Desktop Platfroms

IB FXTrader

The multinational financial company Interactive Brokers LLC, which offers online trading on a variety of markets, provides its own platform that is available as desktop, web and mobile versions.

In general, IB platforms are aimed at ‘sophisticated traders and investors’ and the broker has tough minimum requirements. Although platforms are designed for trading with types of assets such as stocks and options, there is an additional module intended exclusively for forex called FXTrader. This broker offers competitive spreads and substantial liquidity, providing direct access to interbank quotes but like many other ECN brokers, there are commissions applicable to each order.

FXTrader is part of the full-featured desktop version called Trader Workstation (TWS) and is launched either by choosing it from the New Window menu, or by clicking on the dedicated button in the menu bar. It is loaded in a separate window, so the main platform (TWS) could be minimized.

The main part of the window is occupied by the quotes of the instruments, represented as cubes. Each cube shows the instrument name, sell and buy buttons with prices on them, ask and bid sizes (Level II), button to invert buy and sell seats and orders data. Clicking on a buy or sell button place an order into the space of the Orders tab, ready to be transmitted. By default, orders are prepared as pending ones (limit). This can be changed for each instrument from the Configure Presets button (wrench icon). Order details can be changed or cancelled here. After the order has been transmitted and executed, it appears in the Trades tab. Current profit/loss is displayed in the corresponding cube. There is an option of instantaneously transmitting of orders, without the ability of changing its details.

Quote panel is above Orders and Trades tabs and shows current open positions for the cube that is active (framed on yellow when clicked on it). An open position can be closed by right-clicking on it in the FX Portfolio tab and choose Close or by right-clicking on it in the Quote panel and choose Trade/Close.

Charts are opened in a new window by right-clicking on the instrument cube, the choose Analysis and then New Chart. Pending orders can be made directly from the Buy and Sell buttons on the chart window and then defining the order price on the chart. It can be changed by dragging the corresponding line. A right-click on the line opens a menu with options for transmitting or cancelling the order. There are a lot of available settings that can be changed from the right-clicking menu.

The main menu bar is at the top of the workspace. It consists of Orders, News, Configure and Help submenus, which can be used to access the respective properties more quickly.

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