report for example, certain traders will enter into positions expecting the news to go a certain way. As the event becomes immanent, the banks on the Interbank will remove their speculative orders for fear of taking unnecessary losses. Technical traders will pull their orders as well since it is common practice for them to avoid the news. Hedge funds and other macro traders are either already positioned or waiting until after the news hits to make decisions dependent on the result.
Knowing what we now know, where is the liquidity necessary to maintain a tight spread coming from?
Moving down the food chain to Tier 2; a bank will only provide liquidity to an ECN or retail broker if they can instantly hedge (plus their requisite spread) the positions on Interbank. If the Interbank spreads are widening due to lower liquidity, the bank is going to have to widen the spreads on the downstream players as well.
At tier 3 the ECN’s are simply passing the banks offers on, so spreads widen up to their customers. The retailers that guarantee spreads of 2 to 5 pips have just opened a gaping hole in their risk profile since they can no longer hedge their net exposure (ever wonder why they always seem to shut down or requote until its over?). The variable spread retailers in turn open up their spreads to match what is happening at the bank or they run into the same problems fixed spreads broker are dealing with.
Now think about this situation for a second. What is going to happen when a number misses expectations? How many traders going into the event with positions chose wrong and need to get out ASAP? How many hedge funds are going to instantly drop their macro orders? How many retail traders’ straddle orders just executed? How many of them were waiting to hear a miss and executed market orders?
With the technical traders on the sidelines, who is going to be stupid enough to take the other side of all these orders?
The answer is no one. Between 1 and 5 seconds after the news hits it is a purely a 1 way market. That big long pin bar that occurs is a grand total of 2 prices; the one before the news hit and the one after. The 10, 20, or 30 pips between them is called a gap.
Is it any wonder that slippage is in evidence at this time?

Conclusions:
Each tier of the Forex market has its own inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your priorities you have to make a choice between what restrictions you can live with and those you cant. Unfortunately, you can’t always get what you want.
By focusing on slippage and spreads, which are the natural byproduct of order flow, one is not only pursuing a futile ideal, they are passing up an enormous opportunity to capitalize on true inefficiencies. News events are one of the few times where a large number of players are positioned inappropriately and it is fairly easy to profit from their foolishness. If a trader truly wants to make the leap to the next level of profitability they should be spending their time figuring out how identify these positions and trading with the goal of capturing the price movement they inevitably will cause.
Nobody is going to make the argument that a broker is a trader’s best friend, but they still provide a valuable service and should be compensated for their efforts. By accepting a broker for what it is and learning how to work within the limitations of the relationship, traders have access to a world of opportunity that they otherwise could never dream of capturing. Let us all remember that simple truth.
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