CMC Markets

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Trade your way

Become the trader you want to beВ with our Next Generation platform technology and personal client service.

Trade your favourite instruments from around the world

Trade on the strength of one currency versus another. The FX market is the largest and most liquid market in the world

Trade on a basket of top shares representing the performance of a country’s economy

Speculate on the price of some of the most popular cryptocurrencies

Speculate on the price of all the most popular commodities, including gold, silver, oil and natural gas

Take a position on the performance of the world’s largest companies, from Apple to Amazon and Rio Tinto to RBS

Take a view on government bonds, gilts and treasury notes to get exposure to a specific region’s economy

Trade the way that suits you

CFD trading

This popular form of leveraged trading allows you to go long or short on thousands of global markets, and hedge a physical portfolio.

The complete package for new & experienced traders

For new traders

  • One of the established industry leaders
  • Three decades of trading know-how
  • Award-winning customer service*
  • Highly-regarded trader education*
  • Advanced risk management
  • Tax-free spread betting profits
  • No minimum deposit

For experienced traders

  • Award-winning trading platform*
  • Wide range of charting tools
  • Fast, automated excecution
  • Expert news & analysis
  • Competitive spreads
  • Advanced trading tools
  • Tax-free spread betting profits

Access your account anywhere

Manage your account, analyse the markets and trade from anywhere on our award-winning platform, available across all your devices.

DESKTOP В В MOBILE В В TABLET

Market-leading education for all experience levels

Trading strategy videos

Platform video guides

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Tour the platform >

*Awarded Best Customer Service, Best Overall Satisfaction, Best Platform Features, Best Mobile Phone/Tablet App and Best Education Materials/Programmes, based on highest user satisfaction among spread betters, CFD and FX traders, Investment Trends 2020 UK Leverage Trading Report.
**Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and can change or may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK​.

+44 (0)20 7170 8200

CMC Markets UK plc (173730) and CMC Spreadbet plc (170627) are is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom.

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© 2020 CMC Markets

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CMC Markets Review

A well-established and highly ­regarded U.K. Forex broker

Investopedia is committed to rigorous editorial standards to provide our readers with the best advice and recommendations. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products we reviewed. Learn more about our methodology and review process.

  • Account Minimum: $0
  • Fees: 0.7 pip minimum for Forex, $10 stock trades
  • Best for: New and low-skilled traders

Disclosure

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80% of retail investor accounts lose money when spread betting and/or trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

CMC Markets is a well-established and highly ­regarded U.K. Forex broker, founded in 1989. The broker offers average-­to-competitive spreads that widen with larger trade and bet sizes. A comprehensive bond listing and five cryptocurrencies fill out the product roster, providing an overwhelming number of potential trading opportunities.

CMC Markets currently ranks in the following category:

Dedicated sites for professionals and institutions highlight their commitment to higher skill and commitment levels, but it would be nice to see higher-level perks, including rebates and the free API interface, offered to retail accounts. Even so, all account holders gain access to guaranteed stop losses, free bank wire withdrawals, and other advanced features, lifting the broker into the top tier in several review categories.

Huge product catalog

Sophisticated order types

High U.S. index CFD spreads

Limited security features

No copy/social trading platform

Trust

CMC Markets is regulated through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under registration number 173730. They provide standard GBP 50,000 coverage through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) but no layers of private insurance, which is an omission, given their large industry footprint. Client funds are segregated from company funds and held in a number of U.K. and European banks. Negative Balance Protection is now mandated under ESMA rules that went into effect in 2020. The broker’s dealing desk acts as counterparty on all CFD trades and spread bets but pricing is automated through the platforms, reducing conflict of interest potential. Software security is standard but inadequate, with no two ­tier authentication process.

Desktop ­Experience

The proprietary Next Generation trading platform for web, tablet and mobile will please technically ­oriented clients wanting to upgrade from MetaTrader 4, which is also offered. It features advanced charting with 80+ indicators/overlays, 12 chart types, and 35 drawing tools; highly customizable watchlists; client sentiment; and a streaming Reuters feed. Charts can be popped ­out to build and optimize complex desktop layouts. Clients who want to study long-­term trends will find price histories going back 20 years on major instruments. The platform also provides price projection and pattern recognition tools as well as a built­-in connection to the client­-based trader’s forum.

Mobile ­Experience

Clients can choose between Next Generation and MetaTrader 4 for iOS and Android when picking a mobile platform. The home­grown app outshines MT4 in nearly all aspects but includes fewer features than the web version. For example, the number of technical indicators has been pared down to 40+ while charts have been optimized for mobile devices. Clients can build complex orders and generate customized alerts through push notification or email. The apps provide fingerprint ID entry, but this useful feature isn’t part of a two-­tier authentication process.

Research Tools and Insights

CMC Markets shines in this category, with extensive research and analysis from in-house analysts and third party materials that include Morningstar quantitative equity research reports. Many resources can be accessed directly through the website while news sources can be filtered by region and asset class. However, it was tough to find many topics due to the lack of a dedicated search function or well­-organized archive. The site also features a standard economic calendar.

Research and news integration between the website and trading platforms is limited-to-poor, with many resources forcing the client to exit the platform and go to a web page. For example, the highly useful CMC TV service provides regular video market commentary via a platform link to YouTube but, inexplicably, is not listed, linked, or streaming at the website’s news and research section.

Education

An extensive trader’s library will get lower­-skilled clients up to speed quickly, but technical and fundamental tutorials are beginner level and lacking in advanced instruction. A large share of educational resources is devoted solely to platform and software instruction, rather than trading strategy or execution. A healthy roster of online webinars, offered through a partnership with Trade With Precision, fills the need for advanced topics but there’s no archive of prior programs. Overall, educational resources are impressive but poorly ­organized, with no single listing or search function, making it harder to find less popular topics.

Special Features

Next Generation provides a sophisticated order interface but no back testing or VPS capacity, forcing some account holders to use MetaTrader 4, which is inferior to the home­grown platform in other ways. CMC Markets offers no direct VPS service. The active trader rebate programs are available only to professional clients. The same holds true for an API interface that permits the use of more sophisticated trading platforms that support algo and automatic trading routines.

Client positioning data embedded within their proprietary software is an excellent feature but the lack of social or copy trading capacity limits its usefulness.

Investment Products

CMC Markets offers clients one of the largest product catalogs available, with 300+ currency pairs and 200+ index/commodity markets. They also offer more than 50 bond instruments, opening all sorts of new opportunities, especially with longer ­term portfolio management.

Cryptocurrency CFD trading and spread betting is seamless, requiring no special interface or exchange, but relatively high average spreads could reduce client interest.

Live accounts can be opened with no deposit, allowing new clients to test drive broker and software features not available on the demo platforms. Of course, accounts need to be funded to open and close positions. Free withdrawal through wire transfer is a welcome feature, uncommon among U.K. and European rivals. The premium for guaranteed stop loss execution is reasonable, given the account ­saving risk management it provides in volatile market conditions.

Commissions and Fees

Disclosure notes indicate that larger positions incur wider spreads but details are platform ­based, obscuring transparency. Clients must choose between Next Generation CFD and spread betting accounts that carry similar but not identical costs. For example, CFD shares carry a $10 minimum commission while spread bets have no commissions. Minimum spreads on major forex pairs look identical but the fine print reveals minor holding cost variations that could impact bottom lines. Legal disclosures also admit the two platforms can display different spreads for identical instruments. Margin and overnight holding costs are average-to-competitive. MetaTrader 4 is offered as an add­-on or standalone account option but is limited to CFDs and has no share capacity.

A much higher than average five­ point S&P ­500 spread for CFD and spread bets stood out like a sore thumb on the index cost disclosures. That spread is charged through all hours of the trading day, including local time in the USA, making it an unaffordable instrument for most account holders. In contrast, the Nasdaq ­100 spread at one ­point and Dow 30 spread at 1.6­ points are close to industry standard.

CMC Markets Broker Review

Min. Deposit GBP 5
Max. Leverage 30:1
Min. Spread 0.7 pips
Regulators ASIC,FCA,MAS,FMA
Regulator Origin
Broker Type Market Maker

Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.

Summary

CMC Markets is a large, well-respected and well-regulated market maker broker operating globally from headquarters in London. Spreads and leverage are better than most other market makers and the proprietary New Generation trading platform is well-crafted and recommended for experienced and beginner traders alike. A wide asset choice and responsive customer support are complemented by an excellent education section and deep and insightful market analysis.

If you are a new trader and want a large, respectable broker with an intuitive platform and a large education section, you will do much worse than CMC Markets.

Reviews

Trust Rating
Trading Conditions
Trading Platforms
Deposit & Withdrawal
Education & Research
Assets Available
Customer Service
Beginner Friendly Good
Bonuses $200 Welcome Bonus
Our Review Process

Trading Conditions

Minimum Deposit GBP 5
Base currencies AUD, USD
Number of FX Pairs 330
Hedging Allowed Yes
Scalping Yes
Swap-Free Accounts No

Average Spreads

EUR / USD 0.7
GBP / USD 0.9
USD / JPY 0.7

Company Details

Company name CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty Ltd
Founded 2002
Website Visit Website
Type Market Maker
Regulators ASIC,FCA,MAS,FMA
Office locations Australia, UK, Singapore

Deposit & Withdrawal Methods

Supported Platforms for CMC Markets

Is CMC Markets Safe?

CMC Markets is widely recognised as a pioneer in CFD trading. The company was founded in London in 1989 and it launched the world’s first online Forex trading platform in 1996. It opened an office in Sydney in 2002 and CMC Markets Asia Pacific has been licenced by ASIC (AFSL: 238054) since 2004. The parent company (CMC Markets plc) has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 2020, adding a further level of regulatory oversight.

CMC Markets meets and exceeds ASIC requirements for segregated client bank accounts; all client funds are distributed across a range of major banks which are regularly assessed against CMC Markets’ risk criteria.

In the last two years, CMC Markets has won over 50 awards, recognising its quality of service and innovative technology. In 2020 alone CMC Markets won the awards for Highest Overall Client Satisfaction, Best Platform Features , Best Customer Service , Best Educational materials/programs and  Best Value for Money (all from Investment Trends Australia). Additionally, CMC Markets have won the award for Australia’s Best Value Broker for nine years in a row (Canstar).

Trading Conditions

CMC Markets is a market maker with an automated dealing desk, therefore negating some of the conflict of interest inherent in the market maker model.

CMC Markets boasts over 300 currency pairs and spreads are competitive for a market maker. But a lack of account options and hidden fees mean trading conditions are poor in comparison to its competitors.

Account Types

CMC Markets offers a demo account and a single live account with no minimum deposit.

Min. Deposit Max. Leverage Min. Spread Commission
CFD Account USD 5 500:1 0.7 pips None Account Details

The only account choice at CMC is which platform you use. MT4 only allows for Forex, commodity and index trading, so if you are interested in trading CMC Markets other asset classes you will have to use CMC’s Next Generation platform.

It’s important to note that most of CMC Markets’ serious competitors have a number of account types with tighter spreads linked to higher deposit requirements.

Spreads and Commission

The spreads at CMC Markets are variable with AUD/USD spreads often below 1 pip.В All spreads are variable and will be higher in times of low liquidity and for non-major currencies.

More worryingly, CMC Markets says that spreads will be wider on large trades. This is due to the cost of having to manually price a trade rather than it being relayed through the automated dealing desk. While this is understandable given CMC Markets’ business model, it is not something a high-volume trader would expect from a broker or want to deal with.

Leverage up to 1:500 is available and no commission is charged on any trades.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Accepted deposit and withdrawal methods include:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • POLi
  • BPAY
  • PayPal

Deposits and withdrawals are generally commission-free, though 1% is charged on credit cards and 0.6% charged on debit cards. For large deposits, this fee could end up being a substantial sum.В В

Inactivity Fee

CMC Markets charge an inactivity fee of 15 AUD per month after 12 consecutive months of inactivity.

CMC Markets for Beginners

As you would expect from an industry giant like CMC Markets, they are well set up for beginner traders with an extensive education section and frequent and insightful analysis of the markets.

Educational Material

It’s important to note at the outset that all of CMC Markets’ educational material is free for all visitors to the website.

Because CMC Markets is a multi-asset broker, much of the educational material is grouped together under the umbrella term CFD Trading- especially the Video Trading Guides.

That said, there is a standalone Forex section, titled Learn Forex Trading. Here you will find:

    • Forex Trading Explained: A collection of articles for complete beginners covering the basic concepts and terminology of Forex trading.
    • Forex Trading Strategies: A collection of articles covering the basics of technical and fundamental trading.
    • Trading Smart eBooks: A small library of eBooks covering subjects such as economic data, day trading, identifying trends, risk management, pattern recognition and trendlines.
    • Video Trading Guides: A collection of videos covering strategies and concepts in CFD trading. Though these aren’t specific to Forex trading, all of the subjects covered are applicable.

In addition, there is a dedicated platform and software instruction section – important for beginner traders who need to want to get trading as quickly as possible.

CMC also offers regular webinars in conjunction with Trade With Precision, a third party training company. Webinars cover subjects such as: How to use technical analysis, Finding opportunities and Possible trade entry and exit points – an upcoming Webinar series titled Ultimate Trading Bootcamp looks promising for beginner traders. All of the webinars are free with registration.

The only downside to the educational section at CMC is the poor organisation, it can be difficult to find exactly what you want – especially in the video section – and much of the Forex material is grouped together with CFDs in general.

Analysis Material

CMC Markets is really top of the class when it comes to analysis and research – there is a lot to take in here so let’s go through it all:

  • Economic Calander: Fully interactive with impressive depth – it also features a powerful country comparison function for a wide range of economic indicators and has fully customisable date fields.
  • Daily (sometimes hourly) research and analysis from in-В­house analysts and third parties (such as Trade With Precision or Morningstar). Articles can be filtered by region and asset class.
  • The Week Ahead: A weekly video featuring the top stories to keep an eye on for the week ahead, this is also available on YouTube. Speaking of YouTube…
  • CMC Markets APAC YouTube Channel: A repository of all of the video content output from CMC Markets in Australia, as well as from the wider Asia Pacific region.
  • Five Minutes a Day Trading: I particularly enjoyed this video and article series, which follows a senior CMC analyst as they trade for five minutes a day on a popular Forex asset over a month. An excellent way to relay analytical content while educating the audience.
  • In-Built News: If you are using CMC’s Next Generation trading platform, the Economic Calendar and news/analysis are built-in to the software so you can keep up to date while trading.

All of the in-house analysts are active on twitter and frequently post updates featuring their own personal take on events and price action in the markets.

Customer Support

CMC Markets offers 24/5 customer support via email and phone, this is adequate for a broker, but no more than that.

Trading Platform

CMC Markets supports both its award-winning, proprietary trading platform (Next Generation) and the industry-standard, MetaTrader 4 (MT4).В

Next Generation is available via browser and mobile app and is built to cater to traders of all experience levels. It comes with 115 technical indicators, 70 chart patterns and 12 chart types and allows trading directly from chart. An economic calendar and Reuters newsfeed are both built-in and are also available in the mobile app.В

The only real downside to the Next Generation platform is the lack of custom indicators.

The MT4 trading platform is the most widely used Forex trading platform and at CMC Markets you can also use it to trade commodities and indices.

While you won’t receive many of the features available with Next Generation (or most modern platforms), you will be able to use your customised expert advisers.

Trading Tools

There are several interesting trading tools available with the Next Generation platform.

Client sentiment

The client sentiment feature shows the percentage of CMC Markets clients who have bought versus the percentage who have sold for a particular asset, so you can gauge other clients’ expectations. You can also see the monetary value of these positions as a percentage.

Pattern recognition scanner

The Pattern recognition scanner scans over 120 assets every 15 minutes for emerging and completed chart patterns. When patterns complete, a price projection box is generated to highlight potential price action movement.

В Module linking

This feature allows you to groupВ different modules together so that when you change the product shown in one module, all the other grouped modules automatically update to show the new product. Grouped modules can be linked to Reuters’ market news, client sentiment, charts and order tickets for fast analysis.

Mobile App

Available on iOS and Android, the Next Generation mobile application has full order ticket functionality and mobile-optimised charting with over 40 technical indicators and drawing tools. It also features a customisable dashboard, a range of notification types, a live market calendar and in-app support.

MetaTrader 4 is also available as a mobile download.

Cryptocurrency CFD Trading

Cryptocurrency trading is one of CMC Markets most popular asset classes and though cross-cryptocurrency trading is not available, a large number of pairs are available with competitive spreads.

USD crypto pairs offered are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Neo, Ripple, Dash, Monero, EOS, Stellar, Cardano and Tron.

As is normal, the spreads are much wider than traditional currency pairs due to the high risk of an extremely volatile market.

Evaluation Method

We value transparency and openness in the way we review the partners. To bring transparency to the forefront, we have published our review process that includes a detailed breakdown of the CMC Markets offer. Central to that process is the evaluation of reliability, the platform offering and the trading conditions offered to clients, which are summarised in this review. Each one of these is graded, and an overall score is calculated and assigned.

CMC Markets Risk Statement

Investing in CMC Markets derivative products carries significant risks and is not suitable for all investors. You could lose more than your deposits. You do not own, or have any interest in, the underlying assets. We recommend that you seek independent advice and ensure you fully understand the risks involved before trading. Spreads may widen dependent on liquidity and market volatility.

Conclusion

If you are a new trader and want a large, respectable broker with an intuitive platform and a large education section, you will do much worse than CMC Markets. The analysis section is truly excellent and there is a wide range of asset classes to trade if you are interested in something other than Forex. More experienced traders may want to look elsewhere though, the trading conditions are not competitive with ECN brokers and MT4 support can often feel like an afterthought.

Most retail CFD accounts lose money. Your capital is at risk.

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