IB - Trading e-micro currency futures

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by toddk63, May 1, 2009.

  1. toddk63


    This in an IRA account at IB.

    I attempted to BUY some USD.JPY e-micro (M6J) contracts yesterday. Since they are demonitaed in JPY, I got an error message saying I did not have enough JPY to cover the margin requirement.

    How do I convert some of my USD funds into JPY to cover this margin requirement?

    This in an IRA account if it matters.

    Todd K.
  2. Ordinarily you would not need to have JPY in your account to undertake this transaction. With a margin account, IB would automatically loan you JPY. But I guess you can't have an IRA margin account with IB.

    In any case, you can buy JPY in your account. The symbol in TWS is USD.JPY and you would select IDEALPRO. For a small amount, less than $25,000 or so, your transaction will get executed on IDEAL which has slightly wider spreads.

    Note that to get JPY with USD.JPY, you actually put in a sell order since you will be selling USD for JPY. Back calculate how many USD you need to sell to get the JPY you want. The commission of $2.50 will be deducted from your USD balance and doesn't need to be considered in your calculation.
  3. Question please. I trade non usd underlying pairs in forex with IB from time to time. I never could figure out how to do the pairs with the dollar being the underlying. I would always have little trash amounts left over.

    In your illustration above, if I want to buy jpy then I sell usd.jpy, what do I do to close it out? Buy usd.jpy?


  4. Yes. For a trade where you've sold USD for JPY, you can either 1)back calculate how many USD you have to buy to close out your JPY position at your limit price, 2) close out the risidual amount in a separate IDEAL transaction from time to time, or 3) use Button Trader software referenced on IB's website which I'm told handles this for you (although I haven't tried it).

    Much easier when USD is the underlying currency.
  5. Thanks for the info. I wonder why IB doesn't do like MBT or other brokers and let you just trade any pair like you would eurusd or something?

    I have been with IB since before it had a desktop client and I like them but they do have their quirks.

    Actually on their FX Trader they have a button that toggles the underlying in a pair. Maybe that is what you use to calculate the amounts.