CFD trading in Singapore requires a MAS regulated CFD broker with the best retail investor accounts offering the best forex trading platforms, low EUR/USD spreads and a range of CFDs from forex, EFTs, Crypto including bitcoin and indices.
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The best CFD brokers by each category for Singapore traders are:
Pepperstone is one of the best online forex brokers for Singaporean clients wanting to trade CFDs and Forex. Although not regulated by MAS, Pepperstone is based in Australia and follows stringent requirements set by different financial authorities around the globe. In Australia, Pepperstone follows regulation set by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the FCA in the UK, CMA in Kenya, SCB in the Bahamas, DFSA in Dubai and CySEC in Cyprus (Europe). The internationally respected broker offers tight spreads similar to ECN pricing, low initial deposit requirements, and a range of mobile trading apps and platform options.
For a Pepperstone client to start trading, an online trading platform must be chosen. The team at CompareForexBrokers.com recommends MetaTrader 5 because of its extensive collection of technical indicators, charting tools, and Expert Advisors available. The CFD provider allows Expert Advisors (EAs) to be downloaded or created from scratch using the easy-to-learn MQL5 language. Pepperstone MT5 users’ can access Smart Trader Tools as well as Autochartist, allowing complex trading strategies to be developed and executed.
MetaTrader 5 is suitable for both beginner Singapore traders and advanced traders. As well as the simple MQL5 coding language, the interface is user-friendly and intuitive, allowing those new to forex and CFD trading to easily place orders and conduct analysis. High volume, active traders’ wanting to implement sophisticated trading strategies and technical analysis gain access to advanced tools. Pepperstone clients’ are able to analyse markets and execute trades using 38 inbuilt indicators (with others available to download), 21 timeframes, and a selection of complex order types.
MetaTrader 5 is available as a desktop platform compatible with Mac OS and Windows, or as a web trader app. Alternatively, Android and iOS tablet and smartphone users can download trading apps. To explore the MT5 platform offered by Pepperstone before signing up for a real account, utilise the demo account offered by the top forex broker.
In addition to Pepperstone’s MT5 trading platform features and tools, clients’ gain access to a wide range of products from Forex, Index CFDs, Energy, Metals, Cryptocurrency and Commodities markets. Two account types are offered. Razor account holders’ can trade in an ECN-like environment with No Dealing Desk (NDD) execution. Razor Account structures charge flat-rate, round-trip commission fees with ultra-competitive tight spreads. This is often used for traders looking for automation. Although Standard accounts do not offer tight spreads as low as the Razor account, pricing is simplified with spreads, including commission fees.
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Interactive Brokers (IB) is a US Forex and CFD broker that established offices in Singapore last year and is in the process of receiving its Capital Services License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). IB is regulated by top-tier authorities around the globe, following the regulatory requirements of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Interactive Brokers offers a vast range of Share, Index, and Forex CFDs. As well as CFDs, IB clients’ can trade a range of exotic financial products, providing market access unrivalled by many forex and CFD brokers.
For IB clients’ wanting to enter Cryptocurrency markets, they can do so by trading Crypto Futures and Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs)
For CFD trading, commission depends on the product that the CFD is derived from. For Hong Kong Share CFD commission fees are 0.05%, with a minimum of HKD 12.0, while the Japan 225 Index CFD commissions are 0.01% with a minimum of JPY 40.0. For Forex trading, commission fees are between 0.08 – 0.20 pips, with a minimum of $1 – 2, depending on a client’s trading volume.
No minimum initial deposit is required to start trading CFDs and other products offered by IB. Due to clients’ facing no withdrawal or deposit fees, IB is considered a low fee broker. Yet, an inactivity fee of $10 is charged if a client does not generate $10 in commissions per month. Therefore, Interactive Brokers is an excellent choice for investors’ actively trading and wanting a low-fee broker.
Interactive Brokers offer two account types that can be opened in a range of base currencies, including the Singapore Dollar (SGD). Unless you are based in the US, the differences between the two account types are limited. The main differences between an IBKR Lite and an IBKR Pro account are account fees, the selection of trading platforms available, and the features offered on the platforms. While an IBKR Lite account avoids a monthly account fee, IBKR Pro account holders are charged $10 per month.
Interactive Brokers trading platforms are user friendly, although the interfaces lack certain customisation features. Compared to competitors, Interactive Brokers offer more order types and order time limits to assist traders’ with risk management and trading strategies than many competing forex brokers:
In addition to using order types and time limits to manage risk exposure, IB clients’ can set alerts to be notified of market changes, utilise the brokers’ charting features with 120+ technical indicators, and stay up to date with local and foreign economies via the news feed and economic calendar. While IB’s Client Portal offers advanced features, complex order types, and various analysis tools, the features offered on the desktop platform are very sophisticated and suited to very experienced traders’.
For those wanting to start social and copy trading, Interactive Brokers offer an Asset Management Service that combines copy trading with algorithmic trading.
Clients’ are required to make an initial minimum deposit of $5,000 to access the service, yet users’ will gain access to a range of sophisticated trading strategies developed by professional portfolio managers.
To explore Interactive Brokers’ range of products, features, and tools, prospective clients can sign up for a free demo account. The free trial can be accessed on any of IB’s trading platform, where users are able to test sophisticated trading strategies and conduct extensive research. If you are looking for a diverse range of CFDs to trade, CMC Markets and OANDA are alternate MAS regulated options.
City Index is a top forex broker regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in Singapore, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia, and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK as well as in the Middle East ad Europe.
Trading Cryptocurrency CFDs with City Index allows Singaporean investors to buy and sell crypto products without owning the underlying cryptocurrency assets. City Index traders’ are given access to ultra-competitive pricing where they can go long or short in a range of crypto products including Bitcoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ethereum. Trading cryptocurrency CFDs with City Index is accessible to all levels of experience, no cryptocurrency wallet is required as clients’ are purely speculating on crypto price movements, not buying the underlying asset.
As cryptocurrency trading is a high-risk activity due to the market’s volatile nature, City Index provides tools to manage exposure. Risk management techniques such as Stop Loss Orders can be implemented to provide protection when trading cryptocurrency. Due to the high volatility and high risk of crypto CFDs, leverage on cryptocurrency offered by top forex brokers is typically much less than what is offered when trading Forex. For Singaporean clients’, City Index allows leveraged Cryptocurrency CFD positions up to 4:1.
City Index offers Cryptocurrency CFDs with no commission fees and competitive Singapore spreads compared to competing top forex brokers. Trading with City Index gives clients’ access to spreads on Bitcoin CFDs as low as 35, while IG Markets offers 40, CMC 48 and Plus500 55.
As well as low trading fees, City Index charges minimal account fees with no fee to deposit or withdraw funds. A range of funding methods is available, such as PayNow, internet banking, wire transfer and credit card.
City Index’s demo account allows prospective clients’ to gain experience by trading with virtual funds prior to opening a real account. Demo accounts are funded with 20,000 Singapore Dollars (virtual cash), with unlimited access to real-time pricing, news, and data for up to 12 weeks.
Although City Index is a MAS regulated forex and CFD broker, Singaporean clients’ should note that Cryptocurrency products are not considered legal tender currency in Singapore. Therefore, crypto products and markets are not regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, making cryptocurrency a high-risk investment.
Saxo Markets is a MAS regulated top forex broker known for its impressive market access across a range of asset classes. In regards to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Saxo Markets provides clients’ access to over 3000 ETFs from more than 30 exchanges.
ETFs are defined as bundles of financial instruments such as bonds, currency, commodities and stocks, that usually track an underlying index. Although similar to mutual funds in many ways, ETFs pricing is derived from demand and supply, while the assets are traded on exchanges during open market hours (while mutual funds are not traded on exchanges). ETFs are useful financial instruments to diversify portfolios and reduce risk, eliminating the need to buy and sell individual assets, therefore reducing commission fees and the number of orders placed.
Saxo Markets clients’ can choose between classic, Platinum, and VIP account types to trade ETFs. Commission fees for ETFs products vary between the forex brokers three different account tiers, with active trading being rewarded with lower execution prices. Saxo Markets clients’ wanting to buy or sell Singapore Exchange (SGX) ETFs can access pricing between 0.10 – 0.15%, with a minimum of $15-25 Singapore Dollars required.
Saxo Markets clients’ can execute ETFs trades via the forex broker’s proprietary trading platform, SaxoTraderGO. In addition to trading ETFs, the user-friendly platform provides market access to Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) where clients’ can track assets such as Bitcoin, or individual and basket Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs). To practise and test ETFs trading strategies, Saxo Markets provides a demo account with access to the SaxoTraderGO platform for 20 days.
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IG Markets is a well-established forex and CFD broker. Since 1974, IG has offered access to a diverse range of financial instruments and is now one of the largest online retail foreign exchange brokers. IG Markets is MAS regulated and is seen as a trusted forex broker in Singapore as well as around the globe. Additionally, the top forex brokers parent company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.
As a Singaporean IG Markets client, investors’ are able to buy and sell CFD and Forex products. Whether a trader wants to speculate or hedge, IG Markets provide access to over 95 forex pairs including major, minor and exotic currency pairs.
When opening an IG Markets accounts, clients’ can choose from a CFD or DMA (Direct Market Access) account type to trade forex. Although accounts can be set up with one of six base currencies offered, including USD, AUD, HKD, EUR, GBP or SGD (Singapore Dollar), clients’ are required to contact customer support to change their accounts base currency.
Forex orders can be executed via different 1trading platform options, including a proprietary IG Markets webtrader platform, as well as MetaTrader 4, Mobile Apps, and L2 Dealer (for DMA Accounts). If you are new to forex trading, or low on time, social and Copy Trading features are available.
Suitable for all levels of forex trading experience, IG Markets provides an excellent library of educational resources. The IG Academy develops skills via online trading courses. Users’ can watch videos explaining trading strategies, test themselves with quizzes, and participate in interactive exercises. To supplement IG Academy resources, clients’ have a balance of up to $20,000 in virtual funds to practise trading strategies and analysis within a demo environment.
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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) promotes a healthy and competitive marketplace by regulating Singapore’s financial markets and ensuring brokers follow the authority’s stringent regulation. As well as overseeing the financial sector, MAS operates as Singapore’s Central Bank and is viewed globally as an efficient and fair financial authority.
Forex and CFD brokers based in Singapore are required to hold a Capital Services License issued by MAS. CFD brokers regulated by MAS provide certain protections to investors’ that would otherwise not apply. For instance, all client funds must be held in segregated accounts and not used as operational capital, providing investors’ protection if a broker were to come into trouble.
International brokers that are not MAS regulated may still be appropriate for Singaporean Forex and CFD traders. Many top-tier financial authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), enforce similar regulations to MAS including segregated client funds and strong risk disclaimers. Therefore, certain standards are seen as universal among top CFD brokers’ regulated by international financial authorities.
Contracts for difference (CFDs) are a derivative financial product that allows you to speculate on price movements without buying or selling the underlying asset. Being a derivative, CFDs are considered complex instruments that come with a high risk of losing money. To reduce the high risk of trading CFDs, it is recommended to sign up to a forex broker regulated by a top-tier financial authority, while utilising the risk management tools available such as demo accounts and order types.
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.