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Royal Dutch Shell ADR from IB through the API


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I think this could be a bug, but possibly I'm doing something incredibly stupid.

I'm trying to retrieve L1 prices for the Royal Dutch Shell ADR from Interactive Brokers through the API. The IB ticker is "RDS A" with a space in it.

I've played around with it a bit and it's also a little inconsistent in the main user interface:

  • If I edit a portfolio using the pop-out dialog from the Portfolio toolbar, I can enter the ticker RDS A as normal, with the space in, and everything works perfectly.
  • If I try to add the security using the "Add Symbols" button, instead of adding RDS A as a single ticker, it adds two tickers - RDS and A. RDS doesn't work because it's not a valid ticker. A is Agilent Technologies.
  • If I try to view the security in a chart by typing the ticker directly into the chart, it truncates RDS A to just RDS and shows nothing.
  • If instead I type the ticker into the chart with double inverted commas around it - so literally "RDS A" - then it works.
  • When using the API, if I subscribe using either RDS A or "RDS A" wrapped in quotes, it looks fine in the original request, but then strips out the space character in the responses:

05/11/21 16:27:28.177: Sending: {"cmd":"subscribe","streamerID":"IB","sub":"L1","transient":true,"changes":true,"sym":"RDS A"}

05/11/21 16:27:28.202: ue_mvt_data::{
  "cmd": "subscribe",
  "success": "OK",
  "resultcode": 200,
  "result": {
    "sub": "L1",
    "subbed": [

Is there a workaround? Or am I indeed doing something incredibly stupid?

Many thanks,


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