Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kinds of Exchange Systems

Trading with Brokers
Foreign exchange brokers, unlike equity brokers, do not take positions for
themselves; they only service banks. Their roles are:
• bringing together buyers and sellers in the market;
• optimizing the price they show to their customers;
• quickly, accurately, and faithfully executing the traders' orders.
The majority of the foreign exchange brokers execute business via phone.
The phone lines between brokers and banks are dedicated, or direct, and are
usually in-stalled free of charge by the broker. A foreign exchange brokerage
firm has direct lines to banks around the world. Most foreign exchange is
executed through an open box system—a microphone in front of the broker that
continuously transmits everything he or she says on the direct phone lines to the
speaker boxes in the banks. This way, all banks can hear all the deals being
executed. Because of the open box system used by brokers, a trader is able to
hear all prices quoted; whether the bid was hit or the offer taken; and the
following price. What the trader will not be able to hear is the amounts of
particular bids and offers and the names of the banks showing the prices. Prices
are anonymous the anonymity of the banks that are trading in the market ensures
the market's efficiency, as all banks have a fair chance to trade.

Brokers charge a commission that is paid equally by the buyer and the
seller. The fees are negotiated on an individual basis by the bank and the
brokerage firm.
Brokers show their customers the prices made by other customers either
two-way (bid and offer) prices or one way (bid or offer) prices from his or her
customers. Traders show different prices because they "read" the market
differently; they have different expectations and different interests. A broker who
has more than one price on one or both sides will automatically optimize the
price. In other words, the broker will always show the highest bid and the
lowest offer. Therefore, the market has access to the narrowest spread possible.
Fundamental and technical analyses are used for forecasting the future direction
of the currency. A trader might test the market by hitting a bid for a small
amount to see if there is any reaction.
Brokers cannot be forced into taking a principal's role if the name switch
takes longer than anticipated.
Another advantage of the brokers' market is that brokers might provide a
broader selection of banks to their customers. Some European and Asian banks
have overnight desks so their orders are usually placed with brokers who can deal
with the American banks, adding to the liquidity of the market.

Direct Dealing
Direct dealing is based on trading reciprocity. A market maker—the bank
making or quoting a price—expects the bank that is calling to reciprocate with
respect to making a price when called upon. Direct dealing provides more trading
discretion, as compared to dealing in the brokers' market. Sometimes traders take
advantage of this characteristic.
Direct dealing used to be conducted mostly on the phone. Dealing errors
were difficult to prove and even more difficult to settle. In order to increase
dealing safety, most banks tapped the phone lines on which trading was
conducted. This measure was helpful in recording all the transaction details and
enabling the dealers to allocate the responsibility for errors fairly. But tape
recorders were unable to prevent trading errors. Direct dealing was forever
changed in the mid - 1980s, by the introduction of dealing systems.
Dealing Systems
Dealing systems are on-line computers that link the contributing banks
around the world on a one-on-one basis. The performance of dealing systems is
characterized by speed, reliability, and safety. Accessing a bank through a dealing
system is much faster than making a phone call. Dealing systems are
continuously being improved in order to offer maximum support to the dealer's
main function: trading. The software is very reliable in picking up the big figure of
the exchange rates and the standard value dates. In addition, it is extremely
precise and fast in contacting other parties, switching among conversations, and
accessing the database. The trader is in continuous visual contact with the
information exchanged on the monitor. It is easier to see than hear this
information, especially when switching among conversations.

Most banks use a combination of brokers and direct dealing systems. Both
approaches reach the same banks, but not the same parties, because
corporations, for instance, cannot deal in the brokers' market. Traders develop
personal relationships with both brokers and traders in the markets, but select
their trading medium based on price quality, not on personal feelings. The market
share between dealing systems and brokers fluctuates based on market
conditions. Fast market conditions are beneficial to dealing systems, whereas
regular market conditions are more beneficial to brokers.
Matching Systems
Unlike dealing systems, on which trading is not anonymous and is
conducted on a one-on-one basis, matching systems are anonymous and
individual traders deal against the rest of the market, similar to dealing in the
brokers' market. However, unlike the brokers' market, there are no individuals
to bring the prices to the market, and liquidity may be limited at times. Matching
systems are well-suited for trading smaller amounts as well.
The dealing systems characteristics of speed, reliability, and safety are
replicated in the matching systems. In addition, credit lines are automatically

managed by the systems. Traders input the total credit line for each counter
party. When the credit line has been reached, the system automatically disallows
dealing with the particular party by displaying credit restrictions, or shows the
trader only the price made by banks that have open lines of credit. As soon as
the credit line is restored, the system allows the bank to deal again. In the
interbank market, traders deal directly with dealing systems, matching systems,
and brokers in a complementary fashion.

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