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Forex trading

  • Spreads from just 0.6 pips with Australia's No.1 retail FX provider1

  • Guaranteed stops available for trading in volatile markets*

  • A volume rebate scheme for high volume traders

Live forex prices

Markets Sell Buy Change

Prices above are subject to our website terms and conditions. Prices are indicative only.

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New to forex?

Forex (or sometimes just FX) is short for foreign exchange, and is the largest financial market in the world. Simply put, it’s how individuals and businesses convert one currency to another.

FX transactions worth trillions of dollars take place every day, and unlike stocks or commodities there’s no central exchange. Instead, currencies are traded by a global network of banks, dealers and brokers, which means you can trade any time, day or night, Monday to Friday. 

FX prices are influenced by a range of different factors, including interest rates, inflation, government policy, employment figures and demand for imports and exports.

And because of the sheer volume of currency traders and the amount of money exchanged, price movements can happen very quickly, making currency trading not only the largest financial market in the world, but also one of the most volatile.

Why trade forex?

Forex trading enables you to speculate on the relative strength of one currency against another. The large number of traders and immense quantity of currency traded on a daily basis give the forex market exceptionally high liquidity. This means it’s a very easy market for anyone to access – you can normally buy a currency on demand, because another trader somewhere will be willing to sell, or vice versa.

In trading forex you generally only need a small margin to get started, there are low transaction costs, and you can take advantage of high levels of leverage. It should always be kept in mind that leverage not only magnifies your potential profits but also your potential losses. It is possible to lose much more than your initial margin if the market turns sharply against you.

How does it work?

Forex prices are always quoted in currency pairs. This is because you are effectively buying one currency while selling the other. Each currency in the pair is known by a three letter currency code, such as AUD/USD.

The first currency listed in a pair is known as the base currency and the second currency is known as the quote currency. A forex price indicates how much one unit of the base currency will buy of the counter currency.

View AUD/USD example

Buying AUD/USD: detailed

0.76912 / 0.76920

Buy at 0.76920 (7,692.0 points)

Deal size

1 standard contract

Equals US$10 per point

Margin required

Margin = Number of contracts x value of one contract x current level (mid price) x margin rate (0.5%)

1 x US$10 x 7,691.6 x 0.5% = US$384.58

What happens next?
AUD/USD climbs 150 points into the next day. This position is held through 10pm London time, when funding is calculated.

Funding = size x (tom-next rate + admin fee of 0.3% pa)

US$10 x -0.96 = -US$9.60 (so you would actually receive US$9.60 in this instance)


0.78412 / 0.78420


Sell at 0.78412 (7,841.2 points)

Gross profit

7,841.2 - 7,692.0 = 149.2 points

Each contract is worth US$10 per point (so US$10 x 149.2 points)

Gross profit = US$1,492


0.8 point IG spread (included above)

Funding adjustment = US$9.60 (a credit to your account)
Net profit


What if...

What if the market dropped 150 points instead (with a spread of 0.8 points):

US$1,508 - US$9.60

Net loss = US$1,498.40


Going long or short

Depending on your view, you can either buy (‘go long’) or sell (‘go short’) in the forex markets.

Let’s say you have been keeping an eye on the euro and you think it will increase in value. In this situation, you would go long EUR/USD. In other words, you would buy euros and simultaneously sell dollars.

If you thought the euro was destined to decrease in value, you would go short EUR/USD. That would mean selling euros and buying dollars.

FX spreads and slippage rates

Spot FX

IG spreads Forex Direct (DMA)


of orders 

filled without 


Min. spread Av. spread2 Av. spread3
EUR/USD 0.6 0.70 0.142 98.18
AUD/USD 0.6 0.76 0.329 98.77
EUR/GBP 0.9 1.14


GBP/USD 0.9 1.28 0.639 98.71


See our full list of currency pairs and live prices.

Why trade forex with IG?

  • Leading FX provider

    We're Australia's No.1 retail forex provider1

  • Low spreads

    Spreads from 0.6 pips on EUR/USD and AUD/USD

  • Deal on bitcoin prices

    Without having to buy and store actual bitcoins

  • Direct market access

    Full market transparency with Forex Direct (DMA)

  • Unique range of charts

    Essential and pro charts on desktop and apps

  • Money protection

    All client money is fully segregated and protected

Open an account now

There's no minimum balance to open an account, it takes less than five minutes, and there's no obligation to fund or trade.

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1 Number 1 in Australia by primary relationships, Investment Trends November 2015 FX Report.

2 Average spread (Monday 00:00 - Friday 22:00 GMT) for the twelve weeks ending 7 October 2016. For our minimum spreads, please see our CFD and MT4 details.

3 Time-weighted (22:00-20:00 GMT) average spread by trade (quoted to three decimal places), August 2016.

4 Percentage of attached and unattached orders filled at the requested level, December 2015.

* Guaranteed stops are not available on all markets and the size of the positions on which we are able to offer this facility may be limited. Please contact our Helpdesk for details.

Contact us

We're here 24hrs a day Monday to Friday.

1800 601 734

You can also call +61 (3) 9860 1799
email helpdesk.au@ig.com or tweet us at @IGClientHelp


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