MetaTrader 4, also called MT4, is an electronic Forex trading platform popular with online retail foreign exchange speculative traders.
It was put together by MetaQuotes Software and released in 2005. The software program is licensed to FX brokers who make the software available to their clients. The software contains both client and server component.
The server component is run by the broker and the client software packages are given to the broker’s customers, who make use of it to see live streaming prices and charts, to position orders, and also to manage their accounts.
MT4 is designed to be used as a stand-alone system with the broker manually managing their position which is a common configuration used by brokers. However, a number of third party developers showed software bridges enabling integration of financial trading systems for automatic hedging of positions.
At the end of 2012 and early 2013, MetaQuotes Software began to work towards removing third-party plugins for its software away from the market, suing and warning developers and brokers.
MetaTrader provides two kinds of trading orders, Pending Orders and Market Orders. Pending orders will be executed only once the purchase price reaches a predefined level, whereas Market orders can be completed in the four modes: Instant execution, Request execution, Market execution, and Exchange execution.
With Instant execution, your order will be executed at the price displayed from the platform. Its advantage could be that the order is going to be executed with a known price. However, an excellent trading opportunity might be missed if the volatility is high and the requested price cannot be served.
Request execution mode enables traders to make a Market order in two steps, first, an amount quote is requested, and then an FX trader decides whether or not to make a buy or sell while using the received price.
A trader has several seconds to choose if the received price is worth trading. Such mode offers certain information of price combined with guaranteed execution at that price. The tradeoff is the reduced speed of execution, which can take longer than other modes.
With Market execution, the orders are going to be executed with broker’s price even when it is different form that displayed on the platform. The benefit of this mode is that it allows trading without you having to requote.
However, deviation could get considerable during volatile price changes. In exchange execution mode, your order is processed by the external execution facility (the exchange). The trade is executed based on the current depth of market.
The MT4 package comes with these components:
Mt4 Client Terminal – This component part is known as your client part. It’s provided free by brokerages legitimate-time online trading and as a Demo (practice trading) accounts. This allows trade operations, charts and technical analysis immediately.
The internal C-like programming language allows users to program trading strategies, indicators and signals. 50 basic indicators are included, which may be further customized. The program runs using Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista/7. Many people have reported success using Wine on Linux for the client terminal and the same on Mac using WineBottler.
MetaTrader 4 Mobile – controls an investing account via mobile devices, including mobiles or PDAs. Runs using Windows Pocket PC 2002/Mobile 2003,  iOS, and Android.
Mt4 Server – This component is known as a core part of the system, the server part. This component is designed to handle user requests to do trade operations, display and execution of warrants. Also, sends price quotes and news broadcasts, records and maintains archives. Works as a service and don’t have an external interface.
MetaTrader 4 Administrator – is designed to remotely manage the server settings.
Mt4 Manager – built to handle trade inquiries and manage customer accounts.
MetaTrader 4 Data Center – a specialized proxy server and serve as an intermediary part of the server and client terminals. It reduces the value quote sending strain on the key server.
To wrap it up, I would say that the platform focuses on margin trading. Although, some brokerages use Mt4 to trade CFD but it’s not designed for full-time operation in stock market trading or exchange-traded futures.
In addition, MetaTrader 5 also works with equities and commodities exchange-traded commodities. Both MT4 and 5 can use custom indicators and trading programs (called Expert Advisors) for trading automation.
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