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FTS Toolkit - Spread Marker - A visual tool for monitoring spread while trading

Discussion in 'Forex Tactical Squad' started by Peter O, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Peter O

    Peter O Special Consultant to the FPA

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    Fellow Squad Members,


    One of the first things that I learned in trading from the big "How not to leave your money on the market" book is to monitor spread closely. Here is my tiny solution for MT4 that shows spread markers next to the last candle and displays the spread in pips on the lower left corner of the chart.


    Installation and starting:

    Download source code from here:


    This is an EA and an indicator code so you need to copy it to {MetaTrader4 folder}/experts/ or {MetaTrader4 folder}/experts/indicators folder and then start the trading platform (or close and restart if it had been open). The tool will appear on Navigator panel (open from View menu) among Expert Advisors or Custom Indicators as FPA=SpreadMarker so just drag over your chart.

    [​IMG]

    Enable Expert Advisors:

    If you use the EA don't forget to enable Expert Advisors in terminal's Options (menu: Tools/Options - Expert Advisors tab first checkbox). This shows a smiley face on the upper right corner next to the EA's name (otherwise there is an x).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Settings and Parameters:

    Open Inputs tab: right click on the chart (that shows FPA=SpreadMarker and a smiley on the upper right corner) then from the popup menu click Expert Advisors/Properties (F7).../Inputs tab.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Parameter: Highest_Time_Frame_For_Markers
    Possible values: M1, M5, M15, M30, H1, H4, D1, W1, MN

    This is the only external parameter: the highest time frame on that you want to see the markers - these don't tell much on let's say a daily chart. Spread printed in numbers are visible anyway on the lower left corner.

    [​IMG]


    You can participate:

    Tell me and your Squad Members how you like it.
    Tell me and your Squad Members how could it be better.
    Tell me and your Squad Members if you have any problem while installing or using it.


    Who wants to enter the Laboratory:

    Right click on Navigator panel/Expert Advisors/FPA=SpreadMarker and select Modify. MetaEditor opens up showing the full source code I've written for you.

    [​IMG]

    On the first screen you can find some hidden parameters like colors and font settings (from line "color marker_line_color = ..." to "color error_message_color = ...". You can change the values after the equal sign (you can use these color names just write them without spaces and be aware of case sensitivity) and even the default setting "M30" above them for the input parameter "extern string Highest_Time_Frame_For_Markers = ..." (if you like to see spread markers on "H1" also without modifying it all the time when you drag the EA over the chart).

    [​IMG]

    After modifying the code press F5 or Compile button on the top. If it writes "0 error(s),..." on the bottom, you have your own new version and you can start using it after going back to MT4 terminal.

    [​IMG]
    Looking forward to hearing your feedback,

    Peter
     
    #1 Peter O, Jun 26, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  2. shogunfx

    shogunfx Sergeant

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    So why is so important to know the spread value?
    If we don't have ECN accounts ?

    I think more useful is to know % of daily ATR vs Spread when we chose a pair for trading.
    I use such an indicator and if a pair have more than 3% I don't trade it.
     
  3. Peter O

    Peter O Special Consultant to the FPA

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    That's an interesting idea... Actually it gives me a bit different information than the raw spread but interesting...

    You know I got accustomed to see the spread's absolute value. I quickly becomes a reflex to compare spread with past values, with other currency pairs or with other brokers' values.

    Actually many times market makers provide quite tight spreads (and widen them horribly during volatile conditions and/or news releases) and many times ECNs don't give you the possible tightest ones.

    Daily ATR vs. spread... Is it good for swing trades and for scalping too? Just because spread can change quickly and daily ATR is sluggish.


     
  4. shogunfx

    shogunfx Sergeant

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    Is good for swing trades. For scalping we need very tight spread. I don't like scalping.
    I use M5 and M1 TF just for entry in a trade and then I go back on H1.
    There are many fair brokers who don't wide spreads on news release. Instead they take commission, but is better that 130 pips(5 digits) on EURUSD on a big broker like FXCM.

    Variable Spread FXCM.
     
  5. Jason Rogers

    Jason Rogers FXCM Representative

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    Hi Shogun,

    I want to address some possible confusion here. When you say 130 pips (5 digit) do you mean 13 pips? Af FXCM, we quote prices to 5 digits past the decimal point, but the fifth digit is only 1/10th of a pip. Also, it's important to keep in mind that during major news releases, even banks widen their spreads because of the greater uncertainty at that time. If a broker does not widen its spreads when its liquidity providers do, then it means the broker's own dealing desk is taking on that extra market risk themselves. They may manage this risk by requoting your orders to prevent them from losing money on the other side of your trade.

    On FXCM's No Dealing Desk (NDD) forex execution, our spreads are determined by the best bid and ask prices being quoted at any given time from 10+ competing liquidity providers. Our spreads vary based on market conditions, but our clients get their orders filled at the best available price from our liquidity providers at the time in question. We make our money on the transaction by adding a fixed pip markup to the price which acts as a commission. That means we make the same amount regardless of the price where the order is filled. We make our money off client trading volume, not client losses, so it's in our best interest for our clients to receive the best prices we can provide, so they will continue to trade with confidence on our platform. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask me in the FXCM discussion thread.

    Jason
     
  6. shogunfx

    shogunfx Sergeant

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    To avoid any confusion I posted an image.
    Sorry but your spreads are to wide based on market conditions.
    I tested FXCM 2 months in a demo account so I choose another broker.
     
  7. Bemdoo

    Bemdoo Recruit

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    Hi Shogun,

    What broker did you choose or can you recommend one you trust?

    I have been trying to find a broker with low spread during news release but can't seem to get one.

     
  8. Jason Rogers

    Jason Rogers FXCM Representative

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    Hi Shogun,

    Looking at the chart you posted, I can confirm that the price range between the horizontal lines you drew is 13 pips, not 130 pips. As I mentioned in my previous post, during major news releases, even banks widen their spreads because of the greater uncertainty at that time. If a broker does not widen its spreads when its liquidity providers do, then it means the broker's own dealing desk is taking on that extra market risk themselves. They may manage this risk by requoting your orders to prevent them from losing money on the other side of your trade.

    With FXCM there are no requotes.

    Jason
     
  9. shogunfx

    shogunfx Sergeant

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    At 13 pips (130 on 5 digits) spreads what requotes you want? Is not enough?
    No place to argue here, but I guarantee that even with that wide spreads you requote orders.
    But brokers are always right and we pay the bills.
     
  10. FringFX

    FringFX Sergeant

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    so which brokers do you trade with, shogun?
    the red dot attached to a horizontal line (in your chart) - is that the indicator you're talking about?
     

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