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NEWS FROM THE TRADING FLOOR

FXCM ACQUIRES BRITISH ODL GROUP
American foreign exchange broker FXCM last week announced that it had agreed terms to acquire ODL Group, an independent broker based in the UK and across Europe. The combined companies will operate as one of the largest non-bank forex brokers globally servicing over 200,000 live trading accounts with total client assets in excess of $800m.

The deal is still pending final due diligence review and regulatory approval, ODL Group said. Post acquisition, ODL will continue to trade under its current name and its existing clients will gain access to FXCM's No Dealing Desk execution on forex trades.

No financial information regarding the structure of the deal is being released. ODL was advised by London-based FT Advisors while San Francisco-based FT Partners acted for FXCM.

INSTANT FEEDBACK ON TRADING IDEAS
Traders can now share details of their potential trades and receive instant feedback from others through a new service launched last week by AIFX, a subscription-based foreign exchange trading training provider.

Clients of AIFX can access the new service through their platform. Having identified a potentially profitable trade, they are then able to send an alert containing details of the trade to all other AIFX traders. The rest of the AIFX community is able to use message boards to deliver their thoughts on the trade before it is placed.

Mark Bowler, head of AIFX, said: “Now that we have a significant online community of traders we are able to deliver a system which allows them to share any identified trades with their peer group.”

TD WATERHOUSE TRADERS KEEP BUYING
As the reality of a hung parliament dawned on the British electorate, sellers were out in force on Friday morning and the FTSE 100 collapsed 100 points at the open. But clients of execution-only broker TD Waterhouse continued their buying trend, suggesting that they had been anticipating an uncertain outcome for some time.

The banks were particularly popular, accounting for the majority of its clients’ trades between 8am and 10am on Friday morning. Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and RBS were the top three buys followed closely by oil explorer Rockhopper Petroleum. Overall, the top ten buys outweighed sells by 32 per cent, while bank buys outweighed sells by 51 per cent.

Trading activity for BP increased as the company's shares fell on concerns about the oil spill, propelling the oil major to the third most-sold stock.