Australian traders looking for the best CFD broker should compare spreads, range of markets and the CFD trading platform offered by the provider. Our CFD trading platform Australia comparison in June 2021 sorted these criteria to find the best CFD broker.
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Our list of the ASIC regulated best CFD trading platforms are the following.
Pepperstone is a globally regulated forex and CFD broker, offering the best CFD trading platforms (MetaTrader 4 + MetaTrader 5). Established in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010, Pepperstone Group Limited is authorised as a financial service provider and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The online broker operates multiple subsidiaries around the world that are regulated by different financial authorities. In Australia, Pepperstone is overseen by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), with regulated branches in:
Among the best CFD brokers in Australia, we reviewed Pepperstone clearly outpaces competition for the MetaTrader 4 and the MetaTrader 5 platforms it offers.
MT4 is largely considered the standard for Forex trading and CFD trading. What Pepperstone offers is an easily customizable trading platform that features live quotes, real-time charts, in-depth news and analytics, a variety of technical indicators and order management tools as well as Expert Advisor (EA) compatibility.
Pepperstone’s MetaTrader 4 offers:
What also makes Pepperstone’s MT4 CFD trading platform competitive is a combination of low costs and fast execution speeds.
Australian retail clients can trade major Forex pairs such as EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD or USD/JPY with spreads of as low as 0.0 pips on the broker’s Razor trading account. In fact, the average spreads on Pepperstone’s entire list of CFD products are quite competitive. When trading forex, Pepperstone customers gain access to low spreads that on average are significantly tighter than competitors. For instance, EUR/USD and USD/JPY currency pairs average 0.13 pips with Pepperstone, while brokers such as Axi. (formally Axitrader) and ForexTime offers 0.40-0.70 pip spreads.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
Since clients can enjoy ECN-style trading conditions, the broker will charge a commission on its Razor Account. For MT4, Pepperstone will charge commissions as follows:
On the plus side, commission discounts (rebates) are offered to customers with Pepperstone’s Active Trader program. The rebates depend on standard lots traded per month. In other words, the larger the trade volume, the higher the commission discount.
As Pepperstone uses a network of tier-one liquidity providers, it can ensure lightning-fast order execution. The broker has disclosed that the majority of trade orders by Australian customers are filled in less than 30 ms. When compared to competing top brokers, it was found that Pepperstone offers the second-fastest execution speeds for market orders and the fastest execution for limit orders.
Note* A third-party test was conducted via a demo CFD trading account and revealed that the Australian-based CFD broker offers the fastest order speeds (85ms) among the FX and CFD brokers tested.
Last but not least, with Pepperstone, depositing and withdrawing funds is free of charge.
Built on the MQL5 programming language, MetaTrader 5 features advanced functionality and superior analytical tools. MQL5 has certain advantages over MT4’s MQL4 language, including:
Pepperstone’s MetaTrader 5 offers:
Another notable addition, which MT5 offers, better access to financial markets with Shares CFDs. Pepperstone allows access to over 60 high-quality US Stock Exchanges with financial products such as Amazon, Boeing or IBM with a margin rate of 20% and maximum leverage of 1:5.
Similar to its MetaTrader 4 platform, the broker will charge a commission when trading on MT5 via a Razor Account. Depending on the trade volume and the base account currency used, the commission charged will be as follows:
Both MT4 and MT5 platforms grant access to Pepperstone’s Smart Trader Tools package, which includes 16 trading tools and 15 custom indicators. Among its main features the most essential are:
The best CFD trading platforms in Australia are offered by Pepperstone, based on three factors – low trading costs, faster order speeds and access to smart trading tools. Many of the Australian CFD brokers we compared can’t provide CFD traders with this combination of trading advantages. Claim your FREE demo CFD trading account by clicking the button below.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
IC Markets rank for the best CFD trading platforms with the largest list of global markets. IC Markets is the trading name of International Capital Markets Pty Ltd, an issuer of over-the-counter high-risk instruments – Contracts for Difference (CFDs). It is granted an Australian financial services license (AFSL) by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to provide financial services in the country. As well as ASIC oversight, the broker follows regulation in Europe (CySEC) and Seychelles (FSA).
Note* Additionally, IC Markets (EU) Ltd is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).
With IC Markets, Australia-based retail customers are granted market access to a wide range of asset classes through 3 powerful trading platforms:
The broker offers CFDs on 7 underlying assets as follows:
Depending on the account base currency and traded volume (Micro or Standard Lots), ICE Markets will charge commissions on its MT4 Raw Spread Account as follows:
Trading 1 Standard Lot with AUD as the base currency will be associated with a commission of AUD$7.00 per round turn.
ICE Markets will charge a commission per side, per 1 Standard Lot traded on its cTrader platform – $3.00 USD per 100,000 USD traded. We should note that the US Dollar amount of the commission is then converted to the client’s account base currency at the current spot rate. An example for trading 1 Standard Lot in EUR/USD on cTrader and the associated commission is provided below:
IC Markets’ attractive list of CFD products along with raw spreads starting from 0.0 pips, fast order speeds of 40ms, deep liquidity pool, reduced slippage and powerful trading platforms, makes this CFD provider a top choice for retail traders. Australian residents can open a CFD trading account with IC Markets with a minimum deposit of $200 or equivalent in Australian dollars.
Among the online CFD providers we evaluated, Plus500 has the best CFD trading platform equipped with trading risk management tools. Plus500 is the trading name of Plus500 Ltd, a globally recognised Forex and CFD provider with more than a decade of business history. Plus500 Ltd is the parent company of:
Our review has concluded that Plus500’s user-friendly CFD platform offers the best risk management tools, which could be quite useful for Australia-based beginner traders.
To trade CFDs is a risky endeavour since leverage is used. In a volatile market environment, trading highly leveraged products could lead to larger losses (and larger gains respectively). The maximum leverage allowed on CFD trading in Australia is 1:30, as per the local regulatory framework, while elsewhere it is even lower. Therefore, to minimise risk when trading complex derivatives such as CFDs, retail clients need appropriate trading tools to safeguard their active positions in the market.
To manage higher leverage, Plus500 clients are able to use 3 essential risk management tools:
The Close at Profit and Close at Loss orders enable traders to specify a rate at which their position will be closed, allowing them either to preserve gains or to limit losses. This feature is available free of charge.
The Guaranteed Stop order puts an absolute limit on a trader’s possible loss. In case the market goes considerably against him/her, the trader’s position will automatically close at the price level he/she has specified. The risk of slippage is minimised. However, Guaranteed Stop can only be used on some financial CFD instruments. For a small premium fee (wider spread), the GSL order helps CFD traders to lock in the potential loss. Plus500 applies an extra spread for this feature.
The Trailing Stop order allows a trader to lock in gains, while also placing a Close at Loss order that updates automatically when the market moves in your direction. The Stop Loss order will be triggered when the market moves against him/her, but it is not certain if the position will be closed at the specified “Close at Loss” level due to slippage. On the other hand, no charges are associated with the Trailing Stop feature.
Negative balance protection is another useful feature to minimize risk, especially when market volatility is high and margin calls or stop-outs may not function in a proper manner. With this feature in place, Plus500 retail clients cannot lose greater amounts than their initial deposit.
Overall, Plus500 ranks in the best CFD trading platform Australia review for its risk management trading tools. Australian CFD traders can better protect their positions with the trading tools offered by Plus500. Opening a live trading account with Plus500 is extremely easy. At Plus500, you can gain access to a wide range of markets with a minimum deposit of USD 100.
View Plus500 Review >>Visit Plus500 >>
*Your capital is at risk ‘76.4% of retail CFD accounts lose money’
Over the past decade, eToro’s social trading platform has gained a lot of popularity among traders across the globe. The platform enables Australian residents with little or no trading experience and those who do not have the time to track price movement to earn a passive income by copying positions of experienced traders.
As a CFD provider, eToro complies with strict regulatory standards in several jurisdictions:
By using eToro’s CopyTrader feature, Australian retail investors are able to locate other CFD traders, who could meet their investing needs, based on certain parameters such as risk score, gain, location, etc. Once retail clients locate a top-performing CFD trader, the platform will allow them to copy exactly his/her trading activity.
Note* Replicating the activity of a professional trader is not associated with any management fees or other hidden costs.
With eToro’s social trading platform, Australia-based clients can also discuss trading strategies with top-performing traders and take a look at their portfolios. To take advantage of the CopyTrader feature, retail customers will have to put down a minimum deposit of $200, while every copied position needs to be at least $1 in value.
Traders, who get copied, will be paid directly by the broker, as they participate in its so-called Popular Investor Program.
CFD traders with experience, who employ a reliable trading strategy, have the opportunity to earn an extra income when followed or copied by other eToro clients. A trader who gets copied will be paid a fixed amount of up to 2% of his/her annual assets under management (AUM). A trader’s AUM equal the total amount which other eToro customers have allocated to him/her to replicate his/her trading activity.
A trader who participates in eToro’s Popular Investor Program will have his/her 2% payment credited to his/her trading account on a monthly basis. Once the funds clear into the trader’s account, he/she will be able to withdraw them immediately.
The broker has structured its Popular Investor Program into four different levels – Cadet, Rising Star, Champion and Elite. Each level has specifications of its own. We can say that the more a trader increases his/her AUM, the larger his/her extra income will be. The details of each level included in the Program can be viewed below:
eToro is one of the best CFD trading platforms that took the most points in our star scoring system for their social trading platform. Australian CFD traders can gain market access to 7 key asset classes, including stock trading with 0% commission. Click the button below to start trading on the forex market and CFD market.
The ThinkTrader mobile app was awarded the best CFD mobile trading platform by our team of experts and is available on Android and iOS (Apple) devices. With ThinkMarkets trading apps, both CFD and forex traders can access in real-time via mobile devices, a wide range of CFD financial instruments with spreads as low as 0.1 pips on EUR/USD and 1 point spread on AUS200. The broker offers negative balance protection, ensuring traders losses don’t exceed their deposit.
Founded in 2010, ThinkMarkets is a leading multi-regulated Forex and CFD provider. It is authorised to conduct financial services business in several jurisdictions as follows:
After carefully reviewing the features of CFD trading platforms offered by top regulated brokers in Australia, our team of experts at Compare Forex Brokers concluded that ThinkMarkets’ mobile trading application was the most competitive on the market. Australian traders have unlimited possibilities for forex trading and CFD trading via:
ThinkTrader Mobile is ThinkMarkets’ proprietary CFD trading platform, accessible to any iOS or Android-based devices. What makes ThinkTrader Mobile unique is a set of trading features and technical analysis tools such as:
In addition, Australia-based retail clients with an interest in trading CFDs on Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) may take advantage of ThinkMarkets’ ETF product offering. Clients will find 49 US ETFs, which can be traded on the broker’s MetaTrader 5 and ThinkTrader platform. Details of some of them are presented in the following table:
After we compared the best mobile trading Apps and their functionalities, we concluded that ThinkTrader Mobile offers the best technological solution. ThinkMarkets’ mobile trading Apps offer Australian CFD traders the option to trade on the go directly from your smartphone. Funding your CFD trading account with ThinkMarkets is easy, you’ll need a minimum deposit of USD 200 (or equivalent in Australian dollars).
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
IG Group is a leading Forex and CFD provider with presence in 16 countries, which grants its more than 178 000 clients access to a massive range of markets via several powerful trading platforms, including:
IG Markets Limited is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as well as BaFin in Germany. Over the years, IG Markets has become one of the most popular Forex brokers in Australia. Research firm Investment Trends awarded IG Markets as the Number 1 in Australia by primary relationships and CFDs in its June 2019 Leveraged Trading Report.
IG Markets allows its clients to trade Forex in two possible ways:
The broker offers variable spreads on its Forex CFDs, which depend on liquidity and time of the day. Spreads can also be affected by the release of major macroeconomic reports or by political events.
With IG Markets, Australian retail clients are able to choose from more than 80 major, minor and exotic currency pairs, with spreads on EUR/USD and AUD/USD starting from 0.6 pips. The table below highlights the contract specifications of the most popular Forex pairs:
We should note that the average spreads have been calculated over the 12 weeks ending May 31st 2019.
Intended for professionals, Forex Direct allows for Forex trading with access to the physical market with no dealing desk intervention. The direct market access enables clients to view the best bid and offer price available for a particular instrument as well as more prices on either side of the order book. However, Forex Direct comes at a cost – IG Markets will charge a commission based on trade volume. Higher commissions will apply to clients with lower trade volumes, as can be seen in the table below.
If a trader has generated less than $100 million in trade volume during the past month, the brokerage will charge a commission of $60 per $1 million traded. On the other hand, Forex Direct keeps average spreads low since price quotes are provided by major banks.
Overall, IG scored the highest number of points for the best Australian CFD broker for forex trading. Our Australian CFD broker review took into consideration three factors when awarding IG – the range of CFD trading platforms, Forex direct market access (DMA) and low average spreads on major currency pairs.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG >>
The best CFD broker in Australia to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is FP Markets. Founded in 2005, FP Markets is an award-winning global Forex and CFD trading provider, allowing access to a full suite of products in the global markets. The broker is authorised to conduct financial services business in the following jurisdictions:
Our review has concluded that FP Markets’ Crypto CFD offering is the most competitive on the Australian CFD market. The broker allows low-cost Cryptocurrency CFD trading on its proprietary Iress CFD platform. 5 popular Cryptocurrencies are available to trade with no commissions and tight spreads (as low as 2.02 points on BTC/USD):
The table below presents the minimum and the average spreads for these trading instruments on FP Markets’ Standard and Raw ECN Accounts.
Overall, FP Markets offer the best bitcoin CFD trading platforms that are compatible with any trading style. Among the top CFD brokers in Australia we reviewed, FP Markets offers the best trading conditions for cryptocurrency CFD trading. CFD traders can trade Bitcoin against the AUD dollar, with a maximum leverage of 2:1, without the need for a crypto wallet or an exchange account.
City Index is a great option for Australian traders wanting diverse access to stock markets. The broker has a strong presence in Australia and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as well as having offices in Sydney. Outside of Australia, City Index operates globally in various jurisdictions such as Singapore (MAS) and the FCA (UK).
You can trade over 4,500 different share CFDs from all over the world with City Index. Commission fees start from $5 on Australian stocks, while in accordance with ASIC regulation, maximum leverage of 5:1 is available.
Although the broker offers both MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and proprietary trading platforms, to access the wide range of share CFDs, you will need to use the City Index trading platform.
City Index’s proprietary software is available as a HTML5 webtrader platform or mobile trading apps for iOS and Android devices. In addition to the broker’s full selection of share CFDs, you can also utilise:
City Index is a great option for Australian traders with over 4,500 different share CFDs and a robust trading platform. When share trading on the broker’s proprietary software, you can conduct advanced technical and fundamental analysis with a solid range of trading tools. Furthermore, you can manage the risk that comes with trading leveraged products (max 5:1 for shares) by utilizing City Index’s basic and premium order types.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is considered one of the best CFD trading platforms along with its successor MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
Although each broker offers varying CFD market access, MT4 allows you to trade decentralized exchanges such as foreign exchange, indices, and commodities, while MT5 also offers access to centralized exchanges like stock markets and ETFs in addition to forex, etc.
Both platforms are also known for their algorithmic trading features (Expert Advisers), sophisticated trading tools, and their global trading community.
CFD trading is legal in Australia for retail clients. Under local regulation set by ASIC, retail traders can speculate on a range of financial markets by trading derivatives in the form of CFDs.
To protect traders and ensure trading conditions are fair and transparent, ASIC enforces various CFD trading rules such as leverage caps, negative balance protection, and segregated client funds.
To find out more about ASIC’s CFD trading rules in Australia, click here.
Many of the world’s best brokers, i.e. Pepperstone, IC Markets, and FP Markets were originally established in Australia and hold a brokerage license issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Our team of industry experts is easily recognised as the go-to authority on Forex and CFD brokers review content. To find the best CFD trading platforms in Australia, our team of experts did the research for you. We have tested and reviewed all the Australian CFD brokers and found that the most popular CFD trading platforms are:
Australian residents looking for a CFD broker with advanced technological solutions can open a live trading account with Pepperstone if they want to trade through MT4 and MT5 platforms. Both trading platforms can be found across all Australian CFD brokers, but Pepperstone ranks as the best option.
IC Markets come as the second-best choice for Australian traders, while Plus500 offers the most sophisticated risk management tools. Additionally, eToro offers the best CFD social trading platform for CFD traders looking for trading signals.
More, ThinkMarkets proprietary mobile trading platform is the best choice for CFD trading Apps, while IG and FP Markets are the best choices for forex currency trading and respectively cryptocurrency CFDs.
Disclaimer Risk Warning: When trading CFDs the counterparty risk of your trades is your CFD provider. Ensure you read your broker’s product disclosure statement (PDS) prior to trading high-risk derivatives.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.