Last weekend LMAX quietly announced to those of their customers carrying trades over the weekend that they were introducing what MetaTrader brokers refer to as micro-lots on their spot forex contracts. Whichever way you look at it, that title is something of a misnomer, but we'll explain what it means to a client of LMAX.
It's been quite a long wait, but Alpari UK have announced today that they are now the second broker to offer automated spread betting using the MetaTrader 4 platform to UK residents. According to their news release:
You will soon be able to access OANDA’s tight spreads from MT4’s popular graphing, automation, customization, and community-based features.
Here at the Trading Gurus we've been beta testing OANDA's MetaTrader 4 implementation for a while, since amongst other things this announcement opens up the prospect of automated forex trading at OANDA without having to pay their current API fees. Here's our brief overview of what you can look forward to if you're a MetaTrader 4 user wondering if OANDA's "tight spreads" are worth looking at in more detail, or if you're currently an fxTrade user wondering what the recent MetaTrader fuss is all about.
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.