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Macfutures Takes a 3D Perspective


London-based proprietary derivatives trading arcade, Macfutures, has implemented 4D Genie, a market visualisation tool from 4D Trading. According to the software house, Genie presents real time market data in a multi-dimensional, moving format and highlights data relationships, values and correlations in such a way that users are able to absorb and interpret the various data sets much more quickly and effectively than if they were simply in number form. This enables better and more timely trading decisions, says 4D Trading.

“I see the 4D technology becoming an integral part of our desire to stay at the forefront of profitable electronic trading,” says Magnus Greaves, managing director at Macfutures. “We place a strong emphasis on management and training…Using 4D Genie’s market visualisation approach, we plan to produce the future generation of successful traders.”

The product takes data feeds (which must be provided by the users) from any source that provides an API or DDE link, such as Eurex, Liffe, Reuters, CQG or Bloomberg, and displays a complete graphic picture of the market in one window. The product lends itself to the interpretation of high frequency data, says Rob Brown, 4D Trading’s CEO. “It translates large feeds of financial data into multi-dimensional models in real time and represents various aspects of a trade in 3D form. This makes profitable trading and arbitrage opportunities easy to spot,” he says.

4D’s multi-dimensional objects represent different securities or other products, which can then be placed in a variety of ‘environments’ (essentially, 3D charts, diagrams or models). The objects continuously react to the volume figures and price data flowing through them by growing, shrinking, rotating, flattening, moving in or out, up or down.

Each template runs different algorithms. For example, in one environment featuring boxes, spheroids and oscillators, the speed of the box’s rotation denotes market activity, the size of the box indicates volume. The spheroid shape is the trend indicator – the more buyers, the bigger and longer it gets, fewer buyers means a smaller and flatter shape. Movement of the oscillator tells users if the market is overbought or undersold.

Brown says it is this moving, three dimensional approach that offers users a real competitive advantage. “The reality is that the human brain is able to distinguish colour, shape and movement much faster than it can analyse numbers,” he says. “4D Genie exploits that capability. Information is everything to traders. This product means that traders can spot patterns as they emerge and make better trading decisions quickly.”

Brown says different products are more suited to different object types and environments, but adds that users are able to map the products they trade to their object and environment of choice.

The firm’s initial focus was fixed income derivatives, but Brown says it is currently piloting an FX version with several brokers and investment banks. “4D Genie is very good for comparison and the high speed data changes of the FX market,” he says.

The company reckons, in fact, that it offers benefits to virtually every market, and Lee Antoniou, an equity trader at STA, is certainly enthusiastic about his experience so far. “As a trader, I am always looking for an edge over the competition. With 4D Genie, I was able to see things developing in the market that were not really apparent before,” he says. “It was obvious that 4D Genie had been designed by traders who have experienced first hand the frustrations of trying to assimilate information from multiple sources quickly. Genie has made me more confident about the true state of the market and allowed me to make more profitable electronic trades.”

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