One of the questions we regularly get asked is “Where can I find Live Charts/Candlestick Charts for spread betting, in particular interest rates and bonds?”
Live charts for trading interest rates and bonds are important, as they are for all markets. It is important as any delays in data could result in losses or missed profit opportunities. However, the more successful traders will be adding stop losses to their trades as soon as they open them, and these stops will get triggered automatically should the markets rise or fall to the level of the stop. This negates the need for live data to a very large extent.
In addition, traders can also place orders to open trades, known as entry stops, so that should the market reach a preset level at any time, the spread betting company where you have placed your order will automatically fill your trade. This is a very effective way to trade as it removes the need to sit in front of the screen all day and removes the emotion from trading to a very large extent as orders can be placed at the beginning of the trading day or week, when the markets are closed. This is the way that the LS Trader system works.
The most popular type of chart for traders these days is the candlestick chart. It is considered to be the best because it graphically shows the highs and lows of various time intervals and is also more visually representative than the bar chart, even though it uses the same data to create the candle, namely the open, high, low and close.
The trader can tell at a glance as to whether the market is up or down on any timeframe by the colour of the candle for the session. If the close is above the open, the candle will generally be filled in green as that is an up day. If the close is below the open, the candle will generally be red as that is a down day. Other colour combinations can be seen, such as white for up days and black for down days. Another type is hollow candles for up days and filled candles for down days. They all mean the same thing, whichever colour scheme is used.
I mostly use candlecharts in my own trading as they are easier to look at and quickly convey more information about the security than bar charts. That said, there are some patterns that are unique to bar charts, so using both can be beneficial, especially if the trader is using some form of pattern recognition to make his trading decisions.
Live Charts on the internet offered by spread betting companies
Live charts can be found just about anywhere on the Internet. All spread betting companies have charts available for their clients. However, not all spread betting companies give access to live data for all markets, although these days most do.
IG Index is one company that offers live data access for charts, ETX Capital is another. Both of these spread betting companies offers a complete charting package with professional features. The live charts offered give traders the ability to adjust the charts to their own preferences and add their own preferred indicators. A trader can add over 70 indicators or create their own indicators. Traders also have the ability to draw directly onto the chart should they so wish.
Spread betting software and data packages
Live charts and candlestick charts are easy to find on the Internet. However, the best place to start is with your own spread betting provider as the charts will already be there and be free. The more serious trader can look to charting packages and market data from companies such as Thomson Reuters Metastock. They offer one of the best charting and data packages and I use both daily. Traders can choose between real time or end of day data depending on their preferences. End of day is suitable for most and is much cheaper. You can take advantage of a 30 day free trial of Metastock software here