The first day of a new month has arrived, and Ray the Random Robot™ has asked us to update you all on the progress he has been making in the numerous MetaTrader 4 automated trading contests he has been competing in recently.
I'm not sure this is the sort of publicity GAIN Capital would want, particularly during their long drawn out IPO, but these things are sent to try us. The National Futures Association has just announced that:
Ray the Random Robot™ has just entered yet another forex trading competition. This time it's the Myfxbook/FXOpen October 2010 MetaTrader 4 ECN Trading Championship. This championship doesn't actually start until October 25th, so Ray is actually ahead of the curve on this one for a change! However one the rules of the competition states that:
As anticipated I received an email from FXCM last night, but it did seem just a touch impersonal. It started out by saying:
Code and Compete for a chance to win cash prizes in the FXCM Automated Trading Challenge. Sign up for a contest demo and put your automated strategy to the test with zero risk to your own money.
A bit further on it posed this rhetorical question:
I was browsing around the Boston Technologies website yesterday for a very different reason, when I made an interesting discovery – the Boston Technologies History Center. As we reported recently, the historical data you can download into the MetaTrader 4 History Center seems to have developed some big gaps recently. If you're new to MT4 backtesting, or if you haven't been religiously logging in to your account regularly to keep your data up to date, this might well cause your backtest results to be rather misleading. This problem has affected the backtesting of some members of our Community, and they now have another solution to their difficulties apart from waiting for me to export some of my own data from MetaTrader!
Thanks to yesterday's disappointing Non-farm Payroll numbers the greenback fell and my troublesome sell limit order at European broker ActivTrades finally got filled. Consequently my new Interbank MetaTrader 4 micro-lot account with them is now fully funded, and open for business. As you can imagine, I have had one or two long discussions with ActivTrades over the last couple of days. During the course of those they pointed out to me that enough of their liquidity providers are now willing to quote and fill a 1K trade that it had now proved possible for them to introduce micro-lots on their "Straight Through Processing" (STP for short) MetaTrader Interbank accounts. When I enquired what "enough" meant in this context, the number three was mentioned. Unlike their Standard account, there is no "averaging algorithm" inserted by ActivTrades between you and the banks on their Interbank account. Instead they just add a bit to the spreads they are quoted, since they have to earn a crust somehow just like the rest of us.
I've had a live account with London based broker ActivTrades for quite a while now. It's one of their "Standard" MetaTrader 4 accounts. I opened it because it offers micro-lots and lots of exotic currency crosses, along with a wide range of non-forex instruments, including stock indices, gold, oil and other commodities too. That combination is a little hard to come by at other brokers. It is slightly old fashioned however, in that it still uses 4 decimal places and fixed spreads. 2 on the FTSE 100 and 3 on GBP/USD for example, most of the time at least.
FXCM started public beta testing of their new Strategy Trader trading platform back in March. They are positioning their new platform as a superior alternative to MetaTrader 4 and the forthcoming MetaTrader 5. They describe it as:
A recent addition to the ranks of UK forex brokers has finally delivered something we've been waiting to see for a long time now here at the Trading Gurus. If you are a UK resident it is now possible to spread bet using MetaTrader 4 as your trading platform. You can now therefore use an MT4 expert advisor to automate your tax free forex trading, if you are so inclined.
To celebrate the fact that forex broker Dukascopy have at last officially become a Swiss bank we have rewritten our first example robot to work on their JForex platform. Take a look at the JForex source code on our community forum.