Crude Oil Review
Clean Financial - The Financial Spread Betting Website
Crude Oil Trading

Crude Oil Trading

Where Can I Open a Crude Oil Trading Account?

There are many spread trading companies which offer thousands of international markets such as commodities, like crude oil and gold, but also indices, foreign exchange and equities.

Some firms, such as Financial Spreads, provide the usual benefits of spread trading including two way, tax free* trading with zero commissions and the option of trading outside regular market hours.

Typical In-Hours Spread Sizes

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 Crude Oil Spread Trading

There are several advantages which spread trading holds over the typical methods of trading crude oil:
  • Spread trading is tax free*. You do not take possession of any assets, you are simply speculating on the future price of a barrel of oil. This means spread traders do not pay income tax, capital gains tax or stamp duty*.

  • Unlike traditional methods of trading crude oil, spread trading allows you to speculate on markets to go down as well as up. This provides added flexibility and allows you to trade in whichever direction your research suggests the oil market will move.

  • Most spread trading companies do not charge broker’s fees or commissions on your trades, this can help keep trading costs down.

  • Financial spread trading allows investors to trade a wide range of international markets and asset classes. You can trade both Brent Crude Oil and US Crude Oil contracts but you can also trade on gold, indices including the FTSE 100 and Dax 30, stocks and shares, foreign exchange and even bonds and interest rates from a single account.

Crude Oil Spread Trading Example

If you decide to spread trade on a market such as Brent Crude Oil then, on visiting a spread trading company's website, at the moment you would see the Brent Crude Oil (September) futures market priced at $75.18 - $75.23.

As a result, you can speculate on Brent Crude Oil settling:
  • above $75.23, or
  • below $75.18
On the expiry date for this market, 12-Aug-10.

As this is a futures market you should note that you can close your trade during market hours before the expiry date, however, the position will automatically close on the expiry date if it is still open.

When spread trading, investors trade on every unit the market moves up or down; with both the Brent Crude Oil and the US Crude Oil (WTI) markets a unit is 1¢ of the commodity's price movement.

For instance, you might decide to speculate £2 for every 1¢ Brent Crude Oil rises or falls.

Note that many spread trading firms also allow you to trade in Dollars or Euros, e.g. €x per 1¢.

Spread Trading on Crude Oil to Rise

If you bought the Brent Crude Oil (September) market at $75.23 and the commodity rose then you may decide to let your trade run to expiry. If that were to happen then the market might ultimately close on 12-Aug-10 with a price of $75.98. This would result in:

Profit or Loss = (closing price of the market - initial price of the market) x stake per 1¢
Profit or Loss = ($75.98 - $75.23) x £2 per 1¢ stake
Profit or Loss = $0.75 x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = 75¢ x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = £150 profit

The markets can of course fall, if the market spread was to drop to $74.52 - $74.57 before the expiry date, you could choose to close your position early to limit your losses. If so, you would sell your trade at $74.52.

Therefore, with the same £2 per 1¢ stake:

Profit or Loss = (closing price of the market - initial price of the market) x stake per 1¢
Profit or Loss = ($74.52 - $75.23) x £2 per 1¢ stake
Profit or Loss = -$0.71 x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = -71¢ x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = -£142 loss

Spread Trading on Crude Oil to Fall

One major advantage of spread trading is that you can sell the markets.

When we started this example, the Brent Crude Oil (September) price was $75.18 - $75.23.

If you were to sell at $75.18 and the market fell then the spread might change to $74.45 - $74.50. Assuming this was the case, you might decide to take your profits by closing your trade at $74.50 rather than letting it run to the expiry date.

Profit or Loss = (initial price of the market - closing price of the market) x stake per 1¢
Profit or Loss = ($75.18 - $74.50) x £2 per 1¢ stake
Profit or Loss = $0.68 x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = 68¢ x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = £136 profit

However, if the market were to rise to $75.77 - $75.82, you may decide to close your position to prevent further losses. If this were the case, you would buy at $75.82.

You would close your trade with the same £2 per 1¢ stake:

Profit or Loss = (initial price of the market - closing price of the market) x stake per 1¢
Profit or Loss = ($75.18 - $75.82) x £2 per 1¢ stake
Profit or Loss = -$0.64 x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = -64¢ x £2 per 1¢
Profit or Loss = -£128 loss

Brent Crude Oil (September) market accurate as of 09-Jul-10. Expiry date for this market: 17:00 BST, 12-Aug-10.

Where can I Find Crude Oil Spread Trading Charts?

Many spread trading firms like Financial Spreads provide a variety of historical data and analysis, which includes candlestick charts, on nearly all of the financial markets they offer.

In particular you are able to make use of live crude oil spread trading charts that offer a variety of statistics including Moving Averages and Bollinger Bands.

You can typically alter these charts to show data over several time frames that range from hours or minutes to days or even weeks.

For a real-time chart see: live crude oil futures chart.

Example Crude Oil Chart

Crude Oil Trading Guide - Example Chart

Crude Oil Trading Companies – Account Services Comparison

The companies detailed below all provide crude oil spread trading markets and offer the usual benefits of spread trading such as a wide variety of markets, tax free trading*, no broker’s fees and two way trading.

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.

Crude Oil Trading and Risk Management

You can get carried away when you start investing, particularly when thinking about the amount of money you might make. And making a profit is rarely seen as a bad thing. Still, investors have to remember that they won’t profit on every trade.

The one thing I always try to stress to anyone looking at the markets is that you can lose money. Naturally, as with all investing, be it on Stocks and Shares, pensions or buying barrels of crude oil, there is a downside and with spread trading you need to be careful because you can lose more than you initially invested.

It can be useful to think about some of the other areas which the following risk notice covers, "Spread trades carry a high level of risk. Before trading, ensure that spread trading matches your investment objectives. Familiarise yourself with the risks involved. Where necessary, seek independent advice".

Having said all that, you can put limits on your trades to help limit your losses without impacting your upside. To learn more see our feature on Stop Loss Orders.

Another option for reducing your risks is simply to trade with smaller stake sizes such as £1 per point or $1 per point. This is an all too often overlooked aspect of risk management and something any investor should bear in mind.

Financial Spreads » "With 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 - 11 July 2016

Date Trading Update

For more see our 'latest crude oil trading reports'.

Readers please note:

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

For related articles also see:

Free Financial Email Updates
Q) Average Trading Results?

A) Get free trading tips, offers, price updates, important news and more!
All Free - Click here!

Risk Warning

City Index
ETX Capital
Financial Spreads
Spread Betting News
Live Charts
Live Prices
Stock Market Spreads
Stock Market News
Stock Market Charts
Stock Market Prices
FTSE 100 Spreads
Dow Jones Spreads
DAX 30 Spreads
Forex Spreads
Forex News
Forex Charts
Forex Prices
EUR/USD Spreads
GBP/USD Spreads
Commodities Spreads
Commodities News
Commodities Charts
Commodities Prices
Gold Spreads
Crude Oil Spreads
Shares Spreads
Share Tips
Share Trading Reports
Share Charts
UK Shares
US Shares
Spread Betting
Bonds Spreads
Interest Rate Spreads
Spread Trading Blog
Financial Fixed Odds
CFD Trading
Trading Features
Trading Forum
Technical Trading
Free Newsletter
Why Spread Bet?
What's Spread Betting?
Trading Glossary