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Why ATC 2012 Selection of Currency Pairs Sucks

September 3, 2012 (Last updated on September 8, 2012) by

About a year ago, I have written an article with some criticism points about the MetaQuotes’ Automated Trading Championship. Among other things, a poor selection of trading instruments is also mentioned there. But the problem with the selected currency pairs is not only their number, but the bad choice of the particular crosses.

Since 2007, MetaQuotes is using the same 12 currency pairs (USD/CHF, GBP/USD, EUR/USD, USD/JPY, USD/CAD, AUD/USD, EUR/GBP, EUR/AUD, EUR/CHF, EUR/JPY, GBP/JPY and GBP/CHF) every year (except 2009, when the championship was not held at all) with the same spreads. As we can see, there is little progress in that except for the limit & stop level values that were doubled once back in 2008. The company behind MetaTrader is quite conservative when it comes to the trading symbols’ specifications for ATC.

I am using a multi-currency expert advisor in this year’s contest as I did in 2011. So what do we have to trade on in 2012?

  • USD/CHF — There is little sense in trading this pair as it generally mirrors EUR/USD (due to EUR/CHF floor level) but has spread twice as big.
  • GBP/USD — OK. A popular pair and a major, without any problems or sky-high spread.
  • EUR/USD — OK. It would be hard to imagine the championship without it.
  • USD/JPY — OK. Another popular major currency pair.
  • USD/CAD — Cool. Not so popular but still an important pair.
  • AUD/USD — Still OK. Low spread and does not repeat anything from above.
  • EUR/GBP — A cross of EUR/USD of GBP/USD but still popular and the spread is low.
  • EUR/AUD — Why?! It is a cross of EUR/USD and AUD/USD with a spread double of both combined.
  • EUR/CHF — I would be amazed to see an EA profitable with this currency pair during ATC 2012.
  • EUR/JPY — Despite being a cross of EUR/USD and USD/JPY it is still mostly OK due to low spread.
  • GBP/JPY — A cross of GBP/USD and USD/JPY but with an inflated spread.
  • GBP/CHF — Mirrors EUR/GBP almost completely but with 250% more lost on spread.

So out of 12 offered currency pairs (which is already quite low), 3 are completely useless (CHF pairs), 2 are semi-useless due to repeating other pairs at a higher than average spread. As a result, traders end up with only 7 viable options. And where is NZD/USD? Where are European currencies — NOK, SEK, DKK, etc.? Throwing in some exotics, like ZAR or MXN, would not hurt either. I wonder if anything will change in 2013 for the next year’s Automated Trading Championship…

P.S.: With 18 days till the end of registration, 2,747 participants have already signed up for this Forex contest.

If you have your own ideas or suggestions regarding the currency pairs used in, please feel free to share them using the form below.

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