Automated Trading

Automated trading, known also as algorithmic trading, involves programming a set of rules which a computer system follows to open and close orders on your behalf. Automated trading is offered by many platforms and apps in the UK, and investors can access major markets like forex and crypto using algorithmic strategies. Our guide explains how automated trading works and which brokers and software offer the service, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

Brokers with Auto Trading

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    AvaTrade is a leading forex and CFD broker, established in 2006 and regulated across 9 jurisdictions. Over 400,000 users have signed up with the broker which processes over 2 million trades each month. The firm offers multiple trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, and a proprietary WebTrader. 1250+ financial instruments are available for trading, from CFDs to AvaOptions and now AvaFutures, alongside a comprehensive education center and multilingual customer support.

  2. XTB

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    Founded in 2002 in Poland, XTB now serves more than 935,000 clients. The forex and CFD broker combines a heavily regulated trading environment with an extensive selection of 5,600+ assets and a commitment to trader satisfaction, featuring an intuitive in-house platform with superb tools to support aspiring traders.

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    Established in 1989, CMC Markets is a respected broker listed on the London Stock Exchange and authorized by several tier-one regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CIRO. More than 1 million traders from around the world have signed up with the multi-award winning brokerage.

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    Eightcap is an award-winning, FCA-regulated broker offering industry-low trading fees. They are also the highest-rated brand by TradingView’s 50 million-strong users, who can trade directly on the platform. UK traders can sign up for a live account with an accessible £100 minimum deposit.

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    FXCC is an established broker that’s been offering low-cost online trading since 2010. Registered in Nevis and regulated by the CySEC, it stands out for its ECN trading conditions, no minimum deposit and smooth account opening that takes less than 5 minutes.

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    IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

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    Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for traders at all levels.

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    Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a premier brokerage, providing access to 150 markets in 33 countries, along with a suite of comprehensive investment services. With over 40 years of experience, this Nasdaq-listed firm adheres to stringent regulations by the SEC, FCA, CIRO, and SFC, amongst others, and is one of the most trusted brokers for trading around the globe.

  9. XM

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    XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

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    City Index is an established and award-winning forex, CFD and spread betting broker with top-tier global regulation, including in the UK (FCA) and Australia (ASIC). With 30+ years in the industry, 13,500+ instruments and 24/5 customer support, City Index is a solid pick for aspiring traders.

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    RoboForex is an online broker, established in 2009 and registered with the IFSC in Belize. Traders can choose from five accounts (Prime, ECN, R StocksTrader, ProCent, Pro) catering to different needs with trades from 0.01 lots and spreads from 0 pips. RoboForex has also enhanced its offering over the years, adding CFD instruments and launching its stock trading platform, plus the CopyFX system.

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    DNA Markets is a forex and CFD broker established in 2020. The broker operates two entities in Australia and the offshore jurisdiction, St Vincent and the Grenadines. Traders can access 800+ markets, with a Standard account for beginners and a Raw account for experienced traders. The reliable MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are available, alongside Signal Start.

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    Founded in 1999, FOREX.com is now part of StoneX, a financial services organization serving over one million customers worldwide. Regulated in the US, UK, EU, Australia and beyond, the broker offers thousands of markets, not just forex, and provides excellent pricing on cutting-edge platforms.

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    eToro is a top-rated multi-asset platform which offers trading services in thousands of CFDs, stocks and cryptoassets. Launched in 2007, the brand has millions of active traders globally and is authorized by tier one regulators, including the FCA and CySEC. The brand is particularly popular for its comprehensive social trading platform. Cryptoasset investing is highly volatile and unregulated in the UK and some EU countries. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply. 51% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

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    InstaForex is a forex and CFD broker founded in 2007. The broker offers diverse market coverage to millions of clients, spanning traditional assets like currencies and shares, as well as other interesting opportunities such as IPOs.

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    Interactive Investor are a hugely respected, FCA-regulated investing firm. The trading platform is easy-to-use while the sign-up and deposit process is straightforward for new investors. ii also has a long track record and a string of industry awards under its belt.

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    OANDA is an award-winning global broker, established in 1996. The hugely respected brand offers competitive trading accounts and serves clients from 196 countries. It remains a popular option with both beginners and experienced traders thanks to its user-friendly and sophisticated web platform, no minimum deposit and premium currency products and services. The company is also overseen by reputable regulators, including the FCA, ASIC and CIRO.

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    Trade Nation is a top FX and CFD broker regulated in multiple jurisdictions including the UK and Australia. The firm offers low-cost fixed and variable spreads on 1000+ assets with robust trading platforms and training materials. The Signal Centre can also be used for trade ideas.

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    Founded in 1974, IG is part of IG Group Holdings Plc, a publicly traded (LSE: IGG) brokerage. The brand offers spread betting, CFD and forex trading across an almost unrivalled selection of 17,000+ markets, with a range of user-friendly platforms and investing apps. For 50 years, IG has maintained its position as an industry leader, excelling in all key areas for traders.

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    BlackBull is a New Zealand-based CFD broker with trading opportunities on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptos. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms as well as TradingView, cTrader and a proprietary mobile app. Clients can trade with high leverage and tight spreads from 0 pips on the broker's ECN accounts.

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    Founded in 2009, Vantage offers trading on 1000+ short-term CFD products to over 900,000 clients. You can trade Forex CFDs from 0.0 pips on the RAW account through TradingView, MT4 or MT5. Vantage is ASIC-regulated and client funds are segregated. Copy traders will also appreciate the range of social trading tools.

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    Founded in 2006, FxPro is an established forex, CFD and spread betting broker offering 2100+ assets to over 2 million clients worldwide. The broker is regulated in 4 jurisdictions and offers reliable 24/5 customer support, earning it a high trust and safety score. FxPro has also picked up more than 100 industry accolades for its competitive trading conditions, including fast execution and deep liquidity.

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    Fusion Markets is an online broker established in 2017 and regulated by the ASIC, VFSC and FSA. It is best known for its low-cost forex and CFD trading, although its multiple account types and copy trading solutions cater to a range of traders. New clients can sign up and start trading in 3 easy steps.

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    Established in 2017, Pocket Option is a binary options broker offering high/low contracts on forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. With over 100,000 active users and a global reach, the platform continues to prove popular with budding traders.

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    GO Markets is an established forex and CFD broker with multiple industry awards and accolades. The ECN/STP broker is popular with budding traders, offering competitive accounts in multiple base currencies and a range of flexible payment methods. With top-tier regulation from CySEC and ASIC, GO Markets is a trusted broker.

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    Founded in 2008, NordFX is an offshore CFD broker offering forex, stock, commodities, indices and crypto trading to over 1.7 million clients in 190 countries. Traders access markets through the MT4 and MT5 platforms and benefit from low commissions, spreads from zero and decent extra features. Minimum deposits start from just $10 and very high leverage is available up to 1:1000.

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    BitMEX is a crypto exchange and derivatives trading platform, launched in 2014. The firm offers a fiat–crypto onramp, spot trading, and crypto derivatives including perpetual contracts, traditional futures and quanto futures. BitMEX offers amongst the largest market liquidity of any cryptocurrency exchange.

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    NinjaTrader is a US-headquartered and regulated brokerage that specializes in futures trading. There are three pricing plans to suit different needs and budgets, as well as ultra-low margins on popular contracts. The brand's award-winning charting software and trading platform also offers a high-degree of customization and superb technical analysis features.

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    Axi is a global forex and CFD trading firm, founded in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Highly leveraged trading opportunities plus a $0 minimum deposit make it a popular choice among 60,000+ traders worldwide. Axi also stands out for its resources, including copy trading and Autochartist.

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    EagleFX is a forex and CFD broker, established in 2019. The broker uses STP execution on the MT4 platform, offering tight spreads and low commissions. With leverage up to 1:500 and no restrictions on hedging or scalping, EagleFX is an attractive option for short-term traders.

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    Founded in 2015, VT Markets maintains its position as a top Australian multi-asset CFD broker. With 1000+ tradeable instruments and support for the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms, this broker delivers a wide range of trading opportunities to over 200,000 clients worldwide. VT Markets is regulated by the ASIC, FSCA, and SVGFSA.

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    Tradeview is an offshore forex and CFD broker based in the Cayman Islands and regulated by CIMA. Traders can access over 5000 instruments with a minimum deposit of $100. There are several third-party platforms on offer, including MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and cTrader.

  33. OKX

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    OKX is a respected cryptocurrency firm, established in 2017, that offers a large suite of products, from mining pools to NFTs. Traders can access over 400 crypto tokens via OTC trading and derivatives. With an excellent web platform, developer tools and dynamic charts, OKX is a popular choice for technical traders.

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    PrimeXBT is a multi-asset platform offering highly leveraged trading in forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The company launched in 2018 and now has over 1 million users from more than 150 countries. With no minimum deposit, copy trading features and low commissions, the broker remains a popular option among crypto trading novices.

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    FXDD is an established forex and CFD broker founded in 2002. Regulated in Malta, Mauritius, Peru and Malaysia, the broker provides secure trading platforms, competitive ECN spreads and reliable 24/7 customer support. Competitive pricing and ultra-low latency is also offered via the broker's Direct Market Access execution model and tier 1 aggregated liquidity.

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    FXTrading.com is global broker offering highly leveraged CFDs on 10,000+ assets, including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. Competitive prices with raw spreads and low to zero commissions are available. Traders can use the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and will have access to a suite of additional analytical tools and other resources. The multi-regulated brokerage is authorized by the ASIC and VFSC.

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    M4Markets is an award-winning broker regulated by the CySEC, FSA and DFSA. Although relatively new, the broker continues to improve its offering with a range of innovative tools, platforms and accounts. Beginners can start with just $5, whilst experienced investors can access leverage up to 1:5000.

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    Founded in 2010, ThinkMarkets is a reputable CFD and forex broker with regulation from several top-tier bodies including the FCA and ASIC. The broker provides services to over 450,000 accounts from 11 global offices. Traders can use a bespoke platform, MT4 or MT5 to access a wide variety of assets including 3500+ stocks and ETFs, 46 forex pairs and over 20 cryptocurrencies.

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    Trade.com is a trustworthy online broker with a global presence. The broker offers 2,100+ CFDs in major markets, as well as futures, options and more. The broker offers best-in-class platforms and superior analysis tools for experienced traders. The broker is also regulated by top-tier authorities including the FCA and CySEC.

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    Grand Capital is a MetaTrader broker with welcome bonuses, trading competitions and an intuitive copy trading service. Several account types and 400+ assets provide trading opportunities for various types of investors and strategies. New users can also open an account and start trading in a matter of minutes.

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    IronFX is a multi-regulated forex and CFD broker founded in 2010. This award-winning firm offers 500+ markets to over 1.5 million clients across 180 countries. Traders can access various account types with competitive pricing on the MT4 platform, as well as 24/5 customer support in 30 languages.

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    Ingot Brokers is a multi-regulated brokerage established in 2006. The broker offers CFD trading opportunities on 1000+ instruments including forex, stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms and offers both raw spreads and commission-free account options.

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    FinPros is an offshore broker that provides CFD trading on 400+ instruments with high leverage up to 1:500. This is a reliable bet for traders seeking offshore options, with strong security measures, negative balance protection and segregated client funds. The extra features including trading tools and commission-free stocks make this a good choice for beginners, and experienced traders will appreciate tight spreads.

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    Uphold is a digital asset platform offering a range of services, from crypto trading and staking to payment cards that provides rewards and easy multi-currency payments. The company was established in 2015 and has enabled $4+ billion in transactions. Uphold is now active in 180+ countries and deals in 200+ crypto and fiat currencies.

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    Scope Markets offers trading and investing in multiple spot and CFD instruments. The group of brokers is regulated in several locations, including Belize, Kenya and South Africa. Users get competitive trading conditions, a range of payment methods, strong support and can get started in a few straightforward steps.

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    4xCube is an online forex and CFD broker registered and licensed in the Cook Islands. Clients can trade on popular financial markets and choose between three accounts based on their capital and trading strategy.

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    Dukascopy is an online broker operated by a Swiss-regulated banking group. It offers a good selection of 500+ markets, with forex, stocks, gold, ETFs, indices, bonds and cryptocurrencies available. It also offers flexible trading opportunities through the choice of CFDs or binary options. Traders will use MetaTrader 4 or a proprietary platform that is well-suited to automated trading.

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    Launched in 2017, Videforex offers access to stock, index, crypto, forex and commodities markets via binary options and CFDs. The proprietary platform, mobile app and integrated copy trading are user-friendly and will suit new and casual traders, and the market analysis tools and trading contests provide good ways to improve your trading skills.

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    RockGlobal is a New Zealand based and regulated CFD broker. They offer competitive spreads from 0.1 pips and a large range of trading assets, trading platforms and educational services, with up to 1:500 leverage. Operating in a Tier 1 regulated environment, RockGlobal offers peace of mind and excellent customer support.

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    FXTM is a top-rated forex and CFD broker established in 2011 and operating across 4 continents. The company is secure and regulated by leading authorities, including the FCA and CySEC. Offering 1000+ trading markets and three account types, they cater to all levels of trader.

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    xChief is a foreign exchange and CFD broker, established in 2014. The company is based offshore and registered with the VFSC and FMA. Users can choose between a wide selection of accounts and base currencies, making ForexChief accessible to global traders. The brand also stands out for its no deposit bonus and fee rebates for high-volume traders.

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    Kwakol Markets is a Nigerian headquartered broker with strong regulatory oversight in Australia and Canada. A great selection of trading assets are available, including synthetic products that simulate realistic market activity. Clients can trade on the MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms, as well as a copy trading solution whereby a fee is only paid on profitable trades.

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    GoFX is an unregulated CFD and forex broker that covers instruments from currency, stock, index, commodity and crypto markets. Traders can sign up to a variety of account types with deposits as low as $1 and will trade using the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. Exceptionally high leverage up to 1:3000 is offered on the standard account, while traders with the low-spread account can access leverage up to 1:1000.

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    Axofa is a forex and CFD broker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The broker offers three account types with access to forex, commodities and indices. With ECN processing, low minimum deposits and no commissions, Axofa remains an attractive option, although the broker does not hold a reputable license.

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    SageFX is an offshore, unregulated CFD broker that offers highly leveraged trading on forex, stocks, commodities, indices and crypto via the TradeLocker platform. Traders can access commission-free trading or an ECN account with tight spreads. While the broker's regulatory status is weak, it does provide segregated accounts and two-factor authentication.

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    OspreyFX is an ECN broker headquartered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Established in 2019, the firm offers 120+ forex and CFD assets with high leverage up to 1:500, tight spreads from 0.1 pips and round-the-clock customer support. OspreyFX also stands out for its funded trading accounts where traders can keep up to 70% of profits.

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    Errante is a Cyprus-based and regulated forex and CFD broker with leveraged trading on multiple assets, tiered accounts including a zero-spread option, and copy trading support. The broker offers leveraged trading up to 1:30 under its CySEC-regulated branch and 1:500 from an offshore branch, and supports the MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms. Errante's asset list is relatively limited but it does offer fast execution and low latency, and it is a trustworthy brand.

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    Coinexx is an unregulated broker that provides leverage up to 1:500 on forex, commodities, indices and cryptocurrencies with deep liquidity, pure ECN spreads and negative balance protection. The broker uses crypto as base currencies and has low minimum deposit requirements of 0.001 BTC.

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    LonghornFX is a forex and CFD broker offering over 150 instruments with leverage up to 1:500. The firm is registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and was launched in 2020. Clients can access a strong selection of cryptos, alongside forex, indices, commodities and stocks. With ECN/STP processing, this offshore broker promises tight spreads and fast execution.

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    Baxia Markets is an offshore CFD broker that offers trading on forex, commodities and indices with tight spreads on a straight-through processing model with ultra-low latency. Trade on MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 with leverage up to 1:500 and no restrictions to scalping or hedging strategies. Users also benefit from third-party copy trading services.

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    TMGM is an ASIC-regulated forex and CFD broker with a vast range of tradeable assets covering forex, stock, index, crypto and commodity markets. The account types on offer provide a flexible choice between no commission or zero spreads, with competitive pricing all-round.

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    Anzo Capital is an offshore broker that offers leveraged CFDs on 100+ instruments including forex, stocks, indices and metals. The MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are supported, and traders can choose between an STP account with spreads starting from 1.4 pips and zero commission, or an ECN account with a $4 round-turn commission and spreads from zero. A decent range of payment methods are accepted, including crypto deposits.

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    Switch Markets is a multi-asset CFD brokerage, regulated by ASIC and SVGFSA. The new brand offers trading on the MT4 and MT5 platforms and leverage up to 1:500. The broker boasts over 2000+ instruments, with some additional tools including copy trading services and free VPS hosting.

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    Kucoin is a crypto exchange that offers trading on 1000+ tokens as well as leveraged trading opportunities via futures and perpetual swaps. This exchange has a slick trading platform that supports robots, allowing traders to implement automated strategies. Other attractive features include a demo account, flexible funding methods and DeFi features like staking and mining.

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    Pionex is a crypto trading platform that specializes in trading robots, offering a variety of ready made bots and strategies to traders as well as integrated AI to help customize a strategy or come up with your own. These can be used on spot crypto markets as well as crypto futures.

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    AdroFx is an offshore ECN/STP broker that has offered CFD trading since 2018. The firm supports 100+ tradable assets on the popular MetaTrader 4 platform as well as a web trader, Allpips. Eight live accounts are available with no restrictions on trading strategies.

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    RoboMarkets is a Cyprus-based forex, CFD and stock broker aimed at traders from Europe. The broker offers thousands of instruments across six asset classes and provides access to four leading platforms, including MetaTrader 4. With ECN pricing, Cent accounts and algorithmic trading tools, RoboMarkets caters to a range of trading strategies and investing styles.

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    Established in 2012, Hong Kong-based Bitfinex is a formidable player in the crypto industry. It boasts a powerful proprietary platform, 180 cryptocurrencies and more than 430 market pairs available for spot or perpetual swaps derivatives trading. With new payment methods, lower entry barriers and fresh products like crypto futures, Bitfinex is attracting a wider range of active crypto traders.

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    Kraken is a leading cryptocurrency exchange with a proprietary trading terminal and a list of 220+ tradeable crypto tokens. Up to 1:5 leverage is available with stable rollover fees on spot crypto trading and up to 1:50 on futures. The exchange also supports crypto staking and has an interactive NFT marketplace.

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    MultiBank FX is an established broker offering forex and CFD products since 2005. With 20,000+ instruments, plenty of local payment methods and 24/7 multilingual customer support, the broker is a popular choice among traders globally. New clients can also access a variety of bonus offers and access the hugely popular MT4 and MT5 trading platforms.

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    Global Prime is a multi-regulated trading broker offering 150+ markets. Traders can get started with a $200 minimum deposit and trade with leverage up to 1:100. The firm also has a high trust score and a good reputation with a license from the ASIC.

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    ActivTrades is a UK-headquartered CFD and forex broker established in 2001. The brokerage is heavily regulated with licenses from the FCA, SCB, CSSF, BACEN & CVM and CMVM. Over 1000 CFDs are available spanning 7 asset classes. Over 93.60% of orders are executed at the requested price. ActivTraders also offers a selection of leading trading platforms, including MT4, MT5, TradingView and ActivTrader platforms.

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    Swissquote is a Switzerland-based bank and broker that offers online trading and investing. The company has a high safety score and is listed on the Swiss stock exchange. The firm offers a huge range of products, from stocks, ETFs, bonds and futures to 400+ forex and CFD assets. Hundreds of thousands of traders have opened an account with the multi-regulated brokerage. Clients can get started in three easy steps while 24/7 customer support is available to assist new users.

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    SimpleFX is an online broker specializing in CFD and cryptocurrency trading, with multi-currency accounts, STP execution, low pricing and no minimum deposit. Bringing innovation and gaining recognition at numerous industry events since 2014, SimpleFX now caters to retail traders from over 190 countries, boasting a client base exceeding 200,000 active users.

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    EZ Invest is a CySEC-licensed broker, launched in 2008, that offers trading on popular financial markets through leveraged CFDs. Traders can choose between multiple respected platforms, including MetaTrader software and a user-friendly in-house app. The reliable multilingual customer support team are also on-hand to support new users.

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    Fortrade is a multi-asset, multi-regulated broker with branches regulated by the FCA, CySEC and ASIC among others. The brand offers trading opportunities on a wide range of instruments including stocks, bonds, commodities, forex, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs, with competitive fees and support for MetaTrader 4 and a proprietary platform.

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    Established in 2005 in Australia, FP Markets is an ASIC- and CySEC-regulated broker boasting an extensive suite of tradable assets. Its Standard and Raw accounts cater to traders at every level, while it packs a punch in the tooling department, from the MetaTrader suite and intuitive TradingView to actionable trading ideas from Trading Central and AutoChartist.

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    Admirals is a multi-regulated broker with an excellent range of leveraged instruments, including forex, stocks, indices, ETFs, commodities, cryptos and more. The broker supports the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and TradingCentral platforms. With both spread betting and CFDs available and thousands of instruments, this broker provides more flexibility than most rivals.

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    HYCM is an online broker with authorization from four international bodies including the FCA and CySEC. The broker offers short-term CFD trading on forex, shares, commodities, indices, ETFs and Bitcoin, and supports the MT4 and MT5 platforms, as well as Trading Central analysis.

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    FXOpen is a multi-asset broker with regulation from several trustworthy bodies including the UK's FCA. The broker offers CFD trading on forex, stocks, commodities, indices, cryptocurrencies and ETFs via the MetaTrader 4 & 5 and TradingView platforms.

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    Infinox is a UK-based and FCA-regulated broker that offers diverse trading products thanks to its STP and ECN account types and support for MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and a proprietary platform. Clients can also benefit from a free VPS that can support automated strategies and a social trading platform, catering to both beginner and seasoned traders.

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    Hantec Markets was established in Hong Kong in 1990. Initially, the company concentrated solely on the Chinese and Taiwanese markets. In 2008, the broker rebranded and expanded its presence in the UK, Australia, Japan, and various other countries, before enhancing its footprint in Latin America in 2022. Hantec now stands as a multinational brokerage with 18 offices across Europe and Asia.

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    Zacks Trade is a FINRA-regulated US broker offering trading on stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, bonds and more through a proprietary terminal. The broker is geared toward active traders and offers very affordable fees on most assets as well as an app and a vast amount of market data.

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    Established in 2013, SuperForex is an offshore CFD and forex broker offering highly leveraged trades on 400+ instruments via the popular MetaTrader 4 platform. The broker has gained clients in over 150 countries and is regulated by the Belize IFSC. With a range of STP/ECN account types, including swap-free, micro and zero spread, this broker continues to suit traders with different styles and setups. SuperForex also offers a range of welcome bonuses and trading contests.

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    Amega is an offshore STP broker offering CFD trading on forex, stocks, indices and commodities with very high leverage up to 1:1000 and a zero-commission pricing structure. Traders access markets through the MT5 platform and can test the broker's services through a demo account.

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    Just2Trade is a reliable multi-regulated broker registered with FINRA, NFA and CySEC. The company has 155,000 clients from 130 countries and stands out for its huge suite of instruments and additional features, including a social network, robo advisors and a funded trader programme.

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    BinaryCent is an unregulated binary options broker that offers 24/7 trading on forex, cryptos and stocks with payouts up to 95%. Despite its lack of regulation, this broker takes client security seriously and stores client funds in European banks. The broker also offers CFDs with very high leverage up to 1:500.

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    World Forex is an offshore broker registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, offering commission-free trading with a $1 minimum deposit and 1:1000 leverage. Digital contracts are also available, offering beginners a straightforward way to speculate on popular financial markets.

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    FXPrimus is an award-winning CySEC-regulated brokerage offering CFD trading on 200+ instruments via the MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader platforms. The choice between a competitive commission-free account and two affordable raw spread options make this an accessible broker for anyone seeking forex, stocks, indices and commodities with high leverage.

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    FXCentrum is an offshore broker that offers highly leveraged, commission-free trading on diverse instruments with tight spreads. Traders can access forex, equity and commodities markets via MetaTrader 5 or the proprietary FXC platform and use the award-winning ZuluTrade platform for copy trading.

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    Vault Markets is an award-winning brokerage headquartered in Namibia. It is an accessible direct-market-access CFD broker with affordable minimum deposits, flexible funding methods and high leverage. This broker offers a very large range of forex pairs as well as commodities and indices through MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5.

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    Exinity provides flexible low-cost trading in FX, commodities, indices and equities alongside unique education and support provided by teams located across the world. Now operating in the Middle East, through regulation from the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Abu Dhabi and the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, Exinity provides a range of services to traders and investors looking for new opportunities in the financial markets.

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    Capital.com offer CFDs on a range of markets with competitive spreads and zero commissions. The broker also offers the Investmate app, negative balance protection and leveraged trading.

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Automated Trading Explained

The simple definition: an investment strategy where clients set up a program of parameters like price and amount, which if met will trigger the execution of a specific trade.

For example, a trader could instruct the system to enter a long position of 50 lots of EUR/USD if it rises above 1.500, or to buy Google shares if the price falls lower than the 20-day moving average. In theory, automated trading results in a strategy based on data and not emotional sentiment, meaning that earnings may increase for both beginners and experienced investors. Systems are also able to monitor market volatility much more broadly, so can detect changes and respond more rapidly than a human.

Automated systems include Expert Advisors (EAs) and trading robots. Robots automatically place market orders based on the set algorithms discussed above. EAs offer the client trading signals, which are alerts about a potential order opportunity, that a user can manually act on or have the EA place automatically depending on their set-up. Copy trading is another form of automated investing that allows users to replicate the strategies and positions of successful traders.

To get started at home, clients should select an online broker that allows order execution with robots.

Markets

Algorithmic strategies can be used across the majority of markets that offer manual trading. It is particularly popular with forex brokers and in futures markets, though bots are also used with cryptocurrency exchanges, hedge funds, ETFs, CFDs, and for options and commodities. Automated stock and gold trading systems are also utilised at high volume, for example buying and selling on the ASX or NSE stock exchanges.

How To Create An Automated Trading Bot

Building an automated trading system requires coding knowledge, whether you start from scratch or use a program to help you. Robot software is readily available in the UK and many of those with positive reviews offer free trial periods. Artificial intelligence (AI) is also becoming widely used in automated trading software. You may also decide to hire a developer to create the program, which could match your requirements more closely but might carry extra expense compared to buying a robot directly.

An automated trading robot, or bot, can be created in any programming language – some users prefer Python as it can eventually allow your bot to use machine learning. However some platforms require the program to be written in a specific language, for example MetaTrader systems must use MQL.

Users should then pick a broker for automated trading, a choice which depends on the assets you wish to buy/sell and on whether they have an open-source API – this is critical for your bot to be functional. After selecting a host server for the bot, e.g. a cloud or even a Raspberry Pi, you are ready to start creating an automated trading system.

Automated Trading With Python

Many users choose to create their automated trading bot using Python. This language is prevalent in the algorithmic space as it gives access to excellent frameworks for using machine and reinforcement learning in the future. Programmers can usually find API documentation, e.g. for stock trading, using Python on Github.

Other languages like R and Java are popular in the development of bots. MATLAB and artificial neural networks have also been applied to generate these systems, and they can even be created from Excel.

Best Automated Trading Software & Brokers

Automated trading is now offered by a wide range of brokers and companies. Below we cover some popular choices.

MT4

Automated trading in the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform, as well as the updated MetaTrader 5 (MT5) solution, is performed using Expert Advisors (EAs). Clients can either buy EAs directly from the platforms marketplace or can opt to program their own bots using the system’s programming language, MQL4. Reviews for this software are generally excellent, and it often appears in top five lists for automated investing systems. Traders can find many tutorials and forums online to get started.

Potential users may also be interested in MultiCharts, a similar offering to MT4 that was created with algorithmic strategies in mind.

NinjaTrader

Regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA), NinjaTrader 8 is a dedicated platform for automated trading strategies. It allows clients to create or purchase systems, and then execute orders either with the NinjaTrader brokerage or another partner broker like TD Ameritrade. Traders can use the key aspects of NinjaTrader 8 free of charge, but may also choose to rent or own the platform to access more advanced features and lower commission rates.

Robinhood

Robinhood is a platform where clients can trade stocks, ETFs, or options commission-free and with no account minimum. Building an automated trading system in this platform requires an API, which is available from the firm in Python via Github. Potential clients with little coding experience should note that automated trading on Robinhood appears to have no technical support from the firm, and may be better suited to advanced programmers.

Zerodha

The Zerodha technology suite includes several trading platforms, which offer free equity delivery and mutual fund investments alongside stocks, futures and options. Fully automated trading using Zerodha is possible using the online Kite platform with the Kite Connect API, available on Github. The firm provides an in-depth video tutorial on their website. Traders can also install Zerodha Pi, the software platform offering, to access additional features.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and advertises the lowest costs in the industry. The firm also offers its own desktop platform named Trader Workstation (TWS), and a trading app for iPhone and Android called IBKR Mobile.

Several programming languages including Java and DDE for Excel are supported on the TWS API, which is the connection that makes automated trading with Interactive Brokers possible. The broker also offers Capitalise.ai, a subscription that allows traders to generate algorithmic strategies without coding.

Thinkorswim

Clients with TD Ameritrade can use the thinkorswim platform to make trades on a wide array of assets including stocks, options, and ETFs on a commission-free basis, plus futures, forex, and mutual funds. Automated trading is possible with the algorithm panel in thinkorswim, which is used for selecting trigger conditions, and more complex strategies can be achieved by writing manual code.

TradingView

TradingView is a social trading network for stocks, futures, and forex markets. Clients can start automated trading on TradingView by creating a bot in the PineScript language, with a set of predefined conditions. The bot can then be automated with the Wunderbit Trading platform by connecting to the API and linking the bot with a TradingView signal.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Automated trading robots and platforms for cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and XRP are particularly popular, as the crypto asset market runs 24/7 and system bots can also operate round the clock. Automated Bitcoin trading in the UK is done on exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase Pro, and Kraken – clients have access to established bots like Cryptohopper or 3commas if they do not wish to create their own. These bots cost around $20 per month, often require no installation, and can even alter the automated trading strategy based on market news.

Other Brokers

Many more brokers offer automated forex and stock trading with at least a public API – these include OandaDegiro, IQ option, IG, eToro, XTB, JForex, TradeStation, Trading 212, eTrade, Questrade, Fidelity, Zorro, Tradovate, and QuantShare. Brokers that offer useful tools such as a trading journal to keep track of algorithmic investments are beneficial.

Automated Trading Strategies

Time-Series Momentum/Mean Reversion

This concept, sometimes called trend-following, involves using the past price return of an asset to predict its future values. In time-series momentum, it is expected that the future price will follow the same trend as previously observed, and in mean-reversion it is anticipated to go in the opposite direction.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

This strategy involves investing money into an asset bit by bit instead of all at once, to reduce the effect of volatility. By using smaller and similar amounts periodically, you could avoid investing all your capital at high price points.

Day Trading Automation

Many day trading approaches can be automated, including popular systems like the gap-up momentum strategy. This idea is used when a financial instrument opens considerably higher or lower than it closed on the previous day, which generates momentum that can be exploited as not all instruments will keep rising.

Clients can evaluate the viability of their automated trading strategies using backtesting, which applies the set parameters to previous market data.

How To Start Automated Trading

Clients should start by selecting a broker, and taking into account how much automation they want readily available. For example, Interactive Brokers clients can create automated strategies without involving any code, whereas traders with brokers like Robinhood would have to be experienced in programming languages to use algorithmic methods.

After signing up with the chosen broker and depositing funds, your strategies can be operational straight away. Beginners might first consider copy trading, which is an automated form of execution that copies the orders of other investors with a successful track record. This does not require the more complex set up of a trading robot and may make clients more comfortable with the risk associated with an automated process.

It’s also worth checking out the multiple books and online courses available to get a boosting approach to automated trading.

Pros Of Automated Trading

  • Reduces emotional impact – where humans may become hesitant after losing trades or over-confident after winning, bots simply adhere to the predetermined criteria and execute orders when these are met
  • Faster and simultaneous order execution – bots can place trades more rapidly than humans, operate 24/7 and execute multiple orders at once which is critical in fast-moving markets
  • Backtesting – applying the strategy you have developed to historical data allows you to assess the validity of the set parameters, which can help to improve profits by fixing issues before trading with real funds
  • Diverse portfolio – as bots can monitor several assets, markets, and strategies at once it encourages the traders’ portfolio to widen and also mitigates risk as capital is spread over many instruments
  • Legal – UK laws do not prohibit the use of automated trading strategies

Cons Of Automated Trading

  • Monitoring still required – automated systems are vulnerable to IT issues like internet crashes just as a computer operating manual trading would be, and as such should be monitored so any problems can be rectified swiftly
  • Needs technical knowledge and experience – automation requires considerable trading and programming expertise, and it is best to consider especially as a beginner whether it would be beneficial compared to manual strategies
  • Perfecting strategies in backtesting – testing your automated system and adjusting it to be entirely profitable based on previous market data is not a guarantee that it will fare well as a live strategy, and so initial automated trades should always be relatively small

Final Word On Automated Trading

Automated trading systems, or bots, work by adhering to a pre-programmed set of parameters and will execute orders if the parameters are met. Markets like cryptocurrency and forex are popular with these algorithm bots, alongside platforms such as MT4. Bots can be created from scratch using languages like Python or can be purchased and optimised using software. Although these strategies remove the human emotional aspects of trading and can execute orders simultaneously 24/7, they require a lot of technical expertise, and orders must still be checked frequently.

FAQs

How Does Automated Trading Work?

Algorithms follow pre-defined instructions to scan the financial markets and execute trades based on specific criteria. This allows for the automatic opening and closing of trades in line with a trader’s specific strategy. Online systems still need careful development and monitoring.

What Types Of Automated Trading Systems Exist?

Automated trading algorithms can follow different strategies, from following detailed technical analysis to acting upon major news events. Copy trading is also a form of automated trading that will see the positions and strategies of successful investors automatically followed.

Is Automated Trading Legit?

Yes, automated trading is a legitimate way to invest in the financial markets. In fact, up to 80% of certain markets, such as FX, are thought to be automated. Institutional investors, in particular, use sophisticated algorithms to approach the markets. Retail traders are quickly realising its potential too.

How Do I Start Automated Trading?

To get started automated trading, you’ll first need to sign up with a broker that offers auto trading. You can then buy pre-built expert advisors or trading bots. Alternatively, you can use software, such as MT4 and MT5, to build, test and deploy your own trading algorithms.

Will Automated Trading Make Me Money?

Automated trading is no shortcut to profits. Algorithms still require careful development and monitoring. The bots are only as good as the humans that have designed them. Left to their own devices without the proper supervision, trading bots can accumulate losses. It’s therefore important to have a careful risk management strategy with alerts and halts in place.

Should I Start Using Automated Trading?

Automated trading isn’t for everyone. However, for those with established manual strategies that want to automate to save time and increase volumes, it could work. Buying established trading bots may also suit beginners who don’t have time to analyse the markets and want to see how successful strategies operate and perform on the forex market, for example.

Further Reading