There are heaps of fx brokers throughout the world to select from these days, but there are really just 2 fx brokers that are well recognised in the forex trading community for their superior prices and liquidity in all market conditions. These fx brokers are Swiss based broker Dukascopy and Australian based broker IC Markets.
Both fx brokers have a reputation world wide for catering to high net worth individuals and large forex traders. In this review I made a decision to place both fx brokers head to head just to find out what the performance numbers of both fx brokers was like when trialling a high frequency forex trading algorithm on my Metatrader 4 terminal.
High frequency trading is obviously highly dependent on a number of things the most important of which are trade speed and slippage. So to start out I made a decision to test the latency and slippage experienced with both brokers when running a scalping expert advisor. Of course running such a test meant that I had to open live trading accounts with both fx brokers and run a number of special tests utilizing a number of of expert advisors that check forex broker slippage and order execution speeds. Luckily, I had carried out comparable tests previously so I was quite experienced in analyzing these 2 important elements mac mini
I started out by installing both forex brokers platforms on a Virtual Private Server or VPS provided to me by Commercial (CNS) Network Services in New York. I chose to work with CNS just because they currently have the lowest trade speed and most dependable VPS on the market. Another benefit of using CNS is they have cross connects to multiple fx brokers who have trade servers located in the NY4 data centre in New York. Nearly all of the worlds top providers co-locate their Metatrader 4 trade servers in the NY4 data centre since this is where most investment banks and liquidity provides are situated, this obviously results in lower trade execution speeds.
When trialing execution speeds I knew that Duakscopy might have an enormous disadvantage, this is just because their trade servers are not in the NY4 data centre in New York but are instead situated in Switzerland. IC Markets on the other hand has its trade servers within the NY4 data centre. Even though I understood that I was not evaluating apples to apples here, I made a decision to execute my trade speed testing anyhow just to see how the results might pan out. Subsequently I installed my latency testing ea on both MT4 platforms. I’m entirely confident in using this EA since it is able to provide average trade speed analysis over time. The EA operates by sending micro lot orders to market in regular intervals over time and measuring the time from deal placement to fill confirmation. I ran the EA over a 1 week period keeping track of the results.
The results which I achieved were extrodinary to say the least. Needless to say IC Markets had significantly better deal speeds than Dukascopy, this was not surprising given IC Markets server is located in NY4 data centre in New York. The common trade latency over the one week trial period was 182 milli seconds with IC Markets. In spite of IC Markets having ultra low latency Dukascopy still accomplished a good latency of 541 milli seconds. In my opinion anything under 600 milli seconds is quite respectable, however naturally the faster the better. It would be quite safe for me to say that if one were to think about trade speed by itself IC Markets would be a much better mac mini
Not surprisingly in reality one can’t look at trade speed alone in making a judgment regarding who’s the world’s best forex broker for scalping and day trading, so it’s time to take a look at slippage. Although in many ways slippage is related to trade speed it’s extremely dependent on the quantity of liquidity providers a forex broker has and the quality of the liquidity itself. Dukascopy has a fantastic reputation in the market for having first-rate liquidity, but popularity means nothing until you put both fx brokers to trial so I did.imac
To be able to gauge slippage I adopted a similar technique to the one used to measure trade execution speeds. I installed an EA on both broker platforms and reviewed my results, this time my EA was programmed to place deals around the news and periods like end of day where there is often low liquidity. I really did expect Dukascopy to trump IC Markets in this assessment however my findings were quite surprising. Dukascopy generally had relatively low slippage, on average it was about 1.4 pips in EUR/USD over end of day, though unfortunately was up to eight pips around news periods.
Personally I felt the slippage at Dukascopy was quite extreme. I believe that this was in part due to higher trade latency and probably poor liquidity. IC Markets on the other hand achieve excellent results in this test, the average slippage around end of day was 0.8 pips and around news was at most 0.6 pips with an average of 0.4 pips, outstanding results for a true ECN broker and the best I have seen from the thirty four fx brokers that I have examined throughout the last 3 years.
In spite of IC Markets displaying superior results when it comes to order latency and slippage you really can not go wrong with either fx broker. Both fx brokers are in excellent regulated countires being Switzerland and Australia and have a very good reputation amongst day traders and scalpers alike. Of course if you happen to be a tick scalper running aggressive expert advisors the obvious selection would be IC Markets, however when it comes to more passive techniques Dukascopy would suffice. For myself my first choice is IC Markets, this is principally because of my strategies and the fact that I was blown away by some of the slippage and execution speed results that I managed to achieve in my testing, by far the best results achieved so far after testing many different forex brokers. It is possible to test an IC Markets mac pro