How to read level 2 market data using an order book for trading strategies


In the U.S., investment products and services on Moomoo are offered by Moomoo Financial Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. There are four main features that traders look at to gain insight and information about stocks from level 2 trading data. Data is the key to success when it comes to making smart trades on the stock market. These data-driven decisions help you make sound decisions based on research not emotions.

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WPIL soars 10% on securing Rs 1,225 cr order from Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam.

Posted: Fri, 03 Mar 2023 08:23:00 GMT [source]

This requires injecting massive amounts of liquidity into the market at a single price to manipulate traders into buying and selling at the asset’s walled-off market price. After assets are exchanged at the desired price, orders are withdrawn, and the market is allowed to flow freely again. Regulated markets have ways of combating these malicious market actors, but it’s important to be wary of the whales in the world of cryptocurrencies. A limit order book is a real-time record of all the open orders to buy or sell a given financial instrument in a market. Limit order books also provide data on market depth, which signals a liquid asset’s supply and demand status by reporting the number of open buy or sell orders for a particular price point. An order book is actually a list of the different operations that take place in a market or exchange on a given good or asset in real time.

Description of Order Book, Level I and II Market Data

Normally, an order book comes with a table of numbers consisting of and total amounts from two sides. To better represent the relationship between buyers and sellers, most of the order books come with a visual demonstration as well. In this way, the reader can quickly achieve an overall understanding of market demand and supply. In this case, a ‘sell wall’ forms when there is a single massive sell order or plenty of smaller orders at a specific price. A sell wall can influence token price to the downside, because if there are not enough sellers to fill a large bid, the bids above that will not be filled either. As such, the price cannot decrease because the previous bid has not been filled with enough buyers, creating a ‘short-term’ resistance level.

What is order book manipulation?

'Spoofing' is a form of market manipulation in which the trader layers the order book by submitting multiple orders on one side of an exchange's order book at prices away from the touch in order to move the price but with no intention to execute.

In the picture above we can see that there is an ask placed to sell 0.001 BTC at the price of 6510 USD. This is also the current lowest ask, meaning that is lowest price the market is willing to sell for. Looking at the USD/BTC order book at Bittrex, we can see that there is an order placed to buy 0.002 BTC at the price of 6507 USD.

Related Readings

During a sell wall, the price is halted from moving up since bids would favor buying the dip. From this, it’s clear that limit orders are usually placed in cases where the trader waits for them to be executed when a buyer or seller is available to satisfy it. On the other hand, market orders are executed immediately at the current market price or the next best available price, as we saw in the example above.


Although the order book is meant to provide transparency to market participants, there are some details that aren’t included in the list. Among these are “dark pools.” These are batches of hidden orders maintained by large players who do not want their trading intentions known to others. An order book is dynamic, meaning it’s constantly updated in real-time throughout the day. Exchanges such as Nasdaq refer to it as the «continuous book.» Orders that specify execution only at market open or market close are maintained separately.

That is refreshed every 0.3 seconds and has up to 60 how to read the order books of bids and asks. Create a profile and download moomoo today to start building your portfolio with the detailed information and commission-free trading. When you trade with moomoo, real-time level 2 market data will be at your fingertips. We empower our users to make the best possible decisions for their portfolios. To place a limit order at the LCX exchange, select the limit order mode.

Who can see what is in an order book?

Order books can usually be viewed by anyone, whether they’re a user of a particular exchange, or not.

Typically, a crypto exchange will charge a higher fee if you “take” an order versus if you “make” or place a limit order for others to “take”. All these buy limit orders remain “open” and will just “sit” ADA in the order book until someone agrees to sell or “take” at the limit price. The sell side represents all open sell orders (“asks”) above the last traded price. The order book will have all the buy and sell limit orders that customers have placed on the exchange to either buy or sell bitcoin for U.S. dollars .

A cluster of large buy orders at a specific price may indicate a level of support, while an abundance of sell orders at or near one price may suggest an area of resistance. Buy walls have an effect on the price of an asset because if the large order cannot be filled, neither can buy orders at a lower bid. The price will not be able to sink any further since the orders below the wall cannot be executed until the large order is fulfilled – in turn helping the wall act as a short-term support level.

The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace. Buy orders contain buyer information including all the bids, the amount they wish to purchase.

Stock liquidity

Once the bid is matched with an appropriate sell order, the trade can be facilitated. The buy side represents all open buy orders below the last traded price. Dark pools are groups of large trades aggregated away from the order book. Each entry shows who placed the order, how many were purchased, and at what price.

  • Any illustrations, scenarios, or specific securities referenced herein are strictly for illustrative purposes.
  • Therefore, if you note that many large investors are buying a stock, it is an indication that they possibly know something that you don’t.
  • Such assets comprise stocks, commodities, market indices, bonds, currencies and interest rates.
  • This also includes the order book if you like to minimize or maximize the panel and get a better view of the data.
  • In this case, a ‘sell wall’ forms when there is a single massive sell order or plenty of smaller orders at a specific price.

Each entry shows which investor placed the order, how many they ordered, and the price they paid. Images provided are not current and any securities are shown for illustrative purposes only. We will explore what you need to know about why level 2 data matters, what it can uncover, and how you can use this data to improve your investing strategy.

When the how to read the order books only move by a small amount before they get sold again, being able to predict how they may move in the future is critical to success. When traders look closely at this information, they may better understand how the stock is currently peroforming, which can help them fine-tune their strategies to capture smaller gains. Investors using level 2 data can tell if retail or institutional traders are trading and when institutional buyers are trying to keep their actions quiet. In addition, this deeper information can help individual investors trade with the ax when the price is trending and spot trades between the bid and ask to tell when a strong trend may be about to end.


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