In a follow-up to my recent post on Aggregation & Spreads: The Race to Zero, I’d like to drill down on the best practices that we use to help brokers distinguish between true retail flow and institutional or proprietary trading flow.
How can they tell which is which, and what can they do to ensure they are receiving the appropriate liquidity for each?
May volumes were very similar to April totals, but still far below the highs reached in February and March. Although volumes were in line with April, profits were far lower. Losses in oil suppressed profitability in the early weeks of May as the majority of retail clients held their long positions into the rally at the start of the month. Movements in indices later in May helped salvage respectable, though below average, overall profits for the month.
In the last year we have seen a dramatic fall in interest from our clients and prospects, particularly retail brokers, in “True Prime of Prime” offerings , i.e. where a broker uses a Prime of Prime (PoP) purely as a credit intermediary and has ‘direct’ relationships with Tier1 Liquidity Providers (LPs).
Following IS Prime’s recent announcement about our partnership with Pelican Trading to integrate their social copy-trading technology into our trading platforms, it’s worth exploring some of the potential issues that copy trading can raise for both retail brokers and Liquidity Providers (LPs), and how IS Prime helps address those issues.
April saw broker volumes fall off significantly from the near-record numbers recorded in February and March. Profits, though down as well, were respectable as a result primarily of mid-month moves in oil markets that saw prices fall briefly into negative territory. Profits were also buoyed by movements in gold and US indices. Oil prices will likely be in focus again in May as we approach the expiration of this month’s futures contract.
The recent rise in market volatility has left all brokers susceptible to being taken advantage of by predatory traders but this is particularly true for startups and smaller brokers. While the opportunities for traders to attempt to exploit brokers have always existed, current market conditions have exacerbated the risk with strategies ranging from weekend gap loading to depth of book and spread arbitrage.
Volume totals in March matched the strong numbers from February, though daily figures trailed off late in the month. Daily profit figures also softened in the second half of the month, but monthly totals exceeded February as volatility in a broad range of markets brought strong early month results. After the turbulent market movements in February and March, volatility will likely continue while markets try to discover their true bottom.