In electronic financial markets, algorithmic trading or automated trading, also known as algo trading, black-box trading or robo trading, is the use of computer programs for entering trading orders with the computer algorithm deciding on aspects of the order such as the timing, price, or quantity of the order, or in many cases initiating the order without human intervention.
Additional meaning of Algorithmic Trading:
Algorithmic Trading is widely used by pension funds, mutual funds, and other buy side (investor driven) institutional traders, to divide large trades into several smaller trades in order to manage market impact, and risk.Sell side traders, such as market makers and some hedge funds, provide liquidity to the market, generating and executing orders automatically. A special class of algorithmic trading is "high-frequency trading" (HFT), in which computers make elaborate decisions to initiate orders based on information that is received electronically, before human traders are capable of processing the information they observe.
Algorithmic trading may be used in any investment strategy, including market making, inter-market spreading, arbitrage, or pure speculation (including trend following). The investment decision and implementation may be augmented at any stage with algorithmic support or may operate completely automatically ("on auto-pilot").