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questions about spread trading futures

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questions about spread trading futures

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  #1 (permalink)
Lancashire, UK
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: sierra,motivewave,MT4
Broker: various
Trading: futures
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Hi forum I have been trading forex for a while and would like to begin trading outright futures on the front month but also to dabble with futures spreads. I have a few questions I have just listed below; so if anyone would like to contribute to gathering some knowledge on this thread that would be much appreciated.
1. How is it possible to trade spreads but by placing a leg either side? What does this actually mean.
2. What is the difference between exchange traded spreads and synthetic spreads?
3. Furthermore how does trading spreads in any way affect the margin; in either trading each leg together or otherwise?
4. Does the term ‘’trading each leg’’ count in both inter calendar and inter commodity spreads?
5. Does the term ‘’trading each leg’’ count in both trading calendar and inter commodity spreads for more than two instruments?
6. Could someone explain what a pre-populated spread is?
7. How would someone trade an options on a spread? I assume this is done separately on each leg ( I don’t know)
These below topics are extensions of above more related to brokers and data feeds:
1. Which brokers would offer exchange traded spreads and can you trade spreads with a broker that doesn’t offer them? Ie could you do it synthetically and have usage of the margin for each individual leg?
2. If the margin isn’t calculated on each individual leg: is this less/more expensive?
3. Is it less/more expensive to trade exchange traded spreads than synthetic spreads?
4. Is ‘’calculating the margins as spreads completely different to having individual amrgins requirements for each leg. If so : would I be better with a broker that offers synthetic spreads or not?
5. Does the platform you are trading on have to be compatible with exchange traded spreads or is it just the broker?
6. Does the platform you are trading on have to be compatible with synthetic spreads or is it just the broker?
7. Do exchange traded spreads have any advantages over synthetic spreads such as using three legs?
8. Which brokers offer options on futures?
9. Which broker could essentially let me sim trade by just paying the exchange fee (cme, eurex, iceuk,iceus) on x_trader but have access to all possible spreads ( amp? Optiver? Velocity? )

nb I am not interested in stocks futures!... only index (equity), money markets, commodity ( oil , gas , gold )
nb also when I think of spread trading I generally consider x_trader pro, cqg IC, cts t4, oec, sierra - in that order of capability.
but not necessarily in that order for price and in terms of non expiring free trials ( no inactivity fee ) that kind of thing. I know amp offer an unlimited ttnet trial under x_trader pro with a sub funded account but I don't know how limited it is because amp doesn't offer exchange traded spreads.

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A good place to start is the CTS webinars on (formerly BMT) in the webinar archives, many of them discuss spread trading. There is another spread trading webinar today.


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