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Interactive Brokers Trading Foreign Markets

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:02 pm
by TrendsCatcher
Anyone would like to share experience using Interactive Brokers to trade foreign markets (base = US, base currency = USD)?

I want to trade stocks in Australia, UK, France, German, Japan, and Hong Kong, all these are denominated in local currencies of the respective countries. I chatted with an IB representative, she said no problem, just trade then as one would with any stocks on the NYSE, Nasdaq, or Amex. I asked her if there is an official IB website detailing that, she said no. I just want to check with other traders who have experience with this type of matters before I plunge.

I may also trade the futures (eg, DAX, FSTE, K200, London Coffee, Western Barley etc), so IB “foreignâ€

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:20 pm
by Paul King ... entity=llc

IB's Universal account is multi-currency by default. The only things the "base" currency are used for is the currency that the net liquidation value calculation is done in, and FX transaction commissions. Everything else is explicitly in the currency of the instrument on whatever exchange it trades on.

Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:11 pm
by 7432
I only trade futures and options, no stocks.
my experience has been positive since I switched to IB(from MF) in 2002.

with the universal account they get a piece of the action every time they rebalance your margin using their own forex quotes. not a big deal and frees up any worries about paying attention to margin amounts on all the foreign exchanges. you can see totals in each currency at the top of the workstation page.

for an ira they are not allowed to rebalance so you use their fx trader to hold the different currencies.
ib doesn't allow a trade unless you already hold enough of the contract's currency.
you can always click on view-account and see how much you have in each currency.