CMC Markets offers a range of markets through the CMC ‘Next Generation’ trading platform from share to forex trading including 183 currency pairings and a typical EUR/USD of 0.7 pips while Axi focuses solely on forex trading offering 53 currency pairings and a EUR/USD spread of just 0.1 pips using the MT4 platform.
View the full reviews of CMC Markets and Axi or compare the two forex brokers below.
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CMC is a market maker, this means the broker does not connect you to liquidity pools but instead is the direct counterparty to your order. This means they take the other side of the trade and only offer a standard account with no commission fee structure. As CMC Markets are a market maker, spreads will tend to be slightly higher compared to non-market maker traders (such as Axi) however wider spreads does not necessarily mean they are more expensive. See our cost comparison below.
Some things to note about CMC Markets:
The online broker offers some of the largest collections of currency pairs for trade we have seen. With over 330 global currencies pairs. If you are looking to trade with both major forex pairs and exotic currency pairs, then CMC might suit your needs.
When you have a CMC account there are several costs to be aware of there are
Holding Costs (Rollover Fees): This occurs when you hold your position after trading has closed for the day. The holding cost uses the tom-next rate for the currency pair in the underlying market.
Market Data Fee: Trading with certain instruments will incur a $20+GST fee to activate the monthly subscription to access the market data. If you execute two or more trades in the month, you will receive a refund for your fee.
Guaranteed Stop Loss Order: If selected, you will need to pay a premium to use this feature. This will be a premium rate x number of units. The premium rate will vary according to the chosen trading platform.
Unlike CMC, Axi (formally AxiTrader) is an Electronic Data Communication (ECN) broker. This means they connect you with liquidity pools and offer you tight spreads. Orders are filled by trading with banks, financial institutions, and brokers and private investors.
Axi offers lower spreads when we compare with CMC Markets. See our cost comparison below.
Axi by comparison with CMC Markets only offers 80 currency pairs. While this may be less than CMC Markets, it covers all the major pairs most traders would consider for trade.
Axi does not require a minimum deposit and allows expert traders.
When trading with Axi, you need to be aware of one fee. This is the swap rate.
Swap Rate: This is the same as CMC Markets holding fee. If you hold a position overnight for a currency pair. The rate charged will vary by currency pair and the swap rate in the market at the time, the position size and the spread Axi have on offer.
Below are the most recently provided average spreads for each broker according to their website. Average spreads apply for a period of 1 month. Spreads for Axi are taken from their MT4 Pro Account, as this is their lowest cost account (compared to the MT4 standard account).
As you can see Axi on average provide lower spreads BUT these spreads don’t factor in commissions.
The table above shows the cost that would be paid for each Axi account once commissions are factored in
Now let us compare these costs for each lot and trade size with CMC Markets, which do not have commission fees.
CMC Markets Cost = 0.10 x 0.75 (since AUD USD has 0.10 value per pip in mini lots) = USD $0.075 per mini lot
This compares favourably with Axi, which costs $0.31 per mini lot
CMC Markets Cost = 1 x 0.75 (since AUD USD has 1 value per pip in micro-lots) = USD $0.75 per micro lot
This compares favourably with Axi, which costs $1.31 per mini lot
CMC Markets Cost = 10 x 0.75 since AUD USD has 10 value per pip in standard lots) = USD $7.50 per micro lot.
This compares favourably with Axi, which costs $13.10 per standard lot
Although Axi has lower spread, when it comes to basic costs – we can conclude that CMC Markets is cheaper because they don’t have commissions.
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets >>
When you open your position on the forex market, CMC Markets require you to deposit a certain level of money. This ‘margin’ is a percentage of the actual value of the position you will take. This percentage is the margin rate. Expressed in a ratio, it is called leverage.
As the broker is regulated in six different jurisdictions, the leverage you can trade with depends on the CMC Markets subsidiary you sign up to. The table below shows the variance in the leverage available by location. In the UK and Australia, you are offered maximum leverage of 30:1 while in New Zealand under FMA regulation, the broker can offer up to 500:1.
Axi is regulated by two tier-1 financial authorities, being the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. Both regulators cap leverage at 30:1 for major forex pairs due to the increased risk that comes with high leverage.
The leverage you’ll be offered will depend on the broker’s local regulation. Overall, CMC Markets offers the highest leverage for forex trading in New Zealand. Retail traders signed up to CMC Markets NZ branch are offered leverage up to 500:1.
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CMC Markets have their proprietary trading platform called Next Generation’ and in late 2018 started to offer MetaTrader 4.
The CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform
This award-winning platform introduced in 2013 has been built using the knowledge CMC Markets have gained from over 20 years of industry experience and is great for active traders. Some of the most notable features of the platform include:
CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform offers 5 different types of layouts to tailor for the needs of different types of traders. An experienced trader might prefer an advanced layout with lots of complex information and data, while new traders might prefer the standard layout which only contains essential information.
Next Generation is available as an app on all iPhone and iPads and Android phone and tablets. This using PC can access the trading platform via the web browser.
Key features available include:
CMC Markets offers some of the most sophisticated charting tools available. Key features include:
For year time, CMC Markets resisted all temptations to introduce MetaTrader 4 into their platform portfolio. Although MetaTrader 4 is the most used and popular platform for both traders and brokers worldwide, CMC Markets always believe their platform offered superior experience.
CMC Markets decision to offer MetaTrader 4 is a strategic move. Although CMC Markets say it is to meet the demands of existing clients, it will also allow them to attract clients with their competitors, as MetaTrader 4 is a familiar product to them.
We will discuss the benefits of MetaTrader 4 in the Axi platforms section, but it is important to be aware that there may be some restrictions if you use Mt4 with CMC Markets. These include:
Developed in 2007, MetaTrader 4 by MetaQuotes is the most readily available platform made available by online forex brokers.
MetaTrader 4 is popular not only with brokers but with traders as well. There are several reasons for this includes:
Key features of MetaTrader 4 include
Not to be confused with CMC Markets ‘Next Generation’ platform, Axi include complimentary platform extension to MetaTrader 4 to give the client greater trading experience. This extension consists of a range of features including advanced management tools, sentiment trading and enhanced ordering.
Advanced management tools include:
Sentiment trading tools include:
Enhanced ordering tools include:
In the past, we would have recommended Axi because they offer MetaTrader 4 which CMC previously did not. Axi offers to add on features for MT4 which CMC do not have. So you need to decide if you prefer Axi + their add on or CMC NexGen. We always prefer to recommend MT4, as this is such a well known and trusted platform.
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Both CMC Markets and Axi are authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). ASIC regulation means both brokers are required to keep your funds in segregated accounts and always have minimum levels of hand to remain solvent. Providing added transparency, CMC Markets is also a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Both brokers have a long history of providing forex and CFD trading services to retail traders:
Trading CFDs and forex is considered a high risk activity due to being complex instruments that you trade with leverage. While both Axi and CMC Markets offer common risk management tools such as pending orders, stop loss orders and margin calls, CMC also offers guaranteed stop-loss order making their offering stronger.
A Stop Loss Order is a sound investment strategy to protect yourself against losses. It is an order to close your losing position so further losses do not occur. So, if you don’t want to lose more than 10% then set your stop-loss order to sell at 10% less than the price you bought at.
Setting a Stop Loss order won’t guarantee you will sell position at the set loss level. Slippage and buy/demand. Which means you could have larger losses than anticipated. For this reason, CMC Markets allow you to purchase a Guaranteed Stop Loss Order. In the event your forex sells below your stop loss level, CMC will pay the difference lost below your stop loss level.
CMC Markets offer all the usual risk management tools Axi offer but also offer guaranteed stop-loss orders which Axi do not. They also have a good library of risk management education resources to encourage responsible trading so we like CMC Markets for risk management.
Customer service at CMC Markets is made up of the shares customer service team and the CFD customer service teams. The shares customer service teams are available 7.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday while CFD customer service team is available 24 hours a day Monday morning to Saturday morning.
CMC Markets offer the usual Email and customer support which is available domestically in all countries they have offices. Live chat is also available.
I tested the Live chat available on the CMC Markets website and asked a few questions about forex. While the support team answered my first few questions, I was eventually informed that it was the CMC Markets Share Support team I was speaking with and was given a phone number to call for further forex questions. This phone number would have to be for the CFD support team.
CMC also has a range of tools on its website to assist clients. This includes help topics, a FAQs section and a glossary when it comes to customer service. Each CFD has its own help section. One observation that made when researching the CMC Markets website it is is a little confusing if the information relates to shares or CFDs in the help sections.
When it comes to education, the resources are very extensive and includes and webinars, platform and trading guides when it comes to trading and also a trading library. Podcast and eBook series are also available to further enhance your training.
Lastly, CMC Markets do offer a demo account for both Next Generation and MetaTrader 4 platforms. Their demo accounts include $10,000 virtual funds and have no expiry date making it a great tool not only to test the platforms before sign up but also to test trading strategies with no risk.
Axi offers 24/5 Monday to Friday customer support across a range of tools including live chat, email and phone. There is a toll-free number for calls within Australia and a regular number to make calls from overseas. Toll-free numbers are also available in a range of countries using the local language. This includes China, Germany, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
One feature Axi does offer not common among all broker is ‘request call back’. If you leave your details, Axi customer support will call you back.
Axi offers a large range of educational tools to assist their clients. This includes a forex and CFD ‘basics’ series to help explain and get you started with your chosen trading medium. A glossary of key trading terms, forex eBooks, video tutorials and free online training course. They also have a section that delves into explanations of more complex trading features such as technical analysis and trading signals which should accelerate your trading knowledge.
Axi provides a demo account however it is more limited when compared with CMC Markets demo account. The demo account free but only for the 30-day trial and you have access to $50,000 of virtual trading funds to play with.
Axi customer support is more accessible to all users since CMC Markets live chat support easily available via their website is the shares support team. We, therefore, find Axi support less confusing when it came to finding Forex specific information.
CMC Markets have a refer a friend CFD bonus program. If you refer a friend and the friend makes a CFD trade, then both you and the friend will receive a $250 bonus.
Axi does not offer any bonus for joining them.
CMC Markets offer the most extensive range of CFDs among all the online trading brokers we have reviewed. In addition to Forex, the following CFDs are available:
1. Indices 2. Hard and Soft Commodities 3. Shares 4. Treasuries 5. Cryptocurrencies
When it comes to shares, it is worth noticing that CMC Markets main business is selling shares, so it is not surprising to see that they much of their website and support is stock trading focused. Not only does CMC Markets allow you to buy and sell domestic shares, but also international. Not all brokers offer this. CMC Markets also allow access to stockbroker investment products such as ETFs, Managed Funds, Listed Investment Companies. Another offering that is not common among brokers.
When it comes to commodities. CMC Markets offer just about all the hard and soft commodities you can imagine. Not only can you get Cocoa through the US exchange, but Cocoa Bulk Beans through the UK exchange. Similarly, you can specify the type of coffee (Arabica, Robusta) you desire and the type of Crude Oil (Brent, West Texas).
Treasuries are also available for investment. This is not usually available among Forex online Brokers.
Cryptocurrencies are perhaps the only area that CMC Markets don’t offer a large range of options but offer all the main ones including Bitcoin/Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple.
Axi’s CFD range offering is far more selective than CMC Markets. Axi does not sell shares or stockbroking investments, treasuries and the range of commodities available is restricted to Oil, Cocoa, Coffee, Copper, Natural Gas and Soybeans. Common commodities (that CMC Markets offer) such as Wheat, Rice, Cattle, Sugar, Copper are not available. Axi does however offer a larger range of Cryptocurrencies than CMC Markets as they also offer Dash.
Important Note: Both brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. Due to recent changes in FCA regulation, CMC Markets and Axi’s UK subsidiaries are no longer able to offer retail traders cryptocurrency trading or products.
CMC Markets easily win this one as they offer one of the largest range of CFD instruments for trade in the online broker market.
Compared to other brokers, the available funding methods are more limited. 10 different base currencies are available, being the GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, AUD, NOK, NAD, PLN, SEK and SGD.
CMC Markets offer the following funding options with no charge:
However, there are charges of 1% for Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard and China Union Pay) and 0.60% for Debit Cards. Withdrawals can only be done via Bank Transfer.
When it comes to deposits, Axitrader offers the following methods with no charges from the brokers end regardless if domestic or international. When setting up your trading account, you will be able to choose from 11 different base currency options, being the AUD, CHF, EUR, CAD, HKD, GBP, JPY, NZD, SGD, USD and PLN.
Withdrawals can only be made with the following and incur no fees:
Axi simply offers more options for deposits and withdrawals, so we recommend Axi.
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.