Best Online Foreign Exchange Trading Systems

Bank System

State Street's Currenex

Currenex, part of State Street Global Markets, offers streaming prices that are available for immediate trading from more than 60 global banks. Currenex also offers one of the largest anonymous exchange liquidity pools available, called Currenex FXtrades ECN.

Currenex has defined itself in the high-frequency trading segment of the market as the high-speed exchange destination for the most-active traders. Meanwhile, State Street's FX Connect system continues to provide FX workflow solutions for clients to submit large blocks of trades to their chosen counterparties with straight-through processing.

Currenex and FX Connect together have daily trading volume that exceeds $250 billion, with clients from 30 countries.

With more than 50 brokers using the Currenex white-label retail solution, Currenex has tens of thousands of end-users accessing streaming prices in more than 50 currency pairs, as well as precious metals. Currenex offers more types of execution algorithms than any other system and provides links into other platforms. More than half of Currenex's overall volume derives from its white-label business.

Independent System

FXall

FXall is the leading independent electronic foreign exchange platform. With its purchase of LavaFX from Citi early in 2010, FXall now serves more than 1,000 institutional clients at every stage of the trade life cycle. "Our acquisition of LavaFX was a notable achievement because it increased our profile with active traders," says Phil Weisberg, CEO of FXall. As the global financial crisis wound down, FXall's goal was not only to survive, but also to grow and thrive, Weisberg says. "We wanted to invest in our business and achieve new heights going forward. One of our goals for the future is to be a strategic execution partner for the industry, making sure that we understand their trading objectives and that our tools are helping them," Weisberg says.

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"One of our goals for the future is to be a strategic execution partner for the industry"

"We need to make sure that we understand their trading objectives and that our tools are helping them" – Phil Weisberg, FXall

FXall offers a broad range of workflow solutions, including flexible trading mechanisms, increased speed of execution and sophisticated order types, as well as post-trade functions. It has expanded its settlement center to support trades eligible for continuous linked settlement (CLS).

On November 4, 2010, two days after the US midterm election, FXall had record daily trading volume of $125 billion. Its products include FX spot, swaps, forwards and nondeliverable forwards (NDFs) in more than 500 major and emerging market currency pairs.

The multibank system is integrated with more than 70 of the world's leading FX market liquidity providers, which deliver more than 200 pricing streams. FXall offers anonymous as well as relationship-based trading platforms. "The FX community includes all types of different segments, including sales people and their clients and the interbank market," Weisberg says. "We want to connect them all."

FXall is a neutral partner with its clients because it does not trade as a principal and never competes with clients for liquidity. "We offer virtuous liquidity, which is the best available liquidity, gets the job done for the client and is clean," Weisberg says. "We are not taking anything out of the market for ourself."

Retail System

Forex Capital Markets (FXCM)

Forex Capital Markets (FXCM), one of the largest global foreign exchange brokers, serves both retail and institutional clients. It was one of the first online FX trading platforms to provide access to the interbank market. FXCM has more than 175,000 active customer accounts that trade on its platforms in more than 180 countries.

FXCM offers trading in more than 50 currency pairs, as well as trading in contracts for differences (CFDs) in the UK. FXCM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire ODL, a London-based broker dealer of foreign exchange, CFDs, spread betting, stocks and options.

Under FXCM's "no dealing desk" system, trades are executed back-to-back with major banks and financial institutions, which compete to provide bid and ask prices. This ensures that there is no dealer intervention in trades and decreases the potential for price manipulation by an individual bank.

With more than $261 billion in monthly notional volume traded on its platforms, FXCM offers highly competitive spreads, even during market-moving news events. The firm has developed white-label relationships across the world with major banks, brokerages and large financial institutions, each working with a customized platform designed and built by FXCM.

In March 2010, FXCM introduced free mobile platforms for multiple devices, including the iPhone and BlackBerry. Last August, FXCM introduced Strategy Trader, an automated FX trading solution that enables users to perform advanced backtesting and run detailed analyses. FXCM's Trading Station II includes advanced charting with customizable features, including technical analysis indicators, signal and alert functions, and the ability to place trades directly from a chart.

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