Alternative Streaming Quotes for European Equities

 

Alternative Streaming Quotes for EU Equities

On August 1st, 2022, clients with non-professional or non-commercial market data subscriber status will receive complimentary real-time streaming Best Bid and Offer and last sale quotes on European Equities. These quotes will be aggregated from exchanges such as Cboe Europe, Gettex, Tradegate and Turquoise. The data will display in the SMART quote line and can be used to generate a chart as well.

Eligible users will see a no charge service called 'Alternative European Equities (L1)' added to their account on or before August 1, 2022. Please note this will be a default Market Data service that cannot be removed.

Users who would like to receive the full EBBO (European Best Bid and Offer) will need to subscribe to the individual exchange subscriptions.

 

How to Upload a Diagnostic Bundle from an IBKR Platform

Overview: 

Some support related issues require diagnostics files and logs to be uploaded along with screenshots. The information will help our team to investigate and resolve the issue that you are experiencing.

This article will help you with detailed steps on how to upload diagnostics files and logs from various Interactive Brokers’ trading platforms.

Note: IBKR does not monitor the diagnostic bundle repository throughout the day. Should you spontaneously decide to upload a diagnostic bundle, without being instructed by Interactive Brokers, please inform our Client Services via Message Center ticket or phone call otherwise your error report will go unnoticed.

 

Please click on one of the links below, according to the platform you are using:

 
1. Log in to TWS and try to replicate the issue that you are experiencing
2. Press ‘Help’ at the top left corner and select ‘Upload Diagnostics’. Alternatively, depending on your Operating System, you can use the following keyboard combinations
  • For Windows and Linux Operating system: Press Ctrl+Alt+Q
  • For Mac: Press Cmd+Option+H
3. The ‘Upload Diagnostics’ window will appear. You may enter the reason for uploading diagnostics in the text box
4. If an Interactive Brokers representative has instructed you to include previous days logs or select specific options when uploading diagnostics, click the dropdown on the right top corner, select ‘Advanced View’ and tick the correspondent checkboxes which will appear on the bottom left part
5. Make sure the checkbox ‘Include screenshot of entire desktop’ is enabled and press ‘Submit’
6. Do not perform any action/activity on your computer until you see the below pop-up, confirming that the diagnostics have been successfully uploaded
 
 
 
 
A) If you are at the login Screen:
1. Tap the three dots icon in the right top corner and select ‘Upload Diagnostics’
2. Add your username in the comment section and tap ‘Upload’
 
B) If you are already logged  in to the app:
1. Tap the three lines icon in the top left corner to open the menu
2. Tap ‘Configuration’> ‘Trouble Reporting’> enable the check box next to ‘Debug mode
3. If requested by an Interactive Brokers representative, enable the check box next to ‘Extended Log’ as well
4. Navigate to the page where you are experiencing the issue
5. Tap the three dots icon in the top right corner of the screen and select ‘Upload Diagnostics’
6. Enter your comments in comment section and enable the checkbox next to ‘Attach Screenshot’. Then tap ‘Upload’
 
 
 
 
A) If you are at the login Screen:
1. Tap five times in a quick sequence on the IBKR logo to open the testing menu
2. Under Configuration, enable the toggle button next to ‘Debug mode
3. Tap ‘Send’ next to ‘Upload diagnostics’
4. Enter your username in the comments section and tap ‘OK’
 
B) If you are already logged in to the app:
1. Capture screenshots displaying the issue you are experiencing directly on the phone (pressing together the physical buttons Power + Volume Up)
2. Tap the option ‘More’ in the right bottom corner of the screen
3. Tap ‘Configuration’ and expand the section ‘Trouble Reporting’
4. Enable the toggle button next to ‘Debug mode’ and, next to ‘Upload diagnostics’, tap ‘Send’
 
5. The ‘Send Diagnostics’ page will appear. Enter your comments in comment section
6. Tap the ‘Attach Image’ button to attach screenshots of the issue that you have previously saved in your camera roll
7. Tap ‘Send’
 
 
 
1. Log in to the app
2. Tap the User icon in the top left corner and select ‘Settings’
3. Tap the option ‘Advanced’ and enable the toggle button next to ‘Debug mode
4. If requested by an Interactive Brokers representative, enable as well the toggle button next to ‘Extended Log’
5. You will see an ‘Upload Diagnostics’ pop-up. Enter your comments in the field and tap ‘Upload’
 
Note: If you need to send us screenshots of IMPACT or IBKR GlobalTrader for Android, you would have to attach them to a Message Center web ticket, as explained in IBKB1071
 
 
 
1. Log in to the app
2. Capture one or more screenshots displaying the issue you are experiencing directly on the phone (pressing the physical buttons Power + Volume Up simultaneously)
3. Now tap the User icon in the top left corner and select ‘Settings’
4. Tap ‘Advanced’
5. Enable the toggle button next to ‘Debug mode’ and tap ‘Upload Diagnostics’
6. The ‘Send Diagnostics’ screen will appear

7. Enter your comments in the field and tap ‘Attach Image’ to attach the screenshot/s you previously saved in your camera roll

8. Tap ‘Send’
 

 

A diagnostic trace for Client Portal can be captured following the steps on IBKB3512

 

Please Upgrade TraderWorkstation (TWS)

Overview: 


On December 9, 2021, a critical security vulnerability in Apache's Log4j software library was disclosed, (now commonly referred to as “Log4Shell”). Log4j is very broadly used in a wide variety of consumer and enterprise services, websites, applications, and devices to log security and performance information. The vulnerability allows an unauthenticated remote actor to take control of an affected system and execute arbitrary code on it. The ubiquitous nature of Log4j and the ease of exploitation of the vulnerability makes this threat not only critical but also nearly universal.

 

WHAT IS IBKR DOING TO PROTECT ITS CLIENTS?

We are actively working, with high priority, to mitigate the threat on several levels:

  • We have patched all our servers accessible externally (from the Internet) with a version of Log4j that is not susceptible to this vulnerability.
  • We have upgraded our Trader Workstation (TWS) software and our TWS installers with a version of Log4j that is not susceptible to this vulnerability.
  • We have updated our security infrastructure (including network firewalls, application firewalls, intrusion detection tools, etc.) with the latest protection measures that help detect and block cyber-attacks that attempt to exploit the Log4j vulnerability.
  • We continue our ongoing efforts to fully identify and patch any impacted internal systems (those that are not accessible from the Internet).
  • We continue monitoring the evolving industry threats and adopt additional mitigation measures as needed.

 

ACTION REQUIRED

We are committed to providing a secure environment for your assets and trading activities. To that end, we request that our clients give priority to the use of the LATEST TWS version, which will auto-update. Should you have the STABLE or any OFFLINE version, which does not auto-update, please ensure that you take the necessary steps to keep your TWS in line with the latest security fixes.

Interaction between TWS and MacOS 12 (Monterey)

The present article addresses performance on the Trader Workstation (TWS) under MacOS Monterey (version: 12), as experienced by several clients. The TWS may experience freezes or may shut down unexpectedly (crash) when running on MacOS 12. This can happen immediately during the TWS start up phase or may occur at a later time point, after some minutes or even hours.

Fix Implementation

A fix has been released in the TWS Beta, available for download here

Background and additional details about the resolution of the issue
This behavior did not depend on the Trader Workstation, but was caused by a bug in the code of the official Oracle Java platform which is bundled with TWS and used to run our software. Since the Oracle Java platform belongs to Oracle and we (IBKR) could not modify its code or functionalities, we had to explore alternative Java platforms to use (e.g.: OpenJDK, Azul) as we saw this as the only feasible way to provide our clients with a fix for the above issue within a reasonable time.

This process included an extensive amount of testing, in order to see which of the alternative Java platforms was the best fit for the Trader Workstation and as well to avoid introducing new issues while solving the current one.

We sincerely thank you for your patience.

TWS Account Window for Retail Clients of IBKR Ireland and Central Europe

Overview: 

This article describes the information provided in the TWS account window for IBKRs EU based entities.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

68.7% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

 

Background: 

Retail clients who are residents of the EEA and therefore maintain an account with one of IBKR’s European brokers, IBIE or IBCE, are subject to EU regulations which introduce leverage and other restrictions applicable to CFD transactions.

Notably the regulations require the use of free cash to satisfy CFD margin requirements and prohibit retail clients from using securities in the account as collateral to borrow funds to initiate or maintain a CFD position. Please see Overview of ESMA CFD Rules Implementation for Retail Clients at IBIE and IBCE for full details.

The accounts of IBKRs EU entities are universal accounts in which clients can trade all asset classes available on IBKRs platform, but unlike IBKRs US and UK entities, there are no separately funded segments.

Working examples of how this restriction is applied, along with details as to how clients can monitor free cash available for CFD transactions, are outlined below.

Account Window

IBKR enforces the restriction relating to free cash by calculating the funds available for CFD trading on a real-time basis, rejecting new orders and liquidating existing positions when the available free cash is insufficient to cover CFD initial and maintenance margin requirements.

IBKR offers clients the ability to monitor free cash available for CFD transactions via an enhancement to the TWS Account Window which displays the level of free cash in the account. Importantly, the funds shown as available for CFD trading do not imply that cash is held in a separate segment. It simply indicates what proportion of total account balances is available for CFD trading.

For example, assume that an account has EUR 9,705 in cash and no positions. All the cash is available to open CFD positions, or positions in any other asset class:

If the account now purchases 10 shares of AAPL stock for an aggregate value of USD 1,383 the cash in the account is reduced by a corresponding amount in EUR, and the funds available for CFD trading are reduced by the
same amount:

 

Note that Total available funds are reduced by a smaller amount, corresponding to the stock margin requirement.

If, instead of buying AAPL stock, the account buys 10 AAPL CFDs the impact will be different. As the transaction involves a derivative contract rather than the purchase of the underlying asset itself, there’s no reduction in cash but the funds available for CFDs are reduced by the CFD margin requirement to secure performance on the contract:

In this case Total available funds and CFD available funds are reduced by an equal amount; the CFD margin requirement.

Funding

As noted above, EU-based accounts do not have segments and therefore there is no need for internal transfers. Funds are available for trades in all asset classes in the amounts indicated in the account window, without the need for sweeps or transfers.

Note also that should an account have a margin loan, i.e. negative cash, it will not be possible to open CFD positions since the CFD margin requirement must be satisfied by free, positive cash. Should you have a margin loan and wish to trade CFDs you must first either close margin positions to eliminate the loan, or add cash to the account in an amount that covers the margin loan and creates a cash buffer sufficient for the necessary CFD margin.

Portfolio Restrictions

Residents of Luxembourg (LU): IB Luxembourg (“IB-LUX”) cannot support Commodity-Metals (London Gold Certificates).

Residents of Central-Eastern Europe (HU, CZ, PO, BG, RO, HR, SK, EE, LV, LT, CY, MT): IB Central Europe (“IB-CE”) cannot support commodity metals. Furthermore, IBCE currently only supports for the following currencies: EUR, USD, CZK, HUF, PLN. GBP and CHF are expected in the near future. 

If you hold any of these currencies in your portfolio, you must close the positions as soon as possible in order to facilitate transfer of your account. Short cash positions (borrowing) do not have to be close immediately, just long positions.

Disclosure Regarding Interactive Brokers Price Cap Notices

Regulators expect brokerage firms to maintain controls designed to prevent the firm from submitting orders to market centers that create a risk of disruptive trading (e.g., the risk of sudden, transient price moves).

To comply with these expectations, Interactive Brokers implements various price filters on customer orders. Those price filters may, in certain circumstances, price cap customer orders in order to avoid market disruption, and those Price Caps will generally be in a % range from a reference price range calculated by IB. (The range of the Price Cap varies depending on the type of instrument and the current price.)

Although the price caps are intended to balance the objectives of trade certainty and minimized price risk, a trade may be delayed or may not take place as a result of price capping. More information is available in Interactive Broker’s Order Routing and Payment for Order Flow Disclosure.

If a customer’s order(s) are price capped by IB’s systems, that customer will either receive (i) real-time notification of those price cap(s) in Trader Workstation or via the API or FIX tag 58 (for FIX users); and/or (ii) a daily FYI message containing a digest of the first 10 order(s) that were price capped the prior day, the initial price cap(s) for those order(s) (if applicable), and the Price Cap Range(s) for further Price Cap(s) of those order(s). 

Customers may opt out from receiving future FYI Messages by clicking the relevant opt-out link within an FYI Message. By opting out from receiving these future FYI Messages, a customer: 

  • Agrees to waive any further notifications from Interactive Brokers about the application of the firm’s Price Caps to that customer’s order(s); and
  • Acknowledges that he or she understands that his or her orders may be price-capped in the future, but that the customer does not wish to be notified again about the application of any Price Caps to any of his or her orders.

     

Possible Alerts during the TWS installation or update

Overview: 

IBKR's Trader Workstation (TWS) is a global trading system enabling clients to use a suite of online trading tools. The TWS can be installed on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and it requires the presence of a Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Therefore, when you install the TWS, it also downloads the necessary Java files in order to run using a Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Sometimes, during the installation or update process of the TWS, software such as Antivirus applications will show an alert and prevent the process to complete. The warning and other messages in this case can safely be ignored, and you can complete the installation of the trading platform. 

 

Table of content

 

Downloading the TWS installer and update patches

The TWS installers available in the download areas of ibkr.com or IBKR regional web sites are sealed and digitally signed using all the safety procedures required by the industry standards and do not contain any malicious code or process. The same industry standard practices have been used for the TWS update patches, which are automatically downloaded and installed when launching the TWS (if and only if there is an update available). Nevertheless, if you have received an alert, we recommend you to be cautious. Should you intend to keep the TWS installation file on your machine for future use, you should make sure that the same precautions for the protection of data from viruses and malware are applied to it.

 

Why do I receive a warning when I install the TWS or when the TWS automatic update runs?

You might see an alert (similar to Figure 1 but not limited to) and your security system would wait for your input on how to process the suspicious file. You usually have the option to quarantine the file, delete it, ignore it once or create a permanent exception for it.

Please note that your antivirus might autonomously quarantine or delete the TWS installer file or some of his components without asking for your confirmation and without showing you any warning. Nevertheless, this should only happen if you have preset your antivirus to specifically react in this way.

Figure 1.

 

What should I do when I receive a warning?

In case you receive a warning during the TWS installation or update, we recommend the following steps:

1. Delete the TWS installer and download it again from the IBKR main or regional web site

a) Delete the TWS installer file already present on your computer and then delete it as well from your Trash (empty your Trash)

b) From the table below, click on the TWS download area correspondent to your location

Location TWS download area
US
https://www.ibkr.com
Asia / Oceania
https://www.interactivebrokers.com.hk
India
https://www.interactivebrokers.co.in
Europe
https://www.interactivebrokers.co.uk
https://www.interactivebrokers.eu

c) Check the website certificate. Most Internet browsers will immediately alert you in case the site certificate is invalid, compromised or expired. Nevertheless, if you want to check manually the validity of the site certificate, click on the padlock close to the address (URL) and make sure the Connection is reported as secure and no security warning are present (see Figure 2 below).

Figure 2.

d) Click on the button labeled with the TWS version you wish to use and download again the TWS installer

 

2. Check the digital signature of the TWS installer file you have downloaded

Normally you will immediately receive a security warning in case the digital signature of a file is compromised. Nevertheless, if you wish to perform a manual check, proceed as follows, according to your Operating System:

For Windows

a) From the Windows file explorer, access your Downloads folder or the folder where you placed the TWS installer

b) Right click on the TWS installer file, select Properties and then click on the tab "Digital Signatures"

c) Click on "Details" and on "View Certificate" to check the certificate status and signer. The legitimate signer is "IB Exchange Corp." (See Figure 3 below)

Figure 3.

For Mac OS X

a) Click on the magnifier glass (Spotlight Search) on the top right of your screen and type Terminal. From the search results, launch the Terminal app

b) Type cd Downloads and press Enter

c) Type codesign -dv --verbose=4 tws-latest-macosx-x64.dmg and press Enter. Please notice that the name of the file (tws-latest-macosx-x64.dmg) may differ according to the TWS version you decided to download. If needed, replace the file name in the command with the appropriate one

d) Check the command output and make sure the "Developer ID Application" is "IB Exchange Corp." (see Figure 4 below)

Figure 4.

 

 

3. Run the TWS installer file you have downloaded

Once you have downloaded again the TWS installer and after you made sure the file is original (points 1. and 2. above), you can proceed with the installation. Should you still receive a warning from your antivirus, you can reasonably consider it as a false positive and ignore it.  Should you need guidance on this step, please proceed directly to the next section.

 

How can I signal an Alert as false positive?

All modern security systems allow the creation of exceptions, precisely in order to address false positive cases.  An exception is a rule forcing the antivirus engine not to scan a specific file or process. That specific file or process will hence be deemed safe and no further alerts will be raised for it.

The procedure for creating an exception may vary, according to the security software you are using. You may be able to create a temporary or permanent exception directly from the alert pop-up or you may have to create one manually from a specific section in the main configuration panel.

If you are unsure of the procedure, we recommend you to consult your antivirus documentation.

Once you have set an exception for the TWS installer file or for the TWS updater process, those will be no longer blocked and will be able to complete their respective tasks successfully.

 

What else can I do if I have doubts or if my system behaves abnormally?

If you have reasons to believe your machine may be compromised or infected, we recommend performing a full system scan. Usually you can right click on the antivirus icon present on the bottom taskbar (for Windows) or on the upper menu bar (for MacOS) and you will find the option to launch a full system scan. Alternatively, you may start that task from the main antivirus window. If you are unsure of the procedure, we recommend you to consult your antivirus documentation.

 

 

Technical Background

 

How does my security system scan the files I download from the Internet?

Modern antivirus and anti-malware engines base their threats recognition on:

Signature-based scanning: the antivirus scanner searches for a specific pattern of bytes that was previously catalogued as malicious or at least suspicious. The antivirus may check as well file signatures (called hash) against a database of known threats (called virus definitions).

Analysis of behavior: the antivirus engine detects specific actions which individually may not represent a threat but, when correlated together, resemble the usual activity of a malicious software (e.g. the ability of a code to replicate or hide itself, download additional files from the Internet, contact external hosts over the Internet, modify the Operating System registry) This type of scan is designed to detect previously unknown computer threats.

Heuristic detection: the scanner de-compiles the code or runs it within a virtual, restricted environment. It then classifies and weights the actions performed by the code against a predefined, behavior based, rule set.

Cloud-based protection and machine learning: those are relatively new techniques. The file that needs to be analyzed is sent to the antivirus / security system vendor cloud where sophisticated algorithms perform a deep analysis of the code authenticity and behavior.

Are those scan methods infallible?

Modern threats are very sophisticated and, like biological viruses, can mutate their code and their signatures. Moreover, new malwares and exploits are created every day and spread rapidly over the Internet. The threat recognition methods mentioned above are therefore not infallible but can guarantee a high percentage of malware recognition when combined together.

While signature based techniques are very successful in recognizing known threats and less prone to false positives, they are not so efficient in recognizing unknown malware or mutations of existing ones. In this area, the behavioral and heuristic methods perform much better although they are more prone to false positives since their detection is not based on bare code matching but on a certain degree of interpretation and hence uncertainty.

The term "false positive" is used when a security system classifies an innocuous file or process as malware.

 

 

Reference:

Alternative Streaming Quotes for US Equities

Overview: 

The SEC Vendor Display Rule requires that brokers give clients access to the NBBO at the point of order entry. In order to provide users with free live streaming market data, we cannot display this free stream when entering an order without the client subscribing to the paid NBBO. Please note, this does not apply to non-IBLLC clients.

Background: 

Under the Rule 603(c) of Regulation NMS (Vendor Display Rule), when a broker is providing quotation information to clients that can be used to assess the current market or the quality of trade execution, reliance on non-consolidated market information as the source of that quotation would not be consistent with the Vendor Display Rule.

All clients (IBKR Lite and Pro) have access to streaming real-time US equity quotes from Cboe One and IEX at no charge. Since this data does not include all markets, we cannot show this quote when entering parameters for a US stock quote. Therefore and according to FINRA's enforcement of the SEC rule, IBKR provides IBLLC US clients a free default snapshot service, “US Snapshots VDR Required”. If clients do not sign up for an NBBO US equity data service and they are an IBLLC client, they will have access to free real-time snapshots when making trading decisions on US stocks. Order routing will not change based on what is shown on the screen. If one is subscribed to NBBO quotes or not, by default the trade will still take place with the assistance of the SMART order router designed to provide the best price for the order.

Please see the sample screenshots below from TWS Classic and TWS Mosaic for what occurs when placing an order without the NBBO streaming subscription for US equities. 

TWS Classic:

1. Screenshot of quotes showing without order entry line item

2. Screenshot of quote going blank when putting in the order entry line item

TWS Mosaic:

1. Screenshot of quotes showing without order entry line item

2. Screenshot of quote going blank when putting in the order entry line item

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