How Orders Execute
A trading strategy helps you achieve your trading goals. But to carry out your strategy, you need the right tools. FXCM offers simple and complex orders, which can be customized to meet your trading needs. Knowing how each order executes is the key to an effective strategy.
A Market Order lets you enter the market immediately. You control at what price the order executes, and if you are comfortable with “partial fills,” through Order Type and Time-In-Force settings:
- Market Range – when your strategy is sensitive to price execution
With Market Range, you determine a comfortable range of prices in pips where your order can execute. If your order can execute at a price in your range (based on available liquidity), it does; if not, it cancels.
- At Market – when your strategy is more sensitive to full order execution than price
At Market provides execution certainty because you aren't limiting the order to specific prices: You simply want to enter the market at the best available price(s).
When the current market price isn't suitable for your strategy, an Entry Order lets you enter the market at some time in the future. You specify a price above or below the current market price. If the market price reaches your entry price, your order attempts to execute as an At Market Order.
- Limit Entry Order – you buy below or sell above the current market price
- Stop Entry Order – you buy above or sell below the current market price
Stop Entry Orders guarantee execution but do not guarantee the specified price. Limit Entry Orders only execute at the entry price or better. If the best available price at the time of execution is not at the entry price or better, the order resets and waits for execution.
- Range Entry Order – A Range Entry order executes similarly to a stop entry order; however, you are able to enter a range (in pips) of negative slippage from the entry price that the user is willing to accept on the order. The range will not limit positive slippage.
Once triggered, the order will attempt to fill at the best available price within the prescribed range. If the order cannot be filled entirely within the prescribed range, it will not execute and will remain pending on the account.
Once the market moves back within the prescribed range the order will again attempt to execute, subject to available liquidity.
Remember that Range Entry Orders do not guarantee execution, making order types an important consideration in any trading decision.
STOP AND LIMIT ORDERS
Your strategy may require you to cut losses or take profits at a certain point. Stop and Limit orders execute similarly to Stop and Limit entry orders (see above), but get you out of the market, rather than in. Limit Orders guarantee the specified price (or better), while Stop Orders guarantee execution, but not a particular price.
Depending on your order type, each order offers time frame options in which this order executes:
- Day – activates your Entry Order for the current trading day only
Day Entry Orders cancel automatically at 5 pm ET (New York).
- GTC (Good ‘Til Canceled) – ensures that your entire order is executed
GTC orders may be broken up into partial orders if sufficient liquidity isn't available to fill the entire order at the best available price.
- IOC (Immediate or Cancel) – fills as much of your order as possible at the best available price
If the entire order cannot be filled at the best available price, the remainder cancels.
- FOK (Fill or Kill) – when you want your entire order filled at the best available price
If the entire order cannot be filled at the best available price, the entire order cancels (no partial orders).
Timeframe: completion of transaction
FXCM endeavours to process orders within milliseconds; however, there is no exact time frame for order processing.
Stages: completion of transaction
When a client makes an order, FXCM first verifies the account for sufficient margin. The order is then matched against quotes from liquidity providers. A hedge order is then sent to the liquidity provider for execution. Finally, the client's order is filled and open/closed positions are updated.
Exceptions: completion of transaction
There may be exceptions to the typical transaction, such as delays due to abnormal order processing or malfunctions with internal or external processes. In such cases, FXCM notifies clients as quickly as possible, depending on the complexity of the issue.
FXCM's objective is to notify customers about these types of exceptions as quickly as possible, but the time for notification sometimes depends on the complexity of the issue under review.
- Trading station: if abnormal market order processing occurs, the order will be highlighted in red, and the "status" column will indicate "executed" or "processing," in the "orders" window. In these instances, the order is in the process of being executed, but is pending until FXCM receives confirmation from the liquidity provider that the quoted prices are still available. During periods of heavy trading volume, it is possible that a queue of orders will form. That increase in incoming orders may sometimes create conditions where there is a delay from the liquidity providers in confirming certain orders.
- Metatrader 4 (“mt4”): if abnormal market order processing occurs, the order window would remain open on the trading platform and reflect processing error. In these instances, the order is in the process of being executed, but is pending until FXCM receives confirmation from the liquidity provider that the quoted prices are still available. During periods of heavy trading volume, it is possible that a queue of orders will form. That increase in incoming orders may sometimes create conditions where there is a delay from the liquidity providers in confirming certain orders.
Is there a maximum order size per trade ticket?
FXCM has no limits on maximum order sizes but there is a maximum limit per ticket. The Trading Station platform allows for order sizes up to 50 million per trade for forex positions. A trader has the ability to trade incremental sizes of the 50 million ticket. For CFD products, please refer to our CFD Guide for maximum order sizes.
Why did my trade open/close, I do not see my price level was reached?
With any financial product, there is a price to Buy and a price to Sell. When verifying if a trade should have triggered it's important to make sure you are looking at the correct side of the market.
Marketscope charts default to show the "Bid", which is the Sell price. To see the Buy price you can click on the "Ask" icon in the chart toolbar. Note that if you are closing a Sell position or opening a Buy position, you will need to reference the "Ask" price.
At the top of your trading platform, you can also click on the Report button to view your Combined Account Statement. On the statement the “Condition" column indicates the order type that closed the trade. The “Created By” column indicates where the order originated. For example, if the trade was created via a market order from your login credentials, you will see “Mkt” in the “Condition” column and your account number will be listed in the “Created By” column. If trades were closed via Margin Call you will see “MC” in the “Condition” column and the FXCM server name will be listed in the “Created By” column.
For MetaTrader 4:
MetaTrader 4 charts by default show only the “Bid” chart, which is the sell price. If you are verifying if a Sell trade should have been closed or a Buy trade should have opened, you can add a few pips (the spread) to the highest point of the candle where you think the trade should have triggered. This can help you roughly determine if your price level was reached.
If you would like to see further verify if your trade should have been triggered, it's best to log onto Trading Station. You can do so with the your MetaTrader 4 account details (Login & Password)
- Click here to download Trading Station. Once you have downloaded and installed the platform, log in with your MetaTrader 4 Login number and Password. Make sure to set the connection to “Real”. Alternatively, you can also use Trading Station Web.
- Once you have logged in, go to “Charts” and select “Create Charts”. Confirm the symbol of the chart you want to view and select the period “M1”. Then press “OK”.
- If you do not see the symbol you need, exit the “Create chart window”. Click “Symbols” and check the symbol you need to see. Then repeat step 2
- When you see your chart, click on “Ask” at the top of the chart. *Please note, Trading Station charts by default are set to New York close time frame. With the “Ask” chart you can determine if your trade should have triggered.
What can I do if I disagree with the execution of my trade?
If you have an inquiry on the execution of a Trade, please click here to view our Trade Audit information.
Learn about CFD execution here: https://www.fxcm.za.com/legal/trading-execution-risks/#CFD-execution
There was a gap in the market, and I lost more than my stop loss. How did this happen, and will I be refunded?
There may be a heavy increase in market movement after a news release or even between the close and re-opening of the market, which could have a significant impact on the execution of a pending order. Clients should be educated of the risks associated with market volatility, especially near an important release or over the weekend. FXCM offers both positive and negative slippage. During a gap in the market, you may lose more than your initial stop, but please keep in mind that the trade was closed at the best possible rate. This also applies when there is a market gap and you gained more than your initial limit target.
For more information about this please click here
What Is The Opportunity for Price Improvements?
If a better price [than initially offered] becomes available before your trade executes, FXCM will always give you the best available price. When an order fills at a better or more favorable price than the price you request, it is considered a Price Improvement. FXCM recommends opening and closing trades using limit and limit entry orders in most cases. The benefit to these order types is that you are guaranteed to receive your requested price or better without receiving negative slippage. The most likely times to receive positive slippage will be around news releases, during weekend gaps, and generally during fast moving market conditions.
You can view our Price Improvement statistics here.
Why does my trade execution price not match what I am seeing on the chart?
The times on your FXCM statement are in UTC. You can change the time zone on your charts to UTC by clicking on System, Options, and General Trading. Edit the “Time Zone” drop down to “UTC” and click on Apply.
Trading Station Marketscope charts also default to show the “bid” which is the sell price. To see the buy price you can click on the “Ask” icon in the chart toolbar. Please note, if you are closing a sell position you will need to reference the ask price.
The prices on the charts display the best bid and best offer prices (which include FXCM’s markup) from multiple liquidity providers (which include global banks, financial institutions, prime brokers and other market makers) that compete to provide FXCM with bid and ask prices. In the event that liquidity at the best price available is exhausted, an order will be filled at the next best available price which will not display on the charts. This is relatively rare and is more likely to occur during illiquid market conditions like news announcements and when trading exotic currency pairs.
I am away from my computer, but can I still place trades if I call in? Will I receive a favourable price?
Yes. FXCM provides the service to place trades for a trader of a certain account type if they call in. One must keep in mind that there is a time lag between the instruction to place the market order and the action of it being placed. Therefore, the client may at times be filled at a price either more or less favourable than the price available at the time the call was initiated (all calls are recorded). FXCM is not liable for anything that happens after the trade has been placed.
I opened a market order but did not get the market price I saw, why?
FXCM takes the required steps to ensure that the execution of our quoted prices provide clients with the best possible result. On some occasions, due to fast moving markets, executions may be at a price which is no longer the clients requested price. This is known as slippage. During such times, your order type, quantity and specific order instruction play a key part on the execution received.
EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC ORDER INSTRUCTIONS INCLUDE:
- Good 'Til Cancelled ("GTC") Orders: Your entire order will be filled at the next available price(s) at the time it is received.
- Immediate or Cancel ("IOC") Orders: All or part of your order will be filled at the next available price with the remaining amount cancelled should liquidity not exist to fill your order immediately.
- Fill or Kill ("FOK") Orders: The order must be filled in its entirety or not at all.
In times where there may be a potential possibility of slippage, a trader may implement the Fill or Kill option, which ensures that all tickets are filled at the specific price and if not possible, then no orders will be opened.
My Pending order did not open at the price in which I selected, why?
FXCM takes the required steps to ensure that trades are executed at the quoted price with the best possible result for our clients. Due to fast moving markets, transaction executions may occasionally be at a price that is no longer the best market price. This is known as slippage.
FXCM provides a number of ways to help clients reduce execution risk. One way may be using a tool called Market Range. This allows traders to specify the amount of slippage allowed by defining a specific, individually acceptable range. An FXCM client has the ability to change this value to 0 to ensure that no slippage is permitted. The order is either opened at the predefined price or not executed at all.