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Automated Trading Stop Order


side, amount, offset, limitOffset, reduceOnly, trigger, position, tag

Place a stop loss or conditional entry order. If you provide a value for limitOffset, it will place a stop limit order, or a stop market order without. Where supported, the order will be placed with 'reduce only' enabled to ensure it can only reduce your position size (not increase it).

You can also uses the alias stopMarket or stopLimit instead of stopOrder.

Take care using position for stop orders, as the size of the order is calculated at the time the order is placed, not when it is executed. For example, if you have no open positions and trigger a limit order, then immediately a stop order, the limit order will not have been filled yet when the stop order is placed, so your position is likely to still be zero. Instead, use a market order to get into position, or wait after placing the limit order (though there is still a risk it won't have been fully filled), or don't use position to set the size of your stop orders.

side required text, one of buy, sell. defaults to buy

Is this a buy or sell order.
Required if you don't use position.

amount required number, defaults to 0

The size of the order. The units depend on the symbol and exchange. Can be given as an absolute amount, percentage of your balance or percentage of your available balance.

Example Meaning (if on BitMEX XBTUSD)
amount=1000 Uses an amount of 1000 contracts
amount=50% Will calculate the amount as a percentage of your balance/equity. For example, if your balance is 1 BTC and the current price is $10,000, 50% of 1 btc is 0.5 btc. 0.5 btc is worth $5,000. At $1 per contract, the order will be for 5,000 contracts.
amount=50%% Similar to above, only will use 50% of your available balance/equity. Equity already locked up in positions and pending orders will not be considered.
amount=50%p Will work out 50% of your position size and use that as the amount. The p stands for Position Size. This calculation rounds up to the nearest order size step.
amount=50%b Same as 50% - the b stands for Balance
amount=50%a Same as 50%% - the a stands for Available Balance

Percentage amounts are supported on all exchanges. On BitMEX they are supported on most (but not all) symbols. XBTUSD is supported and all symbols against XBT (eg ETHXBT), but not on symbols backed against other currencies (eg ETHUSD, XBTJPY etc can not use % amounts and must use fixed amounts - this is because we need live price information for additional symbols to complete the calculation, which are not tracked to by default).

Required if you don't use position.

offset required number, defaults to 1%

Calculates the price as an offset from the current price, or average entry price. Positive values always go in the most logical direction... For a buy order or stop sell order, +offsets are to lower prices. For a sell or stop buy, +offsets are to higher prices. Negative offsets are permitted, but may often result in the exchange rejecting the orders - be aware of how the order book on an exchange works. For an asset quoted in USD (eg BTCUSD), offset can be given in the following ways:-

Example Meaning (assuming asset priced in USD)
offset=50 offset $50 from the current price.
offset=1% offset is calculated as a percentage of the current price. If the price is $10,000, and offset is 1%, then 1% of 10,000 is 100. An offset of $100 will be used.
offset=e50 With an open position, offset will be $50 relative to the average entry price. With no open position, offset will be relative to current price
offset=e1% With an open position, offset will be 1% relative to the average entry price. With no open position, offset will be relative to current price
offset=@950 The @ at the start of the value indicates this should be treated as an absolute price of $950, regardless of what the current price is.
limitOffset optional number,

Place a stop limit order if this value is included, else place a stop market order.

When the stop order triggers it will place a limit order. This is the offset to the limit order price.

This value is calculated at the same time as offset is. Offsets relative to the current price and average entry will be evaluated at the time the stop order is created, and not when it is triggered. So setting offset and limitOffset to the same value will always create a limit order at the trigger price.

The available options for expressing this value (price, percentage offset, average entry offset and absolute price) are the same as for offset.

reduceOnly optional boolean, one of true, false. defaults to true

Attempt to submit the order as a reduce-only order. This is ignored in any spot markets / exchanges, as there is no concept of an open position there.

trigger optional string, one of index, mark, last. defaults to mark

Determine which price to trigger the stop order on, if supported. index represents the underlying index price, mark is the mark price and last is the last traded price. See exchange documentation for more details on how these values are derived.

position optional number,

An alternative way to calculate the side and amount for the order.

The amount traded will be the difference between your current open position and the target position size. For example, if your current position is 100 contracts long, and you request a target position of 300, then an order will be placed to buy 200 contracts (the difference between your current position and target position). In fact, regardless of your current position (long, short, nothing), the order will be whatever size it needs to be to ensure you finish with an open position of the target size. Some more examples...

Example What happens, if you current position is 500 contracts
position=1000 Buy 500 contracts, resulting in a position size of 1000
position=200 Sell 300 contracts, leaving you with 200.
position=0 Sell 500 contracts. This will effectively close your position, regardless of it's current size.
position=-500 Sell 1000 contracts, taking you from 500 contracts long to 500 contracts short.
position=50% Target position size will be 50% of your current balance size
position=50%% Target position size will be 50% of your available balance size
position=50%p Target position size will be 50% of your current position size
position=50%b Same as 50% - the b stands for Balance
position=50%a Same as 50%% - the a stands for Available Balance

On spot exchanges, like Bitfinex, the target amount represents the amount of the asset you'd like to end up with. For example, on the BTCUSD pair, position would represent the amount of BTC you'd like to own after the order completes.

Required if you don't use side and amount.

tag optional string, defaults to varies by order type

Applies a tag to an order that can later be used to cancel this order, even from a different session. Many orders can be given the same tag, making it possible to cancel them all as a group at a later date. These tags can be referenced by the cancel() command to cancel specific named orders. See cancel() with which=taggedfor more details.

Example: Buy 1000 contracts and set a stop loss 1% lower

myApiKeys(XBTUSD) {
    market(side=buy, amount=1000);
    stopOrder(side=sell, amount=1000, offset=1%, trigger=last);

Buys 1000 contracts of XBTUSD at the current best price, then places a stop market order to close the position if the price drops 1%.

Example: Close a position using a stop limit order

myApiKeys(XBTUSD) {
    market(side=buy, amount=1000);
    stopOrder(side=sell, amount=1000, offset=50, limitOffset=55, reduceOnly=true, trigger=last);

Buys 1000 contracts of XBTUSD at the current best price, then places a stop limit order to close the position if the price drops $50. It will attempt to place a limit order $55 down ($5 below the stop trigger level).

Example: Enter a long position on the price breaking out upwards

myApiKeys(XBTUSD) {
    stopOrder(side=buy, amount=1000, offset=@10100, reduceOnly=false, trigger=last);

Places a stop order that will market buy 1000 contracts, if the price reaches 10100. This is assuming the current price is below 10100 and we're waiting for the price to break out to the upside above 10K. reduceOnly=false is key to allowing this stop to open a new position here.

Some images from Unsplash

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