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Australian Forex Brokers with Fixed Spreads
The following article will take a look at the advantages and disadvantages associated with fixed spreads. It will also detail the best brokers to rely on and some of the features that you should look for in such agencies. So, without further ado, here is what you need to know.
How Fixed Spreads Can Benefit You
Let’s first take a look at why fixed spreads are something you should consider when you register with a particular broker.
Now, as you are aware, the spread is the difference between the Asking and Bid price during a trade. The spread can be affected by a number of different factors including global events and information releases.
Such elements can result in volatility, which means that the price can jump rather quickly.
When such situations take place, you will often find that the spreads can widen rather significantly. Therefore, you may end up paying a bit more than you typically would.
As you can imagine, this ends up cutting into the profits you make, decreasing the overall amount. Fixed spreads, however, seek to minimize such losses.
As you can tell from the term, fixed spreads don’t change, regardless of the market situation.
This can come in useful for different kinds of traders. For instance, if you are new to trading, fixed spreads create a more stable trading environment for you. Such spreads are also helpful to traders involved in day trading or trading around major events.
Top Australian Brokers with the Lowest Fixed Spreads
Now that you have a better understanding of fixed spreads, it is time for the next step. Below, you will find the local brokers that will offer the best fixed spreads:
easyMarkets only offers fixed spreads. Here, though, the spreads do differ according to the account type, as well as the currency that you wish to trade with. As a result, you may find that the spreads range from around 1.8 pips to 4 pips. For the most part, the more VIP accounts tend to offer the lowest fixed spreads for traders. There are quite a few advantages to be appreciated with this particular broker. Not only is their customer service top-notch but their trading platforms are highly rated as well. All in all, it is a rather well-rounded broker and one that is ASIC regulated to boot.
AvaTrade is one of the better-known brokers and offers up fixed spreads as well. On average, the fixed spread for a currency pair is around 1.9 pips. Although this may not be the cheapest, there are several advantages working in AvaTrade’s favour.
To start with, this is an ASIC regulated broker, which makes it a more reliable option. There are also a number of different trading platforms to select from, including the very popular MetaTrader 4. The broker provides traders with enough resources to help with trading decisions as well.
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eToro does provide traders with fixed spreads but they tend to be slightly higher than most other brokers. So, you may discover that these fixed spreads can be as high as 3 pips in some instances.
Despite this, quite a number of traders rely on this well-regarded broker.
This is largely to do with the fact that the interface and platforms are user-friendly and suitable for most types of traders.
To add to this, it also boasts some rather impressive social trading tools.
eToro is also one of our top rated bitcoin brokers and CFD brokers in Australia.
Are Fixed Spreads Always Profitable?
The above points reveal that fixed spreads help to create a more normal trading situation, particularly for novice traders. At the same time, though, there is one downside associated with this type of spread.
This, of course, is the fact that under normal conditions, there may not be as many advantages to reap with fixed spreads.
Under regular trading situations, there is always the chance that market liquidity will be rather low. During these instances, traders that have opted for floating spreads will be able to enjoy much lower spreads than usual.
Nonetheless, if you have opted for fixed spreads, you will end up paying a fixed amount that may be higher than the spread currently being quoted in the market.
Tips for Selecting Australian Brokers with Fixed Spreads
While the brokers mentioned above are highly rated, you will discover that they are not the only options around. With such a selection to choose from, you may be wondering how to determine which brokers are your best options. Well, the following tips will come in handy when searching for such brokers:
- ASIC Regulated Brokers are Key: as you are aware, not all forex brokers are regulated by ASIC .Now, this doesn’t automatically mean that non-authorised brokers are fraudulent. Nevertheless, sticking with regulated brokers is often advised. For one thing, they are less likely to be engaged in scams. For another, should there be any fraudulent activity, you will have peace of mind knowing that there are proper security measures in place.
- Double Check Fixed Spreads: it is important to double check that a forex broker does, in fact, provide fixed spreads. What’s more, you should be aware of all the variations in fixed spreads in regards to account types and currency pairs.
- Understand Terms and Conditions: in many instances, there are terms and conditions associated with fixed spreads. For example, in some cases, you may find that the broker has the right to alter the fixed spreads temporarily. Therefore, it is important to be aware of when this can take place.
- Fixed Spreads aren’t the Only Factors: last but certainly not least, fixed spreads aren’t the most important element of a broker. Make sure that they are legitimate, easy to use, and offer suitable currency pairs before registering with them.
These are the top things you need to understand regarding Australian forex brokers who provide you with fixed spreads. As long as you keep these details in mind, you will be able to utilise the advantages associated with this type of spread.
Best Forex Brokers In Australia Of April 2020
To help choose a broker the Aussie team at CompareForexBrokers.com for the fifth year running compared 39 ASIC regulated Australian forex brokers. The 2020 top-rated forex broker categories include the best trading experience, best beginner account and lowest fee trading account.
View the forex broker Australia comparison below.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Wednesday, April 01st, 2020
Top 8 Australia Forex Brokers
Based on Aussie trader core requirements here are the best ASIC regulated forex brokers.
- Pepperstone – Best Forex Broker In Australia
- IC Markets – Lowest EUR/USD Currency Spreads
- Plus500 – Top Forex Platform For Beginners
- AxiTrader – $0 Minimum Deposit FX Account
- eToro – Best Aussie Social Trading Platform
- CMC Markets – Top CFD Broker + Stockbroker
- IG Group – Largest foreign exchange broker
- City Index – Low cost cryptocurrency trading
Regulations and Licenses
Markets and Instruments
Trading Platforms + Tools
Pepperstone Is The Best Forex Broker In Australia
The Pepperstone Razor Account offered the best trading experience for Aussie traders with the:
Lowest spreads on some currency pairs
- 6 types of pending orders (MT4 has 4 types)
- Depth-of-Market (MOM) and economic calendar included
- Fast multiple back-testing facilities
- Detachable next-generation charting with level II pricing
- Fast execution entry speeds to make quick trades online
- Automated options through the cTrader dedicated platform
- Overall Client Satisfaction
- Customer Service
- Execution Speeds
The other main trading fee is the commission which is based on a side-turn of a lot (100k traded). The rate Pepperstone charge is $3.50 AUD per charge when the trader chooses the Aussie dollar as their base currency. The Pepperstone commission rate is one of the lowest of the major Australian fx brokers.
|Commission Per Side||Pepperstone||FP Markets||IC Markets||AxiTrader||Admiral Markets||FXTM||IG|
|AUD Base Currency||$3.50 AUD||$3.50 AUD||$3.50 USD||$3.50 USD||$4.00 USD||$4.00 USD||$6.00 USD|
To further assist traders, Pepperstone utilises Price Improvement Technology (PPI). This intelligently routes currency trading orders to detect liquidity hot-spots to ensure optimal pricing for Australian traders. In simple terms, when you place a trade and the market moves in your favour (between placing the trade and it’s execution) the PPI technology detects the movement and when possible, fills the order at the improved level. This does not involve re-quoting but rather the traders just receives the improved price.
Pepperstone combines smart technology with low spreads + commissions.
Pepperstone also offers a standard account for beginner traders with no commissions. View our Standard vs Razor account comparison if you’re unsure which one to choose. Both accounts also offer the option for trading across 13 stock indices. There are no commissions on CFD trading and no dealing desk.
Pepperstone Execution Speed Comparison
2) MetaTrader 5
The MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform is similar to MT4 but focuses more on CFD trading. For example, Pepperstone clients can trade Share CFDs with MT5 but not with MT4. It was built off MQL5 language with the main MT5 features including:
Primarily used by expert Australian forex traders, this forex platform is commonly used by day-traders. Expert strategies that utilise automation are executed for financial services with other features:
Most fx brokers in Australia don’t offer the choice of all three forex platforms. Below shows the main forex brokers in Australia and which of the three mainstream platforms they offer traders.
|Pepperstone||Admiral Markets||AETOS||AVATrade||AxiTrader||BMFN||City Index||CMC Markets||Core Liquidity Markets||Direct FX||easyMarkets||EightCap||Forex.com||Forex FS||FP Markets||Fusion Markets||FXCM||FXGiants||FXOpen||Global Prime||GO Markets||Hantec Markets Australia||IC Markets||IG||Invast||JB Alpha||KVB Kunlun||OANDA||PhillipCapital||Plus500||Royal Financial Trading||Rubix FX||Saxo Bank||Synergy FX||ThinkMarkets||USGFX||Vantage FX||XM|
All forex platforms offered by Pepperstone have a demo account. Each demo account is loaded with $50,000 of virtual funds to simulate forex markets. This demo account can be transitioned to a live account at any time. To learn more about these accounts view our demo page. Pepperstone also offers smart trader tools on the MetaTrader 4 platform when a deposit of at least AUD $500 is made. The 10 smart trading applications give MT4 traders the edge, helping trade smarter with detailed insights into currency and CFD markets. These tools assist forex trading with expert trade execution and management, advanced alarms, decision assistance as well as broadcast features providing market information to traders.
Overall, Pepperstone Offers The Best Forex Platform Features
The combination of offering the two most popular forex trading platforms combined with the enhanced functionality of “smart trading tools” led to Pepperstone winning the category.
Cryptocurrency Trading With Pepperstone
Pepperstone’s forex platform allows CFD cryptocurrency trading with up to 5:1 leverage, fast execution speeds, no commissions and low spreads including the following:
The most popular cryptocurrency in 2020, this blockchain technology allows diversification from traditional financial markets. The market capitalisation in 2020 is over $65 billion USD and has become one of the most traded elements on the markets.
Now the third most valuable cryptocurrency (Ripple is 2nd at the start of 2020), this serves more industries and purposes giving it a competitive edge. Key uses of Ethereum include blockchain application platforms through to smart contracts.
“Digital Cash” (shortened to Dash) focuses on enhancing anonymity and processing speeds of cryptocurrency. Dash is used worldwide as an efficient payment system. This popular use has led to increased liquidity and volatility within the asset class.
Discover more on the official Dash website.
This was launched after Bitcoin in 2020. The aim was to speed up transactions with the use of a simpler algorithm. The result has led to its increase in popularity and market capitalisation. This has made it a great alternative to Bitcoin to trade. More can be found on their P2P site.
By offering 5:1 leverage on mainstream cryptocurrencies, Pepperstone enhances the potential profits or losses of this volatile sector.
Customer Service & Client Satisfaction Of Pepperstone
Pepperstone is a relatively new Australian forex broker compared to some global players but in Australia has quickly gained a dominant market share. They have a strong customer service team in Australia of individuals who actually trade themselves making them an excellent choice of intermediate to expert traders.
This was acknowledged in when Investment trends survey of 15,000 Australian forex traders ranked Pepperstone number 1 in:
Pepperstone’s Australia customer support team is based out of Melbourne. There can be the possibility of talking to an overseas customer support team during off-peak periods such as Friday night.
The main forms of customer support including:
1) Live Chat
Pepperstone uses the Zendesk live chat interface to communicate with customers. This is available during the same hours as the call centre team. Our team used Pepperstone’s live chat several times and found that we could engage with an agent within 5 minutes and the operator was helpful with in-depth knowledge. Overall, live chat was the fastest was to get the answer and assistance we needed when making this forex broker review.
There is 24-hour support via a 1300 number (or an international number for traders outside of Australia). This is available from Monday through to Friday. There is also a telephone number for their Shanghai and Dallas office.
Each Pepperstone call-centre location also has an e-mail contact. This is the slowest way to send enquiries and get a response but it’s useful for long enquiries that require attachments.
Pepperstone has won the most awards in Australia for customer service.
Summary Of Why Pepperstone Is The Best Australian FX Broker
Pepperstone Group Limited is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission with the AFSL number 414530 while in the UK they trade as Pepperstone Limited with FCA 684312. Pepperstone also offers the maximum Australian forex broker leverage of 500:1. The high risk this leverage level is not suitable to all traders and losses can exceed deposits made. It’s best to understand the risks associated with high leverage before trading forex. Pepperstone Group Limited is the ASIC regulated body for Australian forex traders with AFSL 414530.
Pepperstone won most of the categories from customer service, forex platforms, execution speeds to high leverage.
With low spreads and commissions intermediate to expert traders should consider the broker.
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
EUR/USD Lowest Spreads = IC Markets
CFD Brokers have three main trading costs:
- Funding/Withdrawal Fees
The benchmark spread rate is the Euro / US Dollar (EUR/USD) currency pair. The top forex brokers publish their average spread rate for EUR/USD and IC Markets has the lowest rate of any Australian forex broker.
- IC Markets = 0.1 pips
- Pepperstone = 0.16 pips
- IG = 0.36 pips
- AxiTrader = 0.44 pips
- ThinkMarkets = 0.50 pips
- Plus500 = 0.60 pips
- City Index = 0.70 pips
- CMC Markets = 0.81 pips
The spreads above are applicable for the most popular Raw Spread account (formally known as the true ECN account) for MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. IC Markets archives these low spreads by not been a market maker and having STP with large liquidity pools. While the account isn’t called the true ECN account, the spreads are set by the market which is why over 10 currency pairs minimum spread is 0.0 pips including the EUR/USD, GBP/USD and AUD/USD.
As shown above, the commission of IC Markets main raw account is $3.50 per lot, per side. If the base currency is set for the Australian dollar then the commission is AUD $3.50 while US dollar base currency customers pay a higher commission rate of USD $3.50. Other key commission rates are for GBP base currency customers GBP 2.50, Euro base currency customers at EUR 2.75 and Singapore Dollar base currency SGD 4.50.
The third main trading fee component is deposit and withdrawal fees. IC Markets have a $200 minimum deposit fee and from this amount to large transactions, there are no additional fees. This applies for both withdrawals and deposits.
The reason that IC Markets don’t state there are no fees is that a number of financial institutions (eg banks) charge their own fees and NAB who IC Markets utilise charge $20 for International Wire Transfers. Overall though, IC Markets doesn’t directly charge deposit or withdrawal fees further making them one of the lowest fee brokers.
Summary Of Why IC Markets Have The Lowest Spreads
IC Markets is the lowest spread ASIC regulated MT4, MT5 and cTrader with AFSL number 335692. Only those looking for Iress platform should consider a different broker (FP Markets).
With ECN spreads matched with low commissions and no deposit/withdrawl costs, IC has the lowest trading fees.
IC Markets is recommended for those looking for a low fee retail investor accounts with a low minimum deposit requirement of $200.
Best Beginner Forex Platform = Plus500
The Australian Investment Trends CFD report awarded Plus500 the best platform with:
- An easy to use desktop and webtrader interface
- Advanced mobile CFD platform
- Risk management features for different trading conditions
Why The Plus500 Forex Platform Is Ideal For Beginner Forex Traders
Trading CFDs from Bitcoin, forex to commodities can all be done on the one trading platform with Plus500. There is a downloadable Windows 10 Trader or a WebTrader for shared devices. As shown below there are also apps for Windows Phones, Android, iPhone and iPad devices. This makes the trading experience relatively similar regardless of the device a trader uses.
The Plus500 Mobile Platform
Investment Trends runs a client survey of CFD traders annually and found that Plus500 had the best mobile platform. This was based on the ease of use, functionality and range of contract for difference tradable. Learn more on our Australian platform page.
Risk Management Features Offered By Plus500
Trading CFDs involves a high level of risk due to leverage which in Australia is up to 300:1 (Plus500AU Pty Ltd). Other regions such as Cyprus (CYSEC) and the UK (FCA) have lower leverage. For beginner forex traders to manage higher leverage, Plus500 has three key risk management features including:
- Limit and Stop Loss (closes a position once a profit or loss limit is set) – No charges
- Guaranteed Stops (guarantees a position will not lose more than a defined amount) – Extra spreads applied
- Trailing Stops (closes a position when a trade moves in the wrong direction by a set number of pips) – No charges
It should be noted that another risk management feature is negative balance protection only offered by a handful of brokers like easyMarkets. This ensures a Plus500 online trader never loses more than their deposit no matter what the trading conditions. For a beginner forex trader, this is an excellent feature to have.
Conclusion Of Why Plus500 Is Ideal For Beginner Forex Traders
Plus500 provides a trading experience ideal for beginners with an easy to use trading platform, a large range of tradable CFDs (such as Bitcoin) and risk management features. Plus500AU PTY LTD is the ASIC regulation subsidiary for Australian forex traders holding the AFSL number 417727. They are regulated in several other locations such as South Africa (FSCA), NZ and the UK with an FCA licence (formally FSA).
Lowest Minimum Deposit = AxiTrader
AxiTrader is the only Australian broker that has a $0 minimum deposit on both their standard a pro account types (often referred to as the ECN broker account). There are also no setup costs as shown below when opening either MetaTrader 4 account.
The deposit methods for funds are shown below and their availability for forex traders in Australia vs overseas. It should be noted that some credit card providers may view payment to AxiTrader as a cash advance. This may lead the provider to charge additional fees so it’s worth calling them to confirm if this will be the case.
|Deposit Method||Australian Traders||Overseas Traders|
|Electronic Funds Trander (EFT)||No Fees||N/A|
|Bpay (Australian Dollars)||No Fees||N/A|
|Telegraphic Transfer||Not Available||$0 Fees|
|Debit Card||$0 Fees||$0 Fees|
|Credit Card||$0 Fees||$0 Fees|
|Neteller||$0 Fees||$0 Fees|
|Skrill||Not Available||$0 Fees|
|Global Collect||$0 Fees||$0 Fees|
|China Union Pay||Not Available||$0 Fees|
Other AxiTrader Features
The AxiTrader overall trading fees are one of the lowest of the forex brokers. This includes their EUR/USD spreads which our analysis showed were the 4th lowest. Their commission is $3.50 USD per side ($7.00 per round trip). Only Pepperstone had a lower commission rate of $3.50 AUD when a trader chooses the Australian Dollar as their base currency. AxiTrader is the ASIC regulation holding the AFSL number 318232.
Summary Of AxiTrader’s Trading Conditions
AxiTrader is ideal for those looking for low trading fees and lower exposure with the option of a small deposit. With a $0 initial deposit requirement, no opening fees, deposit or withdrawal fees, they provide the most flexible trading conditions for an Australian trader.
Best Social Trading Broker = eToro
eToro offer specialist services suitable for some individuals looking for:
- Social Trading
- Copy Trading
- CFD Trading
eToro has a unique platform that has inbuilt social trading functionality. With over 300 million trades done on eToro up to 2020, there is a large community that interacts on their social network. This allows traders to discuss strategies, ideas and decisions on their social feed. The social trading functionality exists on the desktop and mobile platform.
A social trading opportunity eToro offers are copy trading. This allows an individual to select a trader based on past behaviour (such as returns and risks). The individual will then make the same trades (copy trades) making the same profit or loss percentage. The reason by eToro has the most popular copy trading facility is that traders are rewarded when others follow them.
eToro offers a range of CFDs from crypto, EFTs, Indices, Stocks, Currencies to Commodities. These are all tradable on the one platform with a range of leverage. An example is 17 cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin, Ethereum to Ripple.
If social trading is important to you or you want to copy a past trader then eToro is the recommended Australian broker for you. Note that eToro has some unique fees including withdrawal fees to consider before joining the broker.
Best Stockbroker + CFDs = CMC Markets
CMC is an all-in-one broker offering:
- Share trading (stockbroker services)
- CFDs including 330 currency pairs
Some traders will only choose from a range of forex brokers that also offer share trading. Having such a broker with a range of markets means they don’t require multiple accounts to trade different products. Two of the larger brokers in Australia are CMC Markets and IG and it’s no surprise that these offer currency and stockbroking services. CMC Markets as shown below offers active investor trading from just $9.90. This is significantly lower than popular stockbroking firms such as CommSec.
When choosing a platform, it is a good idea to select a CMC Markets platform that allows share trading. This is because not all platforms allow both CFD and stockbroker services. IG Markets offer L2 Dealer which allows both stockbrokers, forex and CFD trading options. View more on currency brokers that offer these services.
Most Popular Foreign Exchange Broker = IG
The most popular forex brokerage trading firm in Australia based on the range of markets, accessibility, popularity and ease of use is IG Markets. Research company Investment Trends awarded IG Markets as the number one online FX provider by primary relationships in the:
- 2020 FX Report
- and 2020 CFD Report
IG is an industry leader when it comes to providing top graded services to retail traders. The level of professionalism offered by IG is confirmed by a large number of clients who opt to speculate on the forex exchange rates via a wide range of forex platforms, including:
- Proprietary web-based fx platform
- Mobile Apps and tablets
- MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
- Advanced platforms or Specialist platforms (ProRealTime, L2 Dealer)
Over 178,000 retail traders from around the world enjoy trading on over 80 forex currency pairs and an additional 16,000 other markets (shares, indices, commodities, cryptocurrencies, etc.).
IG offers Variable Spread Model
On the most popular currency pairs, the AUD/USD and EUR/USD the minimum spread is 0.6 pips. However, since IG offers a variable spread model, the real spread widens being affected by:
- Time of the day
- During news and economic reports
The hallmark of the variable spread model is that you can have commission-free trading. To have a better view of the total trading costs, we’re going to expose the average spreads as calculated for the 12 weeks ending 31st May 2020. For example, the average AUD/USD spread is 0.76 pips respectively 0.70 pips EUR/USD average spread. For a complete spread review, please study the table below.
Direct Market Access
For sophisticated investors, IG offers Direct Market Access (DMA) without dealing desk intervention. Traders must be aware that having access to IG Forex Direct comes with higher costs. The commission charged by IG is progressively applied via a volume-based scheme. For low volume traders, the commissions are quite high and in the long-term can eat from your profits. Below you can view the complete commission-based scheme charged by IG Markets.
For example, if you generate less than $100 million in volume per month, IG Markets will charge you $60 per $1 million traded. Compared to Pepperstone and IC Markets, IG comes lower in our star scoring system. On the plus side, the average spreads offered by IG are kept lower via Forex direct. The spreads from the table below are derived directly from the biggest banks in the world.
Summary of Why IG is the Most Popular Forex Broker
IG Markets is the world’s oldest foreign exchange broker and has been favoured by many Australian traders due to its rich history in serving retail clients of all backgrounds. When choosing a forex broker, it’s best to opt for a regulated FX provider. IG Market’s is well-regulated by worldwide financial watchdogs from Australia, UK and USA.
Lowest Cost Cryptocurrency CFD Broker = City Index
Australian traders have the option to trade cryptocurrencies with City Index. A live trading account at Citi Index will give you access to 8 different cryptocurrency pairs with the lowest trading fees. The following CFD cryptocurrency trading instruments can be traded on the WebTrader and the advanced platform AT Pro:
- Bitcoin (can be traded against USD, AUD, EUR and GBP)
- Bitcoin Cash
Aussies can speculate on the Bitcoin price movement via CFD trading without owning the underlying digital coin. Additionally, Bitcoin fanatics aren’t required to go through the tedious KYC process to open an exchange account or owning a Bitcoin wallet. The City Index leverage for Bitcoin trading is also very attractive. The maximum amount of leverage offered for cryptocurrency trading is 400:1 (by default is set to 200:1, but upon request, it can be increased).
Below you can view a close comparison between trading cryptocurrencies and owning cryptocurrencies.
Note: Cryptocurrency shorting is only available for Bitcoin and Ethereum.
CFD Trading Fees on Cryptocurrency
City Index offers some of the lowest cryptocurrency trading fees starting with spreads from:
- $35 on Bitcoin
- AUD 55 for BTCAUD
The market-leading pricing offered by City Index is derived from multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. The robust pricing model used by City Index produces a volume-weighted average price, which is why the Bitcoin spreads are among the lowest in the industry.
When placed side-by-side with other Australian-based brokers, only CMC Markets has competitive spreads on cryptocurrency that start from $37, while IG Markets offers a $40 Bitcoin spread. The total financing cost for trading Bitcoin is $39.32 for buying Bitcoin respectively $33.56 for selling Bitcoin. For a complete review and a full comparison of the total costs on cryptocurrency trading, please study the chart below.
Forex Trading Guides
Find the leading Aussie ECN broker based on spreads and speeds.
Best CFD Brokers
Compare brokers offering CFD trading across a range of instruments and markets.
Top Fx Platforms
View the top platforms for CFD and currency trading.
Frequently Asked Australian FX Trading Questions
What Are The Best Forex Trading Platforms?
The two best forex platforms for Australian traders are made by MetaQuotes:
- MetaTrader 4 is the most popular for currency trader and the best broker is Pepperstone
- MetaTrader 5 is the most popular for CFD trading (eg Shares) and the best broker is IC Markets
How do Forex Brokers make their money?
A forex broker main source of income is charging a spread or commission or a trade. While a buy and sell order will have a natural spread, forex brokers make money by widening this spread. ECN forex brokers avoid this income stream and rather charge a flat commission based on the trade volume.
How does the forex market work?
With over $5 USD trillion traded daily, the forex market is larger than any other financial market. There is no central trading location when currency trading with forex brokers both as market makers or through ECNs (electronic communication networks) buying and selling currency globally.
What foreign currency is the most traded?
The chart below shows what foreign currency pairings are the most traded as shown from the Bank of International Statements.
The ‘top 10’ foreign currencies traded (totalling 100%) are:
- 44% = United States Dollar
- 16% = Euro
- 11% = Japanese Yen
- 6% = British Pound
- 4% = Australian Dollar
- 3% = Swiss Franc
- 2% = Chinese Yuan
- 1% = Mexican Peso
- 1% = Swedish Krona
- 1% = New Zealand Dollar
The Chinese Yuan is the fastest-growing currency and is moving up the foreign currency table fast. You can read more about market growth of fx trading with our article.
About Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) Brokers
To help start trading with the right CFD broker we have collated brokers that only have Australian Securities And Investments Commission regulation (ASIC regulated). This means they hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) for the financial instruments offered. Australian traders should only consider these regulated brokers to avoid scams that are normally associated with unregulated brokers. Below shows our forex brokers Australia regulated list updated in 2020.
|Australian Forex broker||Office Location||Max leverage||Forex Platform(s)||Regulation|
|Admiral Markets||Sydney||500:1||MT4, MT5||AFSL 410681|
|AETOS||North Sydney||200:1||MT4, Multi-Account Management||AFSL 313016|
|AVATrade||Sydney||400:1||MT4, AvaTradeAct,||AFSL 406684|
|AxiTrader||North Sydney||400:1||MT4||AFSL 318232|
|BMFN||Sydney||200:1||MT4, LMAX||AFSL 379035|
|City Index||Sydney||200:1||MT4, AT Pro||AFSL 345646|
|CMC Markets||Sydney||500:1||CMC Next Generation||AFSL No. 238054|
|Core Liquidity Markets||Sydney||400:1||MT4, Multi-Account Trader||AFSL 305539|
|Direct FX||Sydney||400:1||MT4, Multi0Account Manager , CQG FX||AFSL 305539|
|easyMarkets||Sydney||400:1||MT4, easyMarkets||AFSL 246566|
|Forex.com||Sydney||200:1||MT4, FOREX Trader PRO||AFSL 345646|
|Forex FS||Sydney||500:1||MT4, JForex,||AFSL 323193|
|FP Markets||Sydney||500:1||MT4, IRESS Suite||AFSL 286354|
|Fusion Markets||Melbourne||500:1||MT4||AFSL 226199|
|FXCM||Sydney||400:1||MT4, NinjaTrader, Trading Station||AFSL 309763|
|FXGiants||Sydney||200:1||MT4, Personal Multi-Account Manager||AFSL 417482|
|Global Prime||Sydney||200:1||MT4, FIX API, MAM/PAMM||AFSL 385620|
|GO Markets||Melbourne||300:1||MT4||AFSL 254963|
|Hantec Markets Australia||Sydney||200:1||MT4, Interbank Direct||AFSL 326907|
|IC Markets||Sydney||500:1||MT4, MT5, cTrader||AFSL 335692|
|IG||Melbourne||200:1||MT4, L2 Dealer, ProRealTime||AFSL 220440|
|Invast||Sydney||100:1||MT4, IRESSTrader, MaxxTrader||AFSL 438283|
|JB Alpha||Melbourne||100:1||MT4||AFSL 327075|
|KVB Kunlun||Melbourne||200:1||Forex Star||AFSL 226602|
|OANDA||Sydney||100:1||OANDA, MT4||AFSL 412981|
|Pepperstone||Melbourne||500:1||MT4, MT5, cTrader||AFSL 414530|
|PhillipCapital||Melbourne||100:1||MT4, Phillip CFD Trader||AFSL 246827|
|Plus500||Sydney||300:1||CFD Trading Platform Only||AFSL 417727|
|Royal Financial Trading||Sydney||400:1||MT4||AFSL 420268|
|Rubix FX||Melbourne||400:1||MT4, Rubix Prime||AFSL 337985|
|Saxo Bank||Sydney||50:1||Saxo Trader||AFSL 280372|
|Synergy FX||Melbourne||500:1||MT4, Social Trader||AFSL 403863|
|ThinkMarkets||Melbourne||400:1||MT4, Trade Interceptor||AFSL 424700|
|USGFX||Sydney||500:1||MT4, ZuluTrade||AFSL 302792|
|Vantage FX||Sydney||500:1||MT4, MT5, MarketTrader||AFSL 428901|
|XM||Sydney||500:1||MT4, MT5||AFSL 443670.|
While the ASIC regulated forex broker table above only have Australian regulated foreign exchange brokers, several other tables look at online brokers based on key requirements ranging from ‘low fees’ to ‘high leverage’. We also focused on other CFD providers such as FP Markets, GO Markets, FXCM, Fusion Markes, AvaTrade and IG Markets for those looking for more than just currency trading. Most of these forex trading platforms are nationally regulated as the authors rated higher brokers that offered Australians the higher level of security. If you’re located in a location such as the USA, these brokers may not be able to cater for you and other regulators brokers such as NFA are more suitable.
Forex Brokers Data Accuracy
This Australian foreign exchange broker comparison was based on individual brokers websites. Without the use of feeds or automation, the authors were able to give a more informed decision but it can lead to inaccuracies occurring. This is mainly due to foreign exchange brokers changing information (such as their average spreads) without notice. Please inform the authors if you see an inaccuracy. To ensure forex traders make the right decision we traders to broker websites to join so they can make a final check. At this point, the trader should verify the information found on this site to ensure the broker meets their requirements.
Published by Justin Grossbard
Wednesday, April 01st, 2020
Best Forex Brokers of April 2020
For the fifth year running CompareForexBrokers.com exclusively compared the 30 best forex brokers with tier 1 regulation from ASIC, MAS to the FCA. To help traders choose a broker the top forex trading accounts were compared based on their 2020 average spreads (ECN, Standard, Fixed), forex trading platforms, execution speeds, customer service and foreign exchange range offered.
View the top forex brokers based on our independent analysis.
By Justin Grossbard / Updated: Tuesday, April 07th, 2020
Top 8 Forex Brokers
Below are the best forex brokers in 2020 across the eight CFD trading category.
- Pepperstone – Best Forex Trading Experience
- IC Markets – Lowest EUR/USD Spreads And Fees
- City Index (Forex.com) – Best Cryptocurrency Broker
- Plus500 – Best Trading Account For Beginners
- eToro – Good Copy And Social Trading Platform
- FXCM – Low Deposit + Best Trading Demo Account
- IG Group – Largest Foreign Exchange Retail Broker
- Interactive Brokers– Professional ECN Broker Account
Regulations and Licenses
Markets and Instruments
Trading Platforms + Tools
Pepperstone Offers The Best Forex Trading Experience
Pepperstone was strong across the two key trading criteria:
Low Trading Fees
- Lowest spreads on 44% of currency pairs
- Low commissions from $3.50
Trade Execution Speeds
- 1st for market order execution speed
- 2nd for limit order execution speed
Pepperstone Spread Comparison
Spreads are a major brokerage trading cost impacting trading. While most brokers mark-up their spreads, Pepperstone offers ECN broker style trading through their razor account. There are several other ECN forex brokers that publish their average spreads. A comparison of these brokers in April 2020 showed Pepperstone to have the lowest spreads on 4 of 9 forex pairs including the AUD/USD forex pair.
Commissions are the second major brokerage trading costs. Based on the most popular forex trading platform (MetaTrader 4) the Pepperstone razor account was found to have one of the lowest rates. This commission rate varies by the currency based a trader selects when opening a Razor account. Based on current exchange rates the Australia base currency of $3.50 per lot is the lowest commission rate.
Pepperstone also offers commission rebates for high volume traders starting at 10%. The broker has no fees on deposits of withdrawals as well. This includes payment methods from debit cards, bank transfers to even Paypal.
Low commissions, spreads and no funding fees minimises brokerage.
Pepperstone Execution Speed Comparison
To compare broker speeds, MetaTrader 4 forex demo accounts trades were compared. There are two types of orders that were measured. The first type was market orders when an order is placed at market values. This is common, especially for automated trading software. As shown below, Pepperstone has the fastest execution speed.
Limit Order is the second type measured for execution speed. This is when the value is set in MT4 at a set loss or profit. Individual traders commonly use this feature. Pepperstone, as shown below, came equal second behind FP markets for this test.
On average, testing showed Pepperstone had the fastest MT4 speed.
In April 2020 Pepperstone state that most orders across MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and cTrader are executed in:
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
IC Markets Is The Leading Low Fee Broker
IC Markets Raw Spread Account (formally True ECN Broker Account) has the lowest costs based on:
- The lowest EUR/USD forex pair spreads
- Low commissions of $3.50 per lot
- Low forex/cryptocurrency spreads
- No deposit fees
- No withdrawal fees
- No account transfer fees
- No inactivity fees
IC Markets Spreads On Major Forex Pairs
The EUR/USD is the most-traded currency pair worldwide. The IC Markets Raw Spread accounts have the lowest average spreads on this currency pair. In fact, 62% of the time there is no spread on the EUR/USD. IC Markets also has the lowest published average spread of the major global brokers for the EUR/GBP, GBP/USD and USD/SGD. This was last updated in April 2020.
IC Markets Commissions For The Raw Spread Account
There are 10 base currencies offered by IC Markets. The actual commission for the raw spread account (for MetaTrader 4) is determined by the base currency set. Below shows the commissions across each base currency from Euro, USD, GBP, JPY to AUD.
CFD And Cryptocurrency Broker Account Fees
IC Markets a range of trading (such as commodities, metals, indices to bonds) and crypto. Below shows the minimum and average spreads of the major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
Other Trading Fees
IC Markets has $0 funding fees when using Paypal, Skrill, Credit Card, Bpay and FasaPay. Only international transfers can lead to a $20 AUD fee which is the charge passed on from the bank. The funding fee that is chosen can impact the processing time. The minimum deposit is $200 USD with IC Markets.
Like deposits, IC Markets has $0 withdrawal fees from all payment moths but international wire transfers. This method like deposits has a $20 AUD fee associated which is the charge by the Australian bank. The withdrawal methods a forex trader will usually select was the deposit method made.
There are no inactivity fees even after a prolonged period of no trading. There are also no transfer fees if you want to switch forex platforms or account types (eg standard vs raw).
4) Rollover Fees
A rollover fee is also known as a swap and is charged by all CFD brokers. They are applied when a position is key open for the next trading day. These change regularly and on Wednesday night the charge for holding a currency pair is triple.
Summary Of Why IC Markets Has The Lowest EUR/USD Spreads And Fees
IC Markets offers straight-through processing with no dealing desk. This setup, best liquidity access and the large international trading volumes are why the FX broker offers the lowest fees.
IC Markets has the lowest spreads, low commissions and no hidden costs.
The ASIC registration number of IC Markets is AFSL No. 33569 and with Cyprus (CYSEC) is Licence No 362/18. It’s easy to start trading with a minimum deposit requirement of IC Markets is $200 USD.
City Index (Forex.com) Best Range Of CFDs
City Index (part of Gain Capital) offers the most comprehensive CFDs across a range of asset classes. This includes indices, shares, cryptocurrency, commodities, interest rates and options. This is the ideal broker for those looking to trade a range of financial products (not just currency). They offer the lowest spreads of any forex broker when it comes to the ‘spread only’ category with no commissions charged to traders. This is terms the ‘standard account’ by most fx brokers.
1) Indices Trading
City Index offers 21 Indices to trade across Europe, Asia and the USA. Trading in this class has fixed spreads from 1 point. Leverage can be up to 500:1 depending on your residence with the ability to trade contracts on options, futures and cash.
2) Share Trading
City Index allows individuals to trade contracts for difference across over 4,500 shares. The commission on global shares is 0.09%. Due to the high-risk nature of margin retail forex and share fluctuations a stop-loss order is recommended. In some cases, a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) order type can also be made to lock in the maximum loss of a trade. If your new to high-risk trading this should be considered as part of your trading strategy.
3) Cryptocurrency Trading
City Index trading is across the major crypto classes including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. As shown below in 2020 City Index has the lowest costs when it comes to cryptocurrencie
4) Commodity Trading
City Index allows trading on over 25 commodities from oil, coffee to wheat. This can be done with leverage which varies by the commodity chosen. The big advantage of commodity trading is the tighter spreads compare to other trading markets.
5) Interest Rates And Options Trading
The final trading grouping is Bonds, Interest Rates and Options. These are commission-free with spreads only charged. Leverage is at the higher range making it a high-risk tradable CFD.
Summary Of City Index Range Of CFD Markets
City Index (Gain Capital) is Australian Securities And Investments Commission regulated with AFSL 345646 and is known as the service provider Forex.com in the UK, USA and Canada with licenses FCA 113942 and NFA 0339826.
With the lowest standard accounts spreads, high leverage and a range of CFDs, City Index is the low cost solution for those looking to trade more than just currency.
With no initial deposit requirements and no funding fees (including from credit cards), City Index is recommended for those looking to trade forex and a range of financial products and no commissions.
Plus500 Has The Best Beginner Trading Account
Beginner forex traders should consider the Plus500 online trading account based on:
- Negative Balance Protection
- Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
- No Commissions And Hidden Fees
- Mobile Trading Platform
1) Negative Balance Protection
Trading forex markets are high-risk due to leverage increasing exposure to the market. This means that if the market moves in the wrong direction losses can quickly accumulate and could exceed a trader’s deposit. When this occurs most CFD brokers will request the negative balance be paid back to get reach a zero balance.
Plus500 offers negative balance protection which means that if a trader goes into a negative balance that the fx broker will adjust the online trading account to $0. This means that if a forex trader places the minimum deposit with Plus500 of $100 (for a credit/debit card) that losses won’t exceed this amount.
2) Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders
A guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) order type is similar to negative balance protection but of individual trades. This means that when placing an individual trade a maximum loss amount can be set and Plus500 guarantees the trader’s loss will not exceed this level. This shouldn’t be confused with a standard stop-loss order which also allows a trader to set the maximum loss but losses can exceed this level due to slippage. It should be noted that when the GSLO order type is activated that the spreads will be wider for that trade. Margin requirements may also need to be met.
3) No Commissions And Hidden Fees
Plus500 primarily makes its brokerage from the market-based spreads (the difference between the buy/sell price). This simplifies calculations for brokerage compared to other brokers who charge a commission, payment processing fees and forex platform usage fees. Some standard fees to take note is a $10USD inactivity fee if a trader doesn’t log into their account for 3 months and an overnight funding fee if market positions are held over a sustained period.
4) Training Facilities
Plus500 has Webinar and online forex training facilities for beginner to expert currency traders. News and information on global markets can also be easily accessed on the site or fx platform.
5) Easy To Use Mobile Trading Platform
Plus500 focus is primarily on mobile trading with trading apps on iPhone, iPad, Android and window. Mobile trading can also occur on the webtrader while a windows 10 trader exists for those using a desktop device. The mobile trading apps have full functionality with the ability to monitor markets and make live trades. These can also be accessed through the Plus500 demo account.
Summary Why Plus500 Has The Best Beginner Trading Account
Plus500 has over 300,000 active customers and is a regulated broker in Australia by ASIC (AFSL 417727), in South Africa by FSCA (FSP 47546) and in the UK by FCA (FRN 509909).
Plus500 is ideal for beginners with risk managment tools, training and an easy to use trading platform.
With a strong reputation, broker reviews and good customer support, they are the recommended starting point for new traders with the Plus500 minimum deposit $100 for credit and debit cards.
eToro Has The Best Social Trading Platform
eToro is the worldwide leaders when it comes to social trading/copy trading with:
- Social/Copy Trading
- Copy Portfolios
- CFD Trading
eToro focus on social trading with the trading platform having an inbuilt social news feed. The main feature used is copy trading where a trader can be selected based on their past trading activity. The social trading module displays key stats from past returns to the level of historical risk associated with the individual. eToro also rewards individuals who have their trades copied to maximise the number of individuals engaged in the platform.
Copy portfolio is similar to copy traders but combines similar individuals or markets (eg crypto). This can help to diversify risk from just copying one instrument or one trader. Options include market portfolios, top trader portfolios and partner portfolios.
Through its propriety trading platform that includes mobile trading and mobile apps contracts for difference products and asset classes can be traded. This includes share (stocks), crypto-assets (crypto), commodities, EFTs, indices and 47 forex pairs.
Why Choose eToro For Social Trading
eToro is quite different from all other online brokers and was built around social trading especially it’s mobile trading platform. With the largest number of copy traders worldwide thanks to the way the broker incentives traders, this is the best broker for those looking for this functionality when you trade forex markets or contracts for difference.
FXCM Is The Leading Low Deposit Broker
Traders new to forex or looking to trade low volumes should consider FXCM based on their:
- Low deposit requirement for a live account
- No signup requirement for a demo account
- No fee funding and payment methods
- Easy to use forex software
What Is The Minimum Deposit Requirement Of FXCM?
The FXCM minimum deposit requirement is $50 internationally, £50 in the UK and €50 in the Euro region. Deposit methods include Visa, MasterCard, and Discover debit/credit cards, Skrill, UnionPay, Neteller, Poli and in Australia BPAY. The minimum trade size is one lot.
FXCM Trading Station Demo Account
FXCM offers the only demo account that doesn’t require the trader to provide their basic details. From any FXCM webpage, there is the option to “try demo” which launches the web demo platform. Virtual money up to $5,000 can be traded in the demo account with most order types supported except for stop/limit trades.
Like any demo account, FXCM replicates real currency markets but is still simulated. Differences can cause delays in pricing, liquidity restrictions and not all instruments are tradable. Other factors from no slippage to rejected orders may not be present in a demo account. FXCM offers support for demo account users but you need to leave the trading platform for live-chat etc.
Overall, the ease of opening a demo account anonymously and instantly with a simple tutorial to get you started is why FXCM has won this CFDs category.
IG Group Is The Most Regulated Online Broker
Those looking to avoid a scam broker at all cost should consider IG as they:
- Are the largest retail foreign exchange broker in the world
- Have licences with most currency trading regulators
- Have additional corporate governance safeguards
IG Markets (now known as IG Group) is one of the older brokers founded in 1974. They operate in 16,000+ foreign exchange market and have over 178,000 clients across the globe. This is the most of any broker which is why they make the claim that IG is the no.1 CFD trading and spread betting service provider.
IG has a signatory of the FX code of conduct. These global currency trading guidelines help protect traders from scams occurring in future and protect traders funds.
IG is regulated by most ‘tier 1’ government authorities including ASIC (Australian Securities & Investment Commission), JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Authority) and MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore). Other regulators include FINMA (Switzerland/Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority), CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), and FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) with is the successor of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The requirements of these regulators help mitigate the risk of forex ccams that past brokers have been known to have.
Interactive Brokers Is Ideal For Experts With No Dealing Desk
Professional forex traders only should consider Interactive Brokers due to:
- Very High minimum deposit requirements
- High inactivity fees for low volume traders
- Low Fees, ECN spreads and no dealing desk
- Most financial markets tradable including stockbroking
Trading Requirements Of Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is not designed for most traders. Only professional traders with high currency trading volume can trade with the broker. To qualify these traders the service provider’s minimum deposit of $10,000 US Dollars. There are also heavy penalties (known as maintenance fees) if commissions made don’t exceed $10k USD for the initial 8 months. This means real money volumes need to be traded consistently.
ECN Broker Spreads And Commissions
Interactive Brokers is a true ECN broker (market maker) allowing trading directly with liquidity providers with no dealing desk. This is similar to IC Markets and Pepperstone. A key difference comes when to their commission which is lower only when an online trader’s volume is very high such as exceeding $5m USD.
Financial Instruments Available
Interactive Brokers offers the most financial markets of any foreign exchange broker across a range of asset classes. This is because in addition to currency trading they offer stockbroking, mutual funds and even hedge fund products. This allows high volume professional traders to have an all-in-one broker for all their financial requirements.
Overall, if you’re a VIP retail forex trader looking to start trading high-volume consistently in the future across a wide range of financial markets then Interactive Brokers is the best all-in-one solution that offers the lowest brokerage from spreads to commissions.
Forex Broker FAQ’s
Which broker is best for forex?
Based on 13,000 traders who voted with Investment Trends, Pepperstone is the best broker offering the leading forex platforms, the fastest trade execution speeds and customer support. View the finding leading to Pepperstone being the best MT4 broker.
What is the best forex broker for beginners?
Plus500 is the beginner broker offering risk management features including negative balance protection and guaranteed stops, no commissions on trades, low deposit requires of $200 and an easy to use trading platform. See the Plus500 writeup.
Does a forex broker want you to lose?
An ECN broker acts the same as a stockbroker allowing an individual to process a trade with the market. This type of broker does not want a trader to lose as they make a commission based on trade volume. You can read more about our recommended market maker broker on our page reviewing IC Markets.
The second type of broker is a market maker taking a position in most cases at the opposite end of a trade. These brokers want you to lose money as its a core way they profit from CFD trading. Generally, savvy traders avoid these type of brokers.
How We Compiled The 2020 FX Broker List
That data above came from the broker’s websites, broker reviews and our own analysis using their platforms and the regulators for:
Australian Foreign Exchange Brokers
The Australian Securities And Investment Commission (ASIC) is the regulator in Australia. Australian forex brokers hold an Australian Financial Services Licence. View the top Australian brokers with AFSL licences such as Fusion Markets.
United Kingdom Foreign Exchange Brokers
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the regulator in the UK. Despite Brexit, the authority remains guided by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). Most clients in the EU need to provide a National Client Identifier (for UK residences this is their National Insurance Number) or LEI for entities. View the leading UK brokers with a valid FRN.
South African Foreign Exchange Brokers
Formally the FSB, The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the regulator in South African. Regulated FSCA firms have a valid Authorised Financial Service Providers (FSP) licence. You view the leading South African FSP licence brokers.
Singapore Foreign Exchange Brokers
The Monetary Authority Of Singapore (MAS) is the local regulator. Regulated brokers will have a company regulation number relevant for a contract for differences trading. You can view our top accounts for Singapore traders.
Other regulators were considered such as the Cyprus Securities And Exchange Commission (CySEC). The same is the case for brokers including Global Prime, XTB, OANDA, easyMarkets, FP Markets and eToro and platforms such as NinjaTrader. This page was not designed for USA trader who may require a broker with the National Futures Association (NFA) or the CFTC. Learn more about selecting a CFD provider with our choosing article. You can also view pages for other countries including:
Published by Justin Grossbard
Tuesday, April 07th, 2020
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