Electronic trading platform
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An electronic trading platform, also known as an online trading platform, is a website or computer program used to trade financial assets via a network with a financial intermediary such as a stockbroker, investment bank, or broker-dealer, or directly with market makers or other participants. Financial products commonly traded include stocks, bonds, currency, exchange-traded funds, commodities, and derivatives. Such platforms allow transactions to be executed from any location and are in contrast to trading via open outcry. Electronic trading platforms can connect with an electronic communication network, stock exchange, alternative trading system, crossing network, dark pool or broker system.
Electronic trading platforms typically provide trading tools such as market data, charting, news, account management, analyst research, and customized backtesting. They may also be designed to automatically execute transactions based on a trading strategy such as those using technical analysis, fundamental analysis, algorithmic trading, or to do high-frequency trading and day trading.
The term 'trading platform' is generally used to avoid confusion with ‘trading system’ which is more often associated with the trading method or strategy rather than the computer system used to execute orders within financial circles. In this case platform is used to mean a type of computing system or operating environment such as a database or other specific software.
In 1970, Multi-Access Interactive Time-Sharing Systems made investment tools widely available to stockbrokers.
The first electronic trading platforms were typically associated with stock exchanges and allowed brokers to place orders remotely using private dedicated networks and dumb terminals. Early systems would not always provide live streaming prices; orders were entered as request for quotations.
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