Why is there no "Last" price for Forex pairs?

Overview: 

The Last column does not show the most recent trade for currency pairs but either the midpoint of the most recent bid/ask price or if not available then the previous day closing price. This is not a market data error but rather the nature of the Forex market.

Background: 

The global Forex market is what is referred to as an "OTC" (Over the Counter) market.  Unlike the options, futures or listed equity markets, there is no central reporting facility for OTC markets, including Forex.  Hence there is no official "tape".  The Last Traded Price for Forex depends entirely upon where you look.  Bloomberg, Reuters, Yahoo, Google, IB, etc will all have different combinations of pools of liquidity from which they are gleaning this information.  Since there is no official "Last Price" for Forex, IB cannot report one on our TWS.  The previous day's closing price is the last traded price from the liquidity providers IB does business with.  It may not match the last traded price for the previous day from other agencies who might have access to additional--or less--liquidity providers than does IB.  

Contract Search Tool

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IB Market Data Assistant

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Overview of Fees

Clients and as well as prospective clients are encouraged to review our website where fees are outlined in detail. An overview of the most common fees is provided below:

 

1. Commissions - vary by product type and listing exchange and whether you elect a bundled (all in) or unbundled plan. In the case of US stocks, for example, we charge $0.005 per share with a minimum per trade of $1.00.


2. Interest - interest is charged on margin debit balances and IB uses internationally recognized benchmarks on overnight deposits as a basis for determining interest rates. We then apply a spread around the benchmark interest rate (“BM”) in tiers, such that larger cash balances receive increasingly better rates, to determine an effective rate.  For example, in the case of USD denominated loans, the benchmark rate is the Fed Funds effective rate and a spread of 1.5% is added to the benchmark for balances up to $100,000.  In addition, individuals who short stock should be aware of special fees expressed in terms of daily interest where the stock borrowed to cover the short stock sale is considered 'hard-to-borrow'. 

 3. Exchange Fees - again vary by product type and exchange. For example, in the case of US securities options, certain exchanges charge a fee for removing liquidity (market order or marketable limit order) and provide payments for orders which add liquidity (limit order). In addition, many exchanges charge fees for orders which are canceled or modified.



4. Market Data - you are not required to subscribe to market data through IB but if you do you may incur a monthly fee which is dependent upon the vendor exchange and their subscription offering. We provide a Market Data Assistant tool which assists in selecting the appropriate market data subscription service available based upon the product you wish to trade. To access, log into Account Management click on the Support section and then the Market Data Assistant link.



5. Minimum Monthly Activity Fee - as we cater to active traders we require accounts to generate a minimum in commissions each month or be charged the difference as an activity fee. The minimum is $10 per month for accounts maintaining a balance above $2,000 and $20 per month for accounts whose equity has fallen below $2,000.



6. Miscellaneous - IB allows for one free withdrawal per month and charges a fee for each subsequent withdrawal. In addition, there are certain pass-through fees for trade bust requests, options and futures exercise & assignments and ADR custodian fees.



For additional information, we recommend visiting our website at ww.interactivebrokers.com and selecting any of the options from the Pricing menu option.

 

How do I determine which market data subscription is applicable for a given security?

IB provides account holders with a Market Data Assistant tool which assists in selecting the subscription services available for a given security (stock, option or warrant) they wish to trade.  The search results show all exchanges upon which the product trades, the subscription offering and its monthly fee for both Professional and Non-Professional clients as well as the depth of market variations associated with each subscription.

To access, log into Account Management select the Classic AM link and then click on the Tools icon and then the IB Market Data Assistant link. From there you may search by entering any one of the following security product identifiers: Symbol, ISIN or CUSIP. Results may be further filtered by specifying the exchange, Professional or Non-Professional designation and/or the security's currency of denomination.

This tool may also be accessed through Account Management within the page where current market data subscriptions are displayed and where new election may be made. To view here, select the Manage Account, Trade Configuration and then Market Data Subscription menu options from Classic Account Management. A link to the Market Data Assistant tool is provided on this subscription page.

Glossary terms: 

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For a brief introduction to the WebTrader platform please click here

For a brief video on basic order entry using WebTrader please click here

For a brief video on how to display option chains using WebTrader please click here

For a brief video on how to customize the WebTrader please click here

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Minimum Activity Fee

Our accounts are designed for sophisticated traders and investors who regularly meet our required minimums. If you do not meet those minimums, we charge a monthly activity fee. Generally we waive this fee for any month in which:

  • You have more than 100,000 USD in equity or
  • You generate more than 10 USD in commissions and fees

The monthly activity fee is based on commissions only and does not include fees related to third-party assessments such as market data subscriptions or order modification/cancellation fees.

We also pass through market data fees from the exchanges for any real-time market data service to which you subscribe.

Please visit our Requried Minimums page to read more about our activity fees and waivers in detail.

If I change my address with IB, will my billing address be automatically changed for my direct billed NYSE Professional market data subscription?

 

No. The subscriber must change the updated address directly with the NYSE through their website located at www.nyxdata.com/mds. Once on the NYSE website, the subscriber will need to click on Account Profile Change link located under the Account Information Changes menu.

Does IB provide for a dormant or inactive account status?

 

As the IB business model, by design, is oriented towards active traders, there is no provision for dormant or inactive account status.  As long as an account remains funded it will be subject to the monthly minimum activity fee of USD 10 if the account balance is above USD 2,000 (or equivalent) and USD 20 once the account balance falls below USD 2,000 (this minimum activity fee is set at USD 3 for account holders age 25 and under).   Also, should the account balance falls below USD 2,000 IB is precluded, by regulation, from affording margin treatment to securities positions.   In addition, account holders will also be billed for any market data subscriptions maintained and, as a matter of policy, will have subscriptions terminated automatically when the account balance falls below USD 500.

Also note that the monthly minimum activity fee will continue to be assessed until such time the account no longer has equity, at which point it will be automatically closed. Any request to re-open a closed account will require that the account be funded with the minimum account opening deposit of US 10,000, or equivalent. Customers should be aware that the minimum monthly activity fee will be applied even if the minimum opening deposit is not received.

Individuals seeking to close an account are encouraged to refer to our User's Guide to familiarize themselves with the steps and prerequisites for taking this action.

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