Learning futures and Forex

Discussion in 'Forex' started by bigyield1000, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. My active trading account is with Interactive Brokers, where I've been trading stocks and equity options. I'm now reading and learning about futures and currency trading, but none of the material I'm reading gives examples of how to trade these instruments on IB.

    For charting, I've been using real-time stockcharts.

    Regarding currency pairs, what do you actually chart on which to apply your technical analysis?

    Using the Swiss franc for an example, in IB's TWS I've created a market data line of "CHF" in the underlying column, Globex exchange, and "CHF.USD (Cash)" in the description column, the last trade today being 0.8769. If I select IB's real-time chart for this market data line, then I get a message that says "no historical data".

    In IB's symbol lookup I haven't find a listing that approximates the currency exchange rate with which to chart. In stockcharts, I found the $XSF symbol for "Swiss Franc Index", but I'm not sure how the current quote of $87.82 relates to the CHF.USD currency trading pair. Indeed, in the last hour of trading today the CHF.USD went down a few ticks and the quote on stockcharts' $XSF didn't change.

    Separately, what about the Swiss franc's futures contracts?

    With IB's free "bundled" exchange access I'm able to get quotes on, and trade, 6SH8. What's the difference between that contract and SFH8? Other than 6SH8 being traded on Globex and SFH8 traded on CME, SFH8 didn't have any volume or trades today that I could see. And isn't Globex a part of CME, so that if I'm able to retrieve quotes through IB for one then shouldn't I be able to recieve quotes for the other?

    Then it seems Swiss franc futures contracts are also traded on NYBOT, with the March expiration contract symbol being YFH8 (as listed in IB's symbol lookup) and MFH8 (the symbol that comes up when I enter CHF on a new market data line, then select futures, 2008, March, NYBOT). What's the difference in those symbols?

  2. Lucrum



    This may answer at least some of the charting questions.
  3. This may answer at least some of the charting questions.

    The questions, which aren't really clear from the initial post, are,

    1. When trading currency pairs, how do you get a chart of the tick by tick data to be displayed in IB?

    2. IB indicates four different symbols for the March 2008 futures contract, 6SH8, SFH8, YFH8, and MFH8. What's the difference between those contracts?

  4. I believe you're quoting IB's "IDEAL" swiss, which is for managing global cash functions. You want to quote:

    USD > Forex > IDEALPRO/CHF

    IDEALPRO is the trading vehicle. IDEAL is used to net FX positions when trading foreign markets and to fund your account in various currencies. USD [USDCHF] is the base currency for dollar-swiss on the OTC spot market.
  5. You're right. I thought IDEALPRO was only for larger transactions, and that IDEAL was for smaller transactions.

    Now that I've entered the currency trading pairs as market data lines using IDEALPRO as the exchange, I'm able to also pull up the corresponding charts.