All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.
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Over 185,000 clients worldwide
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CFD trading

Flexible, accessible and free from stamp duty, CFD trading is an alternative way to go long or short on a huge variety of financial markets.1

All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

Why trade CFDs with IG?

It takes less than five minutes to open a CFD trading account, and you get reduced commissions for your first two weeks.2

  • Join the UK's No.1 CFD provider3 for superior service and support

  • Competitive rates: FX from 0.8 points, indices from 0.4 points, shares from 0.1% commission

  • Never miss an opportunity, wherever you are, with our mobile trading app 

  • Opportunities in over 15,000 markets: indices, forex, shares, commodities and more

  • Take control with our extensive range of stops, limits and alerts

  • Access our free research tools to become a better-informed trader

What are CFDs?

contract for difference, or CFD, is a derivative product which enables you to speculate/trade on the difference in price of a financial market between when the contract opens and when it closes. The profit or loss you make depends on the extent to which your forecast is correct.

  • Importantly, CFDs are a leveraged product. This means you only have to put down a small deposit for a much larger market exposure
  • Leverage comes with significant benefits and risks: your investment capital can go further, but you can also lose more than your initial deposit

While this means the product is very flexible, it also requires a high level of risk management. It's important to remember you're trading contracts with IG, not physically trading in the underlying market. This means you don’t actually own any assets.
 

Example CFD share trade

What are the advantages of CFD trading?

  • Flexible: Speculate on market price movements without buying or selling the underlying market, eliminating the need for brokers, forex providers and futures exchanges
  • Accessible: Whether you’re an experienced trader or relatively new to the markets, you can set up a free online trading account and get started in a matter of minutes
  • A variety of markets: Choose from indices, shares, forex and commodities, as well as interest rates, ETFs and more
  • Go short or long: Trade markets you think are about to fall in value, not just those you expect to rise. This makes CFDs particularly useful for hedging existing positions in your portfolio
  • Make your capital go further: CFDs are a leveraged product, meaning you only need to put up a fraction of the value of the market – its margin – to gain exposure to the full value of your trade
  • No stamp duty: CFDs are free from stamp duty, and you can offset losses against future profits as a tax deduction1
  • Out-of-hours markets: Close positions overnight with 24-hour trading on a number of markets, or trade over the weekend with Sunday trading

How do you trade CFDs?

To trade CFDs, you’ll first need to set up a CFD trading account. You can do so in a matter of minutes, and once approved, you can then fund your account and start trading using an online trading platform. This is where you’ll see all the available markets, as well as view the prices for each contract. 

We set prices based on the underlying market. For most markets, you are given a 'buy' and 'sell' price either side of the underlying market price. For equities, you will also need to pay a commission charge on top of this. You can take a position on a market going up (known as 'buying' or 'going long') or going down (known as 'selling' or 'going short').

We also offer a number of tools, including stops and limits, designed to help you limit your losses and secure profits you make along the way. 

Who trades CFDs?

CFDs are suitable for a wide range of traders:
 
  • Shares traders looking to diversify their portfolio by trading on indices, commodities, forex and more
  • Forex traders looking to gain exposure to deep liquidity with direct market access (DMA)
  • Indices traders looking to take a position on entire sectors, from banking to mining
  • Plus commodities, options and ETP traders looking to access the markets without committing a lot of capital up front
 
 
  • CFD trading account details

    See CFD trading account information, including benefits, fees and what you get for free.

  • What can you trade on a CFD?

    Here’s some detailed information on the markets you can trade on with CFDs, including indices, shares, forex, and commodities.

Choose from more than 15,000 markets

  • Indices

    FTSE 100, Wall Street, Germany 30 and more

  • Shares

    Competitive rates on over 8000 shares, plus DMA trading

  • Forex

    Choose from over 60 currency pairs with the UK's No.1 retail forex provider2

  • Commodities

    Trade on gold, silver, oil and dozens more commodity markets

  • Other markets

    Deal on interest rates, bonds, sectors, ETPs and more

Awards

Shares Awards
Best CFD provider
2016, 2017

ADVFN Awards 
Best finance app 
2016, 2017

Online Personal Wealth Awards 
Best Overall Personal Wealth Provider 
2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Open an account now

It's free to open an account, takes less than five minutes, and there's no obligation to fund or trade.

CFD FAQs

How much does it cost to trade CFDs?

With IG, you’ll need to fund your account by a minimum of £250 to get started. 

The costs of CFDs themselves depend on the market you choose, changing according to, among other factors, the liquidity of the market in question. You generally only pay a commission charge for share CFDs, and a spread (the difference between the buy and sell prices) for all other markets. Plus, every market comes with its own minimum number of contracts you will need to buy or sell to open your position.

There is also a small charge to fund positions overnight and for guaranteed stops (if triggered), and there may be additional fees for specialist tools. 

See our full charges and fees

Is CFD trading risky?

Like all forms of trading, CFDs carry risk. You’ll lose money if a market moves against you, and, if you fail to adequately manage your risk, these losses could increase suddenly and significantly. Keep in mind that CFDs are leveraged products, meaning you could lose more than the initial deposit you put down to open your position.

This is why it’s essential you do your research before you go into any trade, and that you have an effective risk-management strategy in place. IG offers a range of tools and features to help you manage your risk, as well as educational resources to refine your understanding of the potential pitfalls.

See risk management tools

What’s the difference between spread betting and CFD trading?

Spread betting and CFD trading share a lot in common, including leveraged access to the markets, round-the-clock dealing and the scope for short-selling. There are, however, a few areas in which they differ:
 
  • Profits from spread betting are free from both capital gains tax and stamp duty, while profits from CFD trading are exempt only from stamp duty1
  • You pay commission when you trade CFDs on shares, while spread betting costs are only ever covered in the spread
  • Unlike spread bettors, CFD traders can gain direct market access (DMA) to exchange order books and deep liquidity

More on CFDs vs spread betting

What’s the difference between CFD trading and share dealing?

When you trade CFDs, you never own the underlying shares. You’re instead entering an agreement to exchange the difference in value of an asset between the point at which the contract is opened and when it is closed. When you trade shares, however, you are purchasing actual equity in the company.While this means you receive the benefits that come with ownership, it also means that you only stand to profit if the value of those shares rises. CFDs enable you to put yourself in a position to profit from markets you believe will fall, as well as those you expect to rise.

CFD traders can also take a position on a market using a far smaller initial outlay than traditional share dealing, thanks to leverage. To deal shares, you generally need to purchase shares for their full value, and as a result tie up significantly more of your capital.  

What platforms can I use to trade CFDs?

Whether you’re at home or on the move, just starting out in the markets or ready for the next step, we offer a number of platforms to help you trade CFDs:
 
  • Web platform: Our browser-based platform that comes as standard with an IG account
  • MetaTrader 4: An advanced trading platform built for automated trading
  • L2 dealer: A downloadable DMA platform, for direct access to shares and forex markets
  • Trading apps: Our free apps, natively designed across all major mobile and tablet devices
 
 

How can I switch from my current CFD provider to IG?

You can sign up for an account with us in moments, and start trading as soon as you’ve funded your account. 

Our mobile trading apps, state-of-the-art technology and free educational tools make the process of switching your account to us an effortless experience. And as the UK's No.1 CFD provider, we offer opportunities across 15,000 markets, including forex from 0.6 points, indices from 0.4 points and shares from 0.1% commission.3

You might be interested in...

Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

2 Introductory offer. See more details.

Based on number of active UK financial spread betting accounts (Investment Trends UK Leveraged Trading Report released June 2017); for CFDs, based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, October 2016). 

Example CFD Share Trade

Buying Barclays: detailed

 

CFD
Underlying market/value Barclays Plc 281/281.1
Our price 281/281.1
Deal Buy at 281
Deal size 2000 shares
Initial margin required

Notional value x margin factor

= £5622 x 5%

= £281.10

What happens next?

The market rallies and the closing price of Barclays is 292. This level is used to calculate overnight funding.

The following day, the market continues to rally.

Funding

One day funding =

((One-month LIBOR + admin charges) x Notional value) / 365

= ((0.51% + 2.5%) x £5.840 / 365

= £0.48

Underlying market 295/295.1
Close Sell at 295
Gross profit

£278

295 – 281.1 = 13.9p

Number of shares = 2000

£0.139 x 2000 = £278

Costs

Commission: £10 to open + £10 to close = £20

This is charged to open and to close. It is calculated ar 0.1% of the notional value of the position, with a minimum charge of £10

To open: Notional value x 0.1% = £5800 x 0.1% = £5.880. The minimum commission is therefore charged.

Funding: £0.48

Net profit £257.52 profit subject to tax
What if...

If the underlying market fell to 267/267.1 instead:

267 – 281.1 = -14.1 pence

(-£0.141 x 2000) + £20 + £0.48 

=£302.48 net loss

 

Contact us

We're here 24hrs a day from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

0800 195 3100

You can also email us at newaccounts.uk@ig.com

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