Commodities Trading Review
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Commodities Trading

Commodities Trading



Where Can I Open a Commodities Trading Account?


There are many spreads firms which offer a wide range international markets including commodities like gold, crude oil and coffee, but also stock markets, forex and equities.

Some firms, such as FinancialSpreads.com, offer account holders the usual benefits of spread trading including two-way trading and tax free* trading with zero commissions. They also let you trade a good number of commodities futures markets 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. For more details see 24 hour spread trading.

Typical In-Hours Spread Sizes

Gold Daily 4 3 4 4
Gold Future 4† 6 6 5
Brent Crude Oil Daily 3† 7† 4 3.5
Brent Crude Oil Future 3 7 6 4
US Crude Oil Daily 3† 4† 4 3.5
US Crude Oil Future 3 4 6 4
Commodities Minimum Stake £1 £1 £0.5 £1
Comparison Notes.


Advantages of Commodities Spread Trading


Commodities spread trading has a number of important advantages over some of the more traditional investment options:
  • Spread trading is tax free*. With commodities spread trading you are not actually taking possession of any assets, you are simply speculating on the future price of a commodity. As a result, you donít pay income tax, capital gains tax or stamp duty.

  • Unlike traditional methods of trading commodities, spread trading offers you a simple way of speculating on markets to go down as well as up. If you think the price of crude oil will go up, you can take a position on that. Likewise, if you think that the gold market will fall you can also take a position on that.

  • Most spread trading companies, like the ones listed on this page, do not charge brokerís fees or commissions on your trades. Naturally this can help to keep your trading costs down.

  • Financial spread trading offers investors a huge range of international markets. You can take positions on gold, UK crude oil, US crude oil, wheat etc but from the same account you can normally take positions on:

    • Indices eg the FTSE 100, Dow and DAX 30
    • Stocks eg UK, US, German and French shares
    • Forex eg dollar/yen, euro/dollar, sterling/dollar
    • Government Bonds
    • Interest Rates

Financial Spreads » "With FinancialSpreads.com you get all the advantages of
Spread Trading as well as commission free CFD Trading on 2,500+ markets, 24 hour trading, professional level charts and..." read Financial Spreads review.


Gold Trading Example


Looking at the InterTrader site, they are currently pricing the Gold Rolling Daily market at $1,403.9 - $1,404.3. Therefore, you could speculate on the price of gold to:
  • Move above $1,404.3, or
  • Move below $1,403.9
With gold spread trading you trade in £x per $0.1. Therefore, if you decide to have a stake of £4 per $0.1 and gold moves $0.5 then that would change your profit/loss by £20. £4 per $0.1 x $0.5 = £20.


Commodities Rolling Daily Markets


Note that this is a 'Rolling Daily Market' and therefore there is no set settlement date so if your trade is still open at the end of the trading day, it will just roll over into the next trading session. If you let your trade roll over and are spread trading on the market to:
  • Go up - then you would normally pay a small financing fee, or
  • Go down - then a small payment is usually credited to your account
For details see rolling daily spread trading.


Gold Rolling Daily Example


If we think about the spread of $1,403.9 - $1,404.3 and make the assumptions that:
  • You have analysed the gold market, and
  • You think that gold will move higher than $1,404.3
Then you might buy at $1,404.3 for a stake of, letís say, £2 per $0.1.

With such a trade you make a profit of £2 for every $0.1 that gold pushes above $1,404.3. Of course, it also means that you will lose £2 for every $0.1 that gold drops below $1,404.3.

Put another way, if you buy a spread trade then your profit/loss is calculated by taking the difference between the closing price of the market and the price you bought the spread at. You then multiply that price difference by your stake.

As a result, if after a few trading sessions the commodity rose then you might consider closing your position to secure your profit. If the market rose and the spread moved to $1,410.6 - $1,411.0. You would settle your position by selling at $1,410.6. As a result, with the same £2 stake this trade would make you a profit of:

Profit / loss = (Settlement Level - Opening Level) x stake
Profit / loss = ($1,410.6 - $1,404.3) x £2 per $0.1 stake
Profit / loss = $6.3 x £2 per $0.1 stake
Profit / loss = £126 profit

Trading commodities spreads is not straightforward. With this example, you had speculated that gold would go up. Naturally, it could decrease. If gold had started to fall then you might choose to close your position in order to limit your losses.

So if the market dropped to $1,398.7 - $1,399.1 then you would sell back your position at $1,398.7. This would result in a loss of:

Profit / loss = (Settlement Level - Opening Level) x stake
Profit / loss = ($1,398.7 - $1,404.3) x £2 per $0.1 stake
Profit / loss = -$5.6 x £2 per $0.1 stake
Profit / loss = -£112.00 loss

Note: Gold rolling daily market taken as of 21-Feb-11.


Financial Spreads » "With FinancialSpreads.com you get all the advantages of
Spread Trading as well as commission free CFD Trading on 2,500+ markets, 24 hour trading, professional level charts and..." read Financial Spreads review.


Crude Oil Trading Example


Looking at Tradefair, they are currently pricing the Brent crude oil ĎAprilí futures market at $105.08 - $105.13. This means you could speculate on the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil:
  • Moving higher than $105.13, or
  • Moving lower than $105.08
On the settlement date for this 'April' futures market, 11-Mar-11.

With crude oil spread trading, you trade in £x per $0.01. So, if you decided to risk £2 per $0.01 and Brent crude moves $0.05 then that would change your P&L by £10 given that £2 per $0.01 x $0.05 = £10.


Crude Oil Futures Example


So, if we think about the spread of $105.08 - $105.13 and assume:
  • You have analysed the oil markets, and
  • Your analysis leads you to think that Brent crude will finish higher than $105.13 by 11-Mar-11
Then you might decide to go long of crude at $105.13 for a stake of £1 per $0.01.

Therefore, you win £1 for every $0.01 that the price of a barrel of Brent crude oil moves above $105.13. Conversely, however, you will lose £1 for every $0.01 that the Brent crude market sinks below $105.13.

Looking at this from another angle, should you ĎBuyí a trade then your P&L is found by taking the difference between the final price of the market and the price you bought the spread at. You then multiply that difference in price by your stake.

As a result, if, on the expiry date, the Brent crude oil market closed higher at $106.42, then:

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = ($106.42 - $105.13) x £1 per $0.01 stake
Profit / loss = $1.29 x £1 per $0.01 stake
Profit / loss = £129 profit

Trading commodities doesn't always work out as you would have liked. In this example, you wanted the commodity to increase. Naturally the price of oil could also have fallen.

If Brent crude oil had fallen and settled at $103.76, you would end up making a loss.

Profit / loss = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit / loss = ($103.76 - $105.13) x £1 per $0.01 stake
Profit / loss = -$1.37 x £1 per $0.01 stake
Profit / loss = -£137 loss

Note - Brent crude oil ĎAprilí futures spread quoted as of 21-Feb-11.


Where Can I Find Commodities Trading Charts?


Most spread trading companies offer candlestick charts in addition to a wide range of historical data and analysis. For example, the commodities spreads charts offered by most of the firms listed on CleanFinancial.com let you add a range of automated settings such as Moving Averages and Bollinger Bands.

So depending upon how you want to trade the markets, you can quickly change the charts to show the data across a variety of different time scales from minute-by-minute to hour-by-hour to week-by-week.

Example Commodities Chart

commodities Trading Guide - Example Chart


Commodities Trading Companies Ė Account Services Comparison


The companies detailed below all offer account holders a range of commodities markets as well as all the normal spread trading benefits mentioned above, ie commission free, tax free* trading, two-way trading and a wide variety of markets.

User Ratings 7.6 6.6 6.7 7.1
Web Platform Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts Spread Betting Accounts
iPhone App iPhone App iPhone App iPhone App iPhone App
iPad App iPad App iPad App iPad App iPad App
Android Apps Android Apps Android Apps Android Apps Android Apps
24 Hour Trading 24 Hour Trading with Financial Spreads 24 Hour Trading with City Index 24 Hour Trading with ETX Capital 24 Hour Trading with CMC Markets
Live Charts Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Stop Loss Available Financial Spreads Stop Loss Orders City Index Stop Loss Orders ETX Capital Stop Loss Orders CMC Markets Stop Loss Orders
Automatic Stop Loss Automatic Stop Loss on Financial Spreads Trades Automatic Stop Loss on City Index Trades Automatic Stop Loss on ETX Capital Trades Automatic Stop Loss on CMC Markets Trades
Deposit Account Financial Spreads Deposit Accounts City Index Deposit Accounts ETX Capital Deposit Accounts CMC Markets Deposit Accounts
Credit Account Financial Spreads Credit Accounts City Index Credit Accounts ETX Capital Credit Accounts CMC Markets Credit Accounts
FCA Authorised and Regulated Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Comparison Notes.


Commodities Trading and Risk Management


All investments come with some element of risk and with spread trading you can lose more than your original stake or investment.

Before you trade, note that spread trades carry a high level of risk so ensure that spread trading matches your investment objectives. Familiarise yourself with the risks that are involved. Seek independent advice where necessary.

At the same time though, you can employ fairly simple risk management techniques to reduce your downside such as:
  • Putting limits on your trade in order to limit your losses without impacting your upside, for more details see Guaranteed Stop Losses

  • Trading with small stakes, eg you can trade with smaller stakes such as £1 per point or $1 per point. You wonít win as much as if you trade with larger stakes, but any losses will also be smaller.
Itís always surprising how many investors get greedy and ignore these techniques.



Financial Spreads » "With FinancialSpreads.com you get all the advantages of
Spread Trading as well as commission free CFD Trading on 2,500+ markets, 24 hour trading, professional level charts and..." read Financial Spreads review.


Commodities Trading - 11 July 2016


Date Trading Update

For more see our 'latest commodity trading reports'.

Readers please note:


Trading Risk Warning
'Commodities Trading' edited by DB, updated 11-Jul-16

For related articles also see:




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