‘Arbitrage’ is the term given to purchasing an asset in one market for a certain price and immediately selling it for a higher price in another market. This method relies on market inefficiencies; the trade is profiting through the exploitation of price differences on the same or very similar financial instruments across markets.
Arbitrage Trading Programs (ATP) use algorithms to identify price anomalies across different markets. Given how advanced technology has become, price anomalies don’t stay for long – they are picked up by traders with systems scanning for the same thing and then rectified. Therefore, ATP systems are the only way that these price differences can be taken advantage of – it is not something a human could do fast enough.
This strategy may seem fairly straightforward, but it should be noted that price differences in forex are usually minute. Therefore, traders using ATPs need to trade large positions to make a substantial profit.