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Trading protocols: More Fix in FX

Fix Protocol has issued a white paper on foreign exchange, after a 2005 survey by TowerGroup predicted a sharp increase in its use among market participants. TowerGroup found that 15% of sell-side firms and 25% of the buy side they surveyed were already using Fix version 4.4 for FX trading; this is expected to rise to 40% and 60%, respectively, by 2008.

The Financial Information eXchange Protocol (Fix) originated in 1992 as a bilateral equity trading communications framework between Fidelity and Salomon Brothers. It is not software, but a specification around which software developers can create commercial or open-source software. Fix is now regarded as the standard electronic protocol for pre-trade communications and trade execution in many asset classes, including increasingly FX.

Looking ahead, Fix says it will become easier for FX participants to roll out the use of the protocol. “Those buy-side firms who have yet to make the move to Fix for foreign exchange trading – including a number of large asset management companies with sophisticated order management systems (OMS) – cite a number of reasons for not doing so, most commonly the perceived cost of adapting their OMS or changing standard operating procedures.

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