Top CFD Providers for Robotic Trading

Top CFD Providers For Robotic Trading
Article Summary And Broker Table
TL:DR Summary:

Trading with robots is a way to let a computer program execute trades on behalf of the trader. Robotic trading is also called algo trading, as algorithms encode the instructions for the strategies executes by trading robots. Robots may be used for many reasons, including to tackle trading approaches which may be hard or impossible for the human trader, such as short term, higher frequency trades.

While robots can be utilised to deal with human errors, automated trading with robots carries risks, including the possibility of significant and rapid drawdown, and may be seen as an advanced trading technique.

A selection of CFD providers offering automated trading with robots with differing features is provided below. Additionally there is a longer article looking into this subject of interest to traders as well as an infographic detailing some differences between self-directed and automated trading.

Online ProviderAboutMinimum DepositTrading Platforms
Automated Trading Platforms ProviderPepperstone offers rapid order execution, non-dealing desk trading and automated trading on 4 platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView
Minimum Deposit
MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView
Trading Platforms
Fixed Spreads Automated Trading ProvidereasyMarkets allows automated trading with fixed spreads on MT4, with Forex spreads from 0.7 pips without a commission charge.
Minimum Deposit
easyMarkets Platform, MT4, MT5, TradingView
Trading Platforms
Scalping ProviderIC Markets offers rapid order processing, and spreads from 0 pips, plus commission and allows scalping, offering MT4, MT5 and cTrader for those who want to scalp. The average low is from 0.1 pips for both MetaTrader and cTrader. Commission are form $3.5 per lot per side for MetaTrader.
Minimum Deposit
MT4, MT5, cTrader
Trading Platforms
Robots Trading ProviderDukascopy Bank operates its SWFX ECN, providing both MT4 and JForex for automated trading. Spreads are available from 0.1 pips, plus commission.
Minimum Deposit
MT4, JForex
Trading Platforms

Some CFD providers allow the trader to trade markets using robots. Robots are computer programs which automate trading strategies. Some automated strategies emulate those of the human trader, others take advantage of the capacity of a program not to tire and to work rapidly without errors. This page finds a selection of CFD providers for automated trading, organized into categories.

There are many different ways to trade. One approach is to use a strategy, such as entering and exiting a trade, based on an indicator signal. The human trader can exercise discretion about applying what is in effect a set of rules. However they may find that this results in chaotic trading or may find that this process becomes tiring.

A way to tackle the issues involved in applying rules as a human trader, is to let a computer program trade on the trader's behalf. A computer program executes an algorithm (a set of rules), which is where the term algo trading comes from. So robot programming languages can encode the rules in a strategy and execute them without tiring or making errors (barring connectivity, equipment or other issues).

If the strategy can be encoded as rules, the robots can execute it, but robots tend to be used for types of trading which may be difficult or impossible for the trader. The trader may find it increasingly difficult to execute at higher frequencies, for example. Robots can do this and indeed can execute at high frequencies that the trader simply could not. At higher frequences factors such as speed of execution and connectivity come into play.

For such strategies or strategies where the time element is critical to the outcome of a trade, the trader may wish to consider a VPS (Virtual Private Server), which hosts algos, running them on equipment designed to deal with such computational overheads. To optimise the time taken to process orders, providers may host their servers in data centers, utilising equipment such as fiber optical interconnects and algorithms to route order fast and effectively. Even if time is not such a factor, a VPS allows the trader to run algos when they are disconnected, for example during a specific trading session.

Humans and robots can trade in different ways but may use similar strategies

To trade a market, a trading platform is required. Some trading platforms do not support trading with robots, however others are designed precisely for this. MetaTrader, both MT4 and MT5, is a platform offered by a wide range of CFD providers, which support automated trading. Their robots are called Expert Advisors (EAs) and can be downloaded normally for a fee or built by the trader, if they learn the programming language. MT5 has a different language than MT4. However there are more platforms with robots, including those which allow the trader to build robots without programming. This said, progamming allows a level of control and detail which some traders may want.

Some providers offer accounts specifically designed for traders who use automated strategies. These may offer low spreads plus a commission charge. If the spreads are low, especially if the average is low, with a specified commission charge added, then the trader can have some knowledge basis for making rapid trades, if their strategy demands such an approach.

This pages picks out a range of CFD providers offering platforms and accounts supporting automated trading. However it recognises different types of approaches to automated trading. There are those who want to trade with fixed spreads, so it chooses a 'Fixed Spreads Automated Trading Provider'. Others may wish to focus on higher frequency trading, and a choice is made of 'Scalping Provider'. Those who trade using robots may find that speed of execution is important as well as non-dealing desk trading conditions and the acceptance of a wide range of trading styles. Thus a choice is made of 'Robots Trading Provider'. For some the platform may be important, so a choice is made of 'Automated Trading Platforms Provider'.

Automated Trading Platforms Provider Pepperstone

  • Minimum deposit: $200
  • Online trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView

Pepperstone offers order processing on the order of ~30 miliseconds, has spreads from 0 (plus commission) and provides automated trading on MT4 and MT5 (with EAs), on cTrader (with cBots) and on TradingView (with Pine Script). Pepperstone also can offer a wide range of markets to trade.

Fixed Spreads Automated Trading Provider easyMarkets

  • Minimum deposit: $25
  • Online trading platforms: MT4, MT5, easyMarkets Platform, TradingView

easyMarkets allows the use of MT4's automated trading robots (EAs) and offers fixed spreads on this platform. Thus the trader may trade EAs with fixed spreads at easyMarkets. MT4 Forex spreads are fixed from a competitive 0.7 pips, without a commission charge.

Scalping Provider IC Markets

  • Minimum deposit: $200
  • Online trading platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader

IC Markets provides Forex spreads from 0 (average 0.1), plus commission, offers rapid order processing and allows scalping on MT4, MT5 and cTrader. The Raw Spreads accounts (for MetaTrader and cTrader) have spreads from 0, plus a commission charge. IC Markets lets the trader place orders, including stop-loss orders as close to the markets price as they wish (which can be important for scalpers).

MT4, MT5 and cTrader ustlise Equinix data centers for low latency order processing. Order processing via IC Markets is on the order of ~40 miliseconds, however if the traders use a VPS, then it can be on the order of ~1 milisecond. cTrader is a relatively user friendly platform which the human scalper may appreciate. Traders may also scalp on the Standard account, which offers spreads from 0.6, without a commission charge.

Robots Trading Provider Dukascopy Bank

  • Minimum deposit: $1000
  • Online trading platforms: MT4, JForex

Dukascopy Bank does not restrict trading styles and provides access to all traders on equal terms to its SWFX ECN. This allows traders to place bid and ask orders directly to the market, if they wish.

Automated trading is allowed on both MT4 (with EAs) and JForex (with scripts). JForex is a relatively user friendly platform, supporting automated trading. The trader can build automated strategies without coding using Visual JForex. Forex spreads are available from 0.1 pips, plus a variable commission charge.