Nicholas Pratt
Nicholas Pratt

Visualisation – achieving real-time perspectives of the FX liquidity landscape

A new generation of liquidity aggregation technologies and liquidity management toolsets can now assist high performance FX sell-side and buy-side firms to visualise liquidity and therefore accelerate deployment of alpha generating algorithms and optimise the implementation of their trading strategies. Nicholas Pratt explores what factors and FX business drivers are creating demand for improved real-time views of FX liquidity.

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 47 / Features / April, 2012

Visualisation has become a big feature of modern day trading systems and as with all trading tools, it is increasingly being demanded in real time. But, in an asset class such as FX, what does real-time visualisation mean and how useful is it?  “FX is a real-time asset class but generally speaking real-time views of liquidity are less useful to an FX business than you may at first imagine,” says Peter Atkinson, head of FX Product Management at smartTrade Technologies, a provider of liquidity management software.  Real-time, high-frequency decision-making is generally performed algorithmically by a machine. The time-scales involved may typically be in the milliseconds — far too quick for a human to respond to a fast-moving market.  Data anomalies Despite this, real-time visualisations do get used in FX all the time, says Atkinson. “They can be particularly effective when used to indicate the overall health of an automated FX trading system. A human operator can...continued

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