Market data definition

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What is market data?

Market data refers to the live streaming of trade-related data. It encompasses a range of information such as price, bid/ask quotes and market volume. Trading venues provide reports on various assets and financial instruments, which are then distributed to traders and firms. Market data is available across thousands of global markets, including stocks, indices, forex and commodities.

Market data is used by traders to assess the worth of various assets, and will inform their approach to entering and exiting trades. The aim of using market data is to get as much information about the asset you are planning to trade, in order to calculate market risk and the impact of live news releases.

Take a look at our market data service

Find out more about a range of market data, including real-time price charts, news and analysis.

Pros and cons of market data

Pros of market data

Market data is generated in real time, which means that it can be used to make quick but informed trading decisions. However, market data can also be used to access historical prices – these historical charts are a crucial part of technical analysis, and can be useful when creating a strategy for future trades.

Market data is normally found in one place under a ticker symbol, which makes it easy to access. Commonly, market pricing data is kept separate from all other information, but some market data providers will choose to deliver fundamentals as well. In equities, this can include market valuations, company performance reports and reference data.

Cons of market data

The real-time delivery of market data is important, as prices can move quickly and traders need to make timely, informed decisions about opening and closing their positions. However, with data there is always the risk of latency or lags in the delivery of information, especially as the information can be coming from trading venues all over the world. When choosing your data provider, it is important to ensure that they are reliable, and have the capabilities to give you high speed access to accurate market data.

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