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Foreign Exchange

Thank FX for the internet

We all know FX is wonderful, so as well as being the most professional financial market in existence, the industry should be proud of the role it has played in creating many of things we take for granted in the modern world. Without FX, there would have been no internet, no txt msging, no chat rooms, Facebook or Twitter. Though some of that list may not be something to be proud of.

OK, so it’s not strictly true that FX did create those wonders, but Reuters at least has more of a claim than Al Gore does. Us old timers will remember the days when we traded before mobile phones, and even back then, a form of electronic trading did exist – The Reuters.

Each bank had its own four-letter Reuters’ code, which we used to contact each other, have a chat, arrange a beer and even trade on. Reuters says it published its own version of the yellow pages to list those on Reuters Dealing, though I don’t remember it. But I do recall every dealer had a Hambros, which still exists as 4Cast’s Reddbook.

As Reuters has reminded me, dealers established a common, global language, which looks remarkably similar to today’s txt msging. HIHI FRDS became the standard greeting, and was often followed by requests such as USD/DEM 5 pls, and then, depending on the quote: urs, mine, ntg; before finishing with: thks bifn.

This language is still being actively used on Thomson Reuters Dealing, available in 123 countries. The company has decided to capitalise on it by launching a new global portal for the FX and money markets community called www.hihifrds.com.

In another move, Thomson Reuters has decided to release its monthly volume figures. These will be available on the site, as well of course on the weeklyFiX.

Sounds splendid. CUL.

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