Forex arbitrage: The three most common methods of Forex arbitrage

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Automated trading systems rely on algorithms to spot price discrepancies and, as a result, they enable a trader to jump on an exploit in the markets before it becomes common knowledge and the markets adjust. Arbitrage traders seek to exploit momentary glitches in the financial markets. They aim to spot the differences in price that can occur when there are discrepancies in the levels of supply and demand across exchanges. One approach which might satisfy the above-mentioned two criteria is the triangular arbitration strategy.

Will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. When it comes to price arbitrage, many usually think of a trading method that allows you to make an immediate profit without the trader having to take any risks. Interest rate parity is the fundamental equation that governs the relationship between interest rates and foreign exchange rates. Currency arbitrage is the act of buying and selling currencies instantaneously for a riskless profit. There are many types of arbitrage, such as labor arbitrage between one or two markets. The labor price and demand between the East and West European member states are different.

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Finally, when it comes to the interest arbitration strategy, traders must not forget to protect themselves from the exchange rate risk by purchasing the appropriate currency forward or options contract. Yes, arbitrage is a common day trading strategy as the differences in price the strategy is based on only last a few seconds, making it suitable for very short-term trades. Margin trading involves a high level of risk and is not suitable for all investors. You should carefully consider your objectives, financial situation, needs and level of experience before entering into any margined transactions with Blueberry Markets, and seek independent advice if necessary. Forex and CFDs are highly leveraged products, which means both gains and losses are magnified.

Anuncovered interest rate arbitrageinvolves changing a domestic currency which carries a lower interest rate to a foreign currency that offers a higher rate of interest on deposits. Incovered interest rate arbitragesthe practice of using favorable interest rate differentials to invest in a higher-yielding currency, and hedging the exchange risk through a forward currency contract. For convenience and comprehension, the literature refers to multiple arbitrages as ‘three-way arbitrage’. This is essentially the same method, as described in the second arbitration strategy above.


Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. Some sources do describe Forex arbitrage strategies as risk-free, however, this might not be the most accurate assessment for some traders.

MT4 also offers a range of indicators and add-ons to help supplement your arbitrage trading. As most arbitrage strategies rely on algorithms, it’s important to use a platform that’s suited to building automated systems. The concept is commonly likened to buying collectables – such as art, sneaker or antiques.

Plan, the trader changes the GBP back into USD, ending up with US$ 1,005,081 (686,062 x 1.465). A $4,631 profit is realized if the brokers maintain a 1.5 pip spread for all pairs involved. The graphic below highlights the process that a trader would go through in order to carry out a triangular arbitrage forex trade.

Arbitrage trading is legal in most countries – including the United States and the United Kingdom. It’s believed that the practice contributes to market efficiency by ensuring price discrepancies don’t last long. Although it’s not illegal, it can be risky so it’s important to manage your trading risk with stops and limits.

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So, arbitrage is mostly a strategy for market participants with the best and quickest information and technology systems. This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk.


This need has resulted in the use of automated trading software to scan the markets for price differences to execute forex arbitrage. Currency arbitrageinvolves the exploitation of the differences in quotes rather than movements in the exchange rates of the currencies in the currency pair. Forex arbitrage is a risk-free trading strategy that allows retail forex traders to profit without open currency exposure. A discount or premium may result from currency market liquidity differences, which is not a price anomaly or arbitrage opportunity, making it more challenging to execute trades to close a position. Arbitrage demands rapid execution, so a slow trading platform or trade entry delays can limit opportunity. Such an example may appear to imply that a profit so small would hardly be worth the effort, but many arbitrage opportunities in the forex market are exactly this minute or even more so.

FAQ: Guide to Forex Arbitrage

How to Trade With The On Balance Volume IndicatorThe On Balance Volume indicator analyses the forex price momentum to measure the market’s buying and selling pressure. Hence, if one broker offers 1.2 for USD/EUR and another one offers 1.3 for USD/EUR, the trader opens a buy position with broker number 1 and a sell position with broker number 2 to make a profit of $0.1. When large positions are opened similarly, profits are also expanded. The content on this website is subject to change at any time without notice, and is provided for the sole purpose of assisting traders to make independent investment decisions. Any opinions, news, research, analysis, prices, or other information contained on this website is provided as general market commentary, and does not constitute investment advice.

What are the hot money flows, and how is this connected to the arbitrage strategies?

Arbitrage opportunities often arise during news events, when price quotes experience volatility. The actual price of a product is different from the future price discounted at the interest rate. The price of two or more products with identical cash flow is different depending on the markets.

Arbitrage example

As a result, those market participants would have lost $763 because of the exchange rate, however, would have gained $7,080 on the interest swaps. So let us suppose that a group of traders has decided to use the covered interest arbitration method with this pair. So they have opened a $100,000 short position with USD/RUB at 65, while at the same time purchasing an option, which gives them the right to close this trade at 65.50.

How to Use Inside Bar Trading StrategyInside bar trading offers ideal stop-loss positions and helps identify strong breakout levels. The Commodity Channel Index is a technical indicator that can identify overbought or oversold levels in market conditions as well as potential trend reversals and trade signals. Triangular arbitrage involves the exchange of a currency for a second, then a third and then back to the original currency in a short amount of time. Forex arbitrage is the simultaneous purchase and sale of currency in two different markets to exploit short-term pricing inefficiency. Arbitrage currency trading requires the availability of real-time pricing quotes and the ability to act fast on opportunities. Forex arbitrage calculators are available to aid in this process of finding opportunities in a short window of time.

That adds liquidity and brings the market as close as possible to perfection. If both of the brokers have a 1.5 pip spread for this pair, the transaction costs would be $300 for this amount, which would leave you with a $609 profit. So each method does have its own specific risk, although one can argue that it is still much lower compared to other Forex strategies. Also, clients might choose to hold balances in undervalued individual currencies and benefit from their potential appreciation.

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