Experienced traders recognize the effects of global changes on Foreign Exchange (Forex/FX) markets, stock markets and futures markets. Factors such as interest rate decisions, inflation, retail sales, unemployment, industrial productions, consumer confidence surveys, business sentiment surveys, trade balance and manufacturing surveys affect currency movement. While traders could monitor this information manually using traditional news sources, profiting from automated or algorithmic trading utilizing low latency news feeds is an often more predictable and effective trading method that can increase profitability while reducing risk.
The faster a trader can receive economic news, analyze the data, make decisions, apply risk management models and execute trades, the more profitable they can become. Automated traders are generally more successful than manual traders because the automation will use a tested rules-based trading strategy that employs money management and risk management techniques. The strategy will process trends, analyze data and execute trades faster than a human with no emotion. In order to take advantage of the low latency news feeds it is essential to have the right low latency news feed provider, have a proper trading strategy and the correct network infrastructure to ensure the fastest possible latency to the news source in order to beat the competition on order entries and fills or execution.
How Do Low Latency News Feeds Work?
Low latency news feeds provide key economic data to sophisticated market participants for whom speed is a top priority. While the rest of the world receives economic news through aggregated news feeds, bureau services or mass media such as news web sites, radio or television low latency news traders count on lightning fast delivery of key economic releases. These include jobs figures, inflation data, and manufacturing indexes, directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Commerce Department, and the Treasury Press Room in a machine-readable feed that is optimized for algorithmic traders.
One method of controlling the release of news is an embargo. After the embargo is lifted for news event, reporters enter the release data into electronic format which is immediately distributed in a proprietary binary format. The data is sent over private networks to several distribution points near various large cities around the world. In order to receive the news data as quickly as possible, it is essential that a trader use a valid low latency news provider that has invested heavily in technology infrastructure. Embargoed data is requested by a source not to be published before a certain date and time or unless certain conditions have been met. The media is given advanced notice in order to prepare for the release.
News agencies also have reporters in sealed Government press rooms during a defined lock-up period. Lock-up data periods simply regulate the release of all news data so that every news outlet releases it simultaneously. This can be done in two ways: “Finger push” and “Switch Release” are used to regulate the release.
News feeds feature economic and corporate news that influence trading activity worldwide. Economic indicators are used to facilitate trading decisions. The news is fed into an algorithm that parses, consolidates, analyzes and makes trading recommendations based upon the news. The algorithms can filter the news, produce indicators and help traders make split-second decisions to avoid substantial losses.
Automated software trading programs enable faster trading decisions. Decisions made in microseconds may equate to a significant edge in the market.
News is a good indicator of the volatility of a market and if you trade the news, opportunities will present themselves. Traders tend to overreact when a news report is released, and under-react when there is very little news. Machine readable news provides historical data through archives that enable traders to back test price movements against specific economic indicators.
Each country releases important economic news during certain times of the day. Advanced traders analyze and execute trades almost instantaneously when the announcement is made. Instantaneous analysis is made possible through automated trading with low latency news feed. Automated trading can play a part of a trader’s risk management and loss avoidance strategy. With automated trading, historical back tests and algorithms are utilized to select optimal entry and exit points.
Traders must know when the data will be released to know when to monitor the market. For instance, important economic data in the United States is released between 8:30 AM and 10:00 AM EST. Canada releases information between 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM. Since currencies span the globe, traders may always find a market that is open and ready for trading.
A SAMPLE of Major Economic Indicators
Consumer Price Index
Employment Cost Index
Producer Price Index
Productivity and Costs
U.S. Import and Export Prices
Employment & Unemployment
Where Do You Put Your Servers? Important Geographic Locations for algorithmic trading Strategies
The majority of investors that trade the news seek to have their algorithmic trading platforms hosted as close as possible to news source and the execution venue as possible. General distribution locations for low latency news feed providers include globally: New York, Washington DC, Chicago and London.
The ideal locations to place your servers are in well-connected datacenters that allow you to directly connect your network or servers to the actually news feed source and execution venue. There must be a balance of distance and latency between both. You need to be close enough to the news in order to act upon the releases however, close enough to the broker or exchange to get your order in ahead of the masses looking for the best fill.
Low Latency News Feed Providers
Thomson Reuters uses proprietary, state of the art technology to produce a low latency news feed. The news feed is designed specifically for applications and is machine readable. Streaming XML broadcast is used to produce full text and metadata to ensure that investors never miss an event.
Another Thomson Reuters news feed features macro-economic events, natural disasters and violence in the country. An analysis of the news is released. When the category reaches a threshold, the investor’s trading and risk management system is notified to trigger an entry or exit point from the market. Thomson Reuters has a unique edge on global news compared to other providers being one of the most respected business news agencies in the world if not the most respected outside of the United States. They have the advantage of including global Reuters News to their feed in addition to third-party newswires and Economic data for both the United States and Europe. The University of Michigan Survey of Consumers report is also another major news event and releases data twice monthly. Thomson Reuters has exclusive media rights to The University of Michigan data.
Other low latency news providers include: Need to Know News, Dow Jones News and Rapidata which we will discuss further when they make information regarding their services more available.
Examples of News Affecting the Markets
A news feed may indicate a change in the unemployment rate. For the sake of the scenario, unemployment rates will show a positive change. Historical analysis may show that the change is not due to seasonal effects. News feeds show that buyer confidence is increasing due the decrease in unemployment rates. Reports provide a strong indication that the unemployment rate will remain low.
With this information, analysis may indicate that traders should short the USD. The algorithm may determine that the USD/JPY pair would yield the most profits. An automatic trade would be executed when the target is reached, and the trade will be on auto-pilot until completion.
The dollar could continue to fall despite reports of unemployment improvement provided from the news feed. Investors must keep in mind that multiple factors affect the movement of the United States Dollar. The unemployment rate may drop, but the overall economy may not improve. If larger investors do not change their perception of the dollar, then the dollar may continue to fall.
The big players will typically make their decisions prior to most of the retail or smaller traders. Big player decisions may affect the market in an unexpected way. If the decision is made on only information from the unemployment, the assumption will be incorrect. Non-directional bias assumes that any major news about a country will create a trading opportunity. Directional-bias trading accounts for all possible economic indicators including responses from major market players.
Trading The News – The Bottom Line
News moves the markets and if you trade the news, you can capitalize. There are very few of us that can argue against that fact. There is no doubt that the trader receiving news data ahead of the curve has the edge on getting a solid short-term trade on momentum trade in various markets whether FX, Equities or Futures. The cost of low latency infrastructure has dropped over the past few years making it possible to subscribe to a low latency news feed and receive the data from the source giving a tremendous edge over traders watching television, the Internet, radio or standard news feeds. In a market driven by large banks and hedge funds, low latency news feeds certainly give the big company edge to even individual traders.