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14 December 2017: Quote of the Day

We even sell a pair of earrings for under £1, which is cheaper than a prawn sandwich from Marks and Spencer. But I have to say that the earrings probably won’t last as long”Gerald Ratner, 1991

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Dear Spread Betting Diary

14 December 2017: The Fed Hiked And The Dollar Fell


Update by Ipek Ozkardeskaya, Senior Market Analyst, LCG

13 December 2017: New Trading Videos (with Technical Analysis)

We’ve added 2 new videos:

video_label a 13 minute video taking a longer look at the US dollar. The video concentrates on the US dollar index, USD/JPY and gold – see trading the US dollar in 2018.

video_label 4 minutes of technical analysis on the HK50 – see is the Kong Kong Hang Seng on course to hit 30,000?

FOMC Meetings Create “Expected” Volatility

warningIf you have open positions heading into tonight’s Fed announcements (see below) – then don’t forget that, after the monthly Nonfarm Payrolls, it’s the FOMC meetings that normally produce the most “expected” volatility.

I know we are crying out for more market volatility but, just like the NFP, these short-term spikes can hurt.

You have been warned.

Comedy Currency Trading!

warningTalking of volatile trading, the comedy currency that is Bitcoin continues to have intraday $1,000 – $1,500 swings!

If you combine these swings with spread betting or CFD trading you will get hurt very quickly and it will be really painful.

Or… as I like to say:

Combining ultra volatile markets with leveraged trading is like drinking and driving… it is only a matter of time before a something really really bad happens.
Did I just quote myself? Yes, sorry. I just wanted to make sure that stood out.

If you really want to jump on the bubble that is Bitcoin, see:

What? An Alabama Election to Move the Spread Betting Markets?

The Moore the Merrier? Not This Time

It looks like the hideous Roy Moore has lost the race for the Alabama Senate seat that was up for grabs.

There are a lot of unpleasant allegations about Roy Moore but I don’t agree with trail by internet.

… however, we can judge him by his own words, see the Moore the Merrier? Not This Time.

Looking at the markets though, this unexpected victory also points at how unpopular Trump is.

Crucially, losing a Senate seat makes things far more tricky for Trump and the Republican agenda.

See why the Alabama State election is important for the spread betting markets.

12 December 2017: Bitcoin’s Extreme Electricity Usage – Another Reason the Market Could Crash

warning We’ve added a new video that’s acts as a nice health warning for anyone looking to trade the cryptocurrency.

At the moment Bitcoin miners are using as much electricity as Nigeria (90m people).

Before long miners will be using as much as electricity as Japan

See Bitcoin Market Manipulation, Electricity Usage and Why Bitcoin Could Crash.

11 December 2017: Is the Santa Rally About to Kick Off?

Below, a quick 4 minute video looking at the Santa rally that often boosts the FTSE 100.

lightbulb_outline Taking 30 years of data… the FTSE 100 rallies an average of about 2% rally from mid-December to the end of the month.

With the FTSE 100 above 7,450 a 2% increase would take it to/above the all-time highs aroud 7,556.

Bubble Trading – You Shouldn’t But If You Really Really Must…

There might be a semi-convenient way of buying / holding / selling Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.

It’s not advisable to trade such volatile markets when they are in such clear bubbles but if you really really must…

info Revolut has added cryptocurrency exchange.

This might be one of the least stupid ways to invest:

thumb_up The exchange is just an exchange, it’s not leveraged. If you deposit £200 and convert it into Bitcoin… then, when the bubble bursts you’ll only lose your £200.

thumb_up You won’t get stopped out in highly volatile swings.

thumb_up Revolut is FCA regulated and so this gives you more security over your deposits.

For more see our article – Is this the Least Stupid Way to Trade Bitcoin, Litecoin & Ethereum?

11 December 2017: There’s a Lot of Economic Data this Week

Today could be quiet but come Tuesday, the markets could still be quite lively.

Below a 10 minute look at how things could unfold with updates from the Fed, BoE & ECB.

There’s UK and US inflation updates, new wage growth data and naturally these feed into the forex markets.

If you skip to 6 minutes, there’s some quick technical analysis on how the new data could impact the markets.

8 December 2017: It’s a Busy Few Days for Bitcoins

trending_uptrending_downtrending_up It’s hits $17,000 in yet more erratic trading.

warningwarning Overnight the cryptocurrency jumped to $17,000 before dropped back to $14,000.

According to David Madden, Market Analyst, CMC Markets:

The cryptocurrency is seeing tremendous volatility, but the upward is still in place for now.
warning $80m Stolen worth of Bitcoin was stolen from a mining service.

7 December 2017: A Few Trading Warnings and… One Spread Betting Idea!

We have updates on:

warning Bitcoin as it hits $14,000 – see Bitcoin spread betting update.

warning US crude oil production is at record levels – see crude oil spread betting update.

lightbulb_outline and… a new Channel Trading (Range Trading) idea. This is one to watch.

Trump Tax Cuts

4 December 2018: Trump Tax Plan Gets Closer

Trump Tax Plan

3 December 2018: Technical Levels for the Week Ahead

Below, a useful 8 minute video taking a look at the coming week with a quick technical look at the Dow Jones, FTSE 100, Japan 225, USDJPY, EURUSD, GBPUSD, crude oil and gold.

It’s a New Month – Don’t Forget Your Rebates

A few firms like InterTrader and Financial Spreads have monthly spread betting, CFD and forex rebates.

It’s worth checking them out if you trade a lot (or trade semi-frequently with +£5/pt trades)

If you don’t trade much, or trade with smaller trade sizes like £1/pt, then you’re unlikely to get much from a rebate.

There’s full rundown in our spread betting, CFD and forex rebates guide.

1 December 2017: Yep, the Leader of the Free World is Still a Daft Racist

I’m not a massive fan of The Mirror but they’ve got their reporting right on this one.

Donald Trump has retweeted three racist tweets by Britain First and then managed to have a public spat with Theresa May.

30 November 2017: Good and Bad News: Spread Betting & CFD Firms Making it Almost Impossible to Trade Bitcoin

The extreme volatility of Bitcoin has now started to cause some real concern to the brokers that offer it.

Plus 500 now offers the market at:

thumb_down Margin – now at 50%, i.e. just x2 leverage
thumb_down Wide spreads – currently a $208 spread with the price at $9,848 – that’s a 2.1% spread
thumb_down Overnight financing rates – now at 175%! That’s very nasty a pay-day-loans rate.

The equivalent industry norms for a market like the FTSE 100 are closer to:

thumb_up Margin of 0.50%, i.e. x200 leverage
thumb_up Spreads – at around 0.1%, i.e. around 1pt of the FTSE
thumb_up Overnight financing rates – at LIBOR + 2.5%, i.e. better than many UK mortgage rates

Just to confirm, Plus 500 are more reasonable with their normal markets. They clearly don’t want anyone trading Bitcoin.

It’s not just Plus 500 that are restricting the market, IG are also concerned.

warning If the brokers are concerned, you should avoid the market like the plague!

For more, see our update on: Spread Betting and CFD Brokers Concerned About Bitcoin Losses.

29 November 2017: Electronic Tulips Trading at $10,849!

trending_up Bitcoin has passed $10,000 and hit $10,849 – see live Bitcoin chart.

trending_down It then crumbled and it 25 minutes dropped to $10,058, i.e. a $791 (7.3%) fall.

As usual it’s not the upward market that will hurt anyone speculating on BTC, the wild swings will empty your spread betting account

trending_up A few hours later and the market is trading up $677 at $10,735… a 6.5% swing

warning If you spread bet on this market, you will get hurt.

Today’s Bitcoin chart… so far

Oh… and it’s not just us trying to warn people about this market.

Bloomberg have released a good chart (below).

Also see our view “Bitcoin is Different to Tulips (But Not in a Good Way)“.

Day of the Triffids Tulips!

Potential Spread Bets on Dow, S&P, EUR/USD and Gold

Below, a 7 minute video looking at why spread bettors might still want to be long of the Dow Jones, S&P 500, EUR/USD and gold… until there is a solid break lower:

There are some interesting views here but don’t forget your Stops!

Euro Stoxx to Drive Higher?

Below, a 4 minute video looking at the Euro Stoxx 50 which certainly isn’t the most popular market.

But!… the market has moved above the 50 day moving average and the MACD (momentum) has turned positive.

28 November 2017: Crude Oil Prices Looking Limited in the Short-Term

warning We’ve got a situation where far-term oil futures are cheaper than near-term futures and that will help keep a lid on things… and/or it’s a sign that a lot of the big players think that prices are going nowhere fast.

There is also a key OPEC meeting this week to discuss the on-going production limits… and possible extension to those limits.

Of course, saying you’re limiting production and actually limiting production, are two rather different things in the shady world of crude oil…

We’ve added a useful 9 minute video to give you some insight in to how this might play out – see our crude oil spread betting guide.

27 November 2017: Bitcoin Just Off $10,000

warning The cryptocurrency is trading north of $9,500.

As usual, we’re very much against trading cryptocurrencies due to the fact that people tend to combine these highly volatile markets with high risk trading like spread betting or CFDs.

This combination just leads to very painful losses.

Also see New Prediction as Bitcoin Trades above $9,500.

25 November 2017: The Week Ahead – Dollar Weakness, the OPEC Meeting & UK Bank Stress Tests

Below, a useful 10 minute look at the week ahead covering the current dollar weakness and how that’s affecting the DAX, EUR/USD and GBP/USD.

This week we also have the OPEC meeting on Thursday 30 November where the cartel may disappoint.

At the same time, while Brent crude oil is in a solid up trend it is approaching stiff resistance. And… to add to the conundrum, Brent and US crude are giving slightly different technical signals.

warning If you’re more interested in UK equities then skip 6m:34s into the video. Here, Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets, discuses the UK bank stress tests that could impact Barclays, Lloyds and RBS.

23 November: Hong Kong Hang Seng Up 66% Since February 2016

trending_up Most stock markets have being doing well… the Hong Kong 50’s 66% increase is quite something though.

We’ve added a quick technical analysis video on where the market might go next.

Please see our Hong Kong stock market spread betting guide.


UK Budget Summary in Cartoons

Philip Hammond Brexit Budget Dog's Breakfast
The above still seems relevant…

UK Government New Homes Policy
The above still seems relevant irrelevant…

21 November: Time to Short AUD/USD or GBP/AUD or EUR/AUD?

Below, a 5 minute technical analysis video looking at the current Aussie dollar weakness.

If you missed it, there is a fundamental reason why the AUD is looking rather weak.

The recent Reserve Bank of Australia minutes show that the central bank is concerned over low wages growth and “tame” inflation.

As usual, limited inflation = no need to raise interest rates = weaker currency.

Let’s take that quick look at some possible entry and exit points:

Time Running Out for Merkel?
No new German election before April 2018?

Autumn Budget – Will the Chancellor Continue to Prop Up Housing?

Below, a 4 minute video from IG on where Philip Hammond might put his our money in tomorrow’s budget…

He could just play safe and try to boost housing. After all, as one analyst says:

75% of debt is mortgages, every 4% change in house prices has a 1% impact on consumption.

A nationwide fall in house prices unequivocally leads to a recession in the UK.

18 November: Trading the Week Ahead and the UK Autumn Budget

Below, a useful 9 minute video looking at the week ahead and the current weakness in the European stock markets.
  • trending_downThe DAX is seeing interesting reversal pattern, as is the Euro Stoxx and Nikkei 225

    The video also covers key areas of Autumn budget.
  • trending_flatMoves for GBP/USD could be limited
  • warningThere could be bigger moves for EUR/GBP

17 November 2017: Mueller Probes and GBP/USD Seesaws

Floods of Trump Fans

  • trending_downGBP/USD had dropped as the dollar had got stronger after Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the tax bill (that’s a small but significant step for the US tax reforms that The Donald wants).

  • trending_upHowever the pound then gained 0.5% on news that Robert Mueller has now subpoenaed ‘more than a dozen’ Trump officials in the on going Russia probe.

  • trending_flatAnd now this morning’s strong start from sterling has petered out as Brexit issues hinder the currency once more. GBP/USD is now flat albeit on the wrong side of $1.32.

  • trending_downSterling weakness hasn’t helped the FTSE 100. Commodity stocks continue to hold the index back and broker downgrades have meant Severn Trent and United Utilities giving up 4.3% and 2.2% respectively.

    The FTSE is hovering around 7,390 not far off it’s 6 week lows.

Bitcoin Hits $8,000 and Financial Conduct Authority Warns on Cryptocurrency Trading

warning It’s been another extremely volatile period for Bitcoin and the regulator has issued a statement saying cryptocurrency spread betting and CFDs are “extremely high-risk, speculative products”.

Anyone reading, SpreadBetMagazine will know we like leveraged trading but are very much against cryptocurrencies trading.

These markets are simply too volatile for leveraged trading.

The intra moves are probably still the ones that hurt most people though. The market is easily swinging $500 up AND down in a single day:

Bitcoin Chart: 16-17 Nov 2017
$500 up AND down in under 24 hours…
Also see:

Good News on Binary Trading… Finally Some Regulation!

thumb_up The FCA has said it will regulate Binary trading (aka binary options) from 3 January 2018.

There are a huge number of cowboys operating in the binaries spaces (and there will be plenty of cowboys operating after 3 January) but hopefully this is good news for investors.

If you are going to trade binaries (which is a bit of a strange product) then at least you’ll be able to choose an FCA regulated firm and should give you ‘some’ protection.

16 November 2017: The DAX 30 and Japan 225 Could Drop Another 10%

  • trending_downYesterday, European stock markets closed down for a fifth day in a row.

  • warningAnd… according to Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst, CMC Markets, further sizeable falls are possible.
Both the DAX 30 and Japan 225 look quite vulnerable to further losses.

The two markets have added more than 12% in 2017 and that beats the most upbeat of forecasts.

There are concerns over high yield credit as well as a survey showing that investors are underweight in cash.

We could easily see more falls as portfolio managers lock in profits before the year end.

If there is a rush for the door, and no stabilisation in the next day or so, then another 10% fall could be on the cards.

DAX 30 Chart for 2017
Will the Support at 13,000 Hold?

Nikkei 225 Chart for 2017
Already 1,000pts Off Last Week’s High

Stock Market Volatility Up… But Still Low…

Yes, market volatility is up but anyone looking for a “decent bit of volatility” will be disappointed.

The daily chart is showing we’re at the highest levels since 21 August:

Some caution is needed…

At the same time, the longer-term weekly VIX chart is showing that we’re still low compared with the last 4 years….


15 November 2017: Sterling and the FTSE 100 Say ‘Meh’ to New Jobs Data

  • trending_flatUK unemployment has increased by 14,000 but the unemployment rate is still at 4.3%.

  • trending_downMore importantly, UK wage growth for Q3 rose to 2.2% from 2.1%. That’s better-than-expected but still below inflation.

    And that means real wages continue to fall… and that’s not great ahead of Christmas… or any other time of year.

Dollar Issues & Sterling Wilts Against the Euro

  • trending_downSterling has fallen 0.4% vs the euro and is hovering above a 4 week low.

  • trending_flatThere hasn’t been a big move vs the dollar – the dollar has its own issues. GBPUSD is pretty flat.

  • trending_downThe dollar is 0.4% down vs the euro and 0.6% down against the yen.

    The dollar may not get much help later this afternoon. US inflation is expected to fall to 0.1% from 0.5%, month-on-month.

    US retail sales are also expected to see a solid fall to 0.0% from 1.6%.

Commodity Sector Hits the FTSE 100

  • trending_downA 1.4% drop in UK crude oil (i.e. Brent), and a near 0.5% fall in copper prices, has lead to the FTSE dropping nearly 50 points.

    The commodity sector has helped drag the FTSE 100 below 7,375 and to its lowest point since the end of September.

Spain 35 Back Under Pressure

  • trending_downThe Spanish stock market has been tracking lower and selling pressure is increasing.

  • queue_play_nextWe’ve added a new 5 minute technical analysis video on our Spain 35 spread betting guide.

14 November 2017: The Stock Market Problem with Trump’s Tax Reforms

Trump's Slow Tax Reforms

As always, care is needed if you’re spread betting on the stock market (or any other market).

The markets are looking soft and a lot of that could be due to Trump’s tax reforms not happening any time soon.

“Tax reforms” this side of Christmas look unlikely and the Donald isn’t helping.

Why not take your profits if the cuts are still priced in?

warning Is there pressure on the markets to drop?

For more, see our review: Cut, Cut, Cut – The Stock Market Problem with Trump’s Tax Reforms.

New Video Looking at Why You Could Short GBP/USD

Ahead of next week’s Autumn Budget we’ve added a new video discussing the potential to short GBP/USD.
  • trending_downAre we looking at Sterling dropping through $1.3 in the next 10 or 15 trading sessions?
  • trending_downIt sounds like there could be a significant leg lower for GBP/USD
The 8 minute video is on our GBP/USD guide page.

European Stock Markets Looking Soft

trending_down We saw some sharp falls in European markets last week and they were pretty soft yesterday too.

The FTSE 100 fell to a 6 week low and, before rallying, the EuroStoxx 50 fell to its lowest levels since September.

No Obvious Reason for the Sell Off?

Economic data is looking reasonable with Eurozone Q3 GDP expected to stay at 0.6 (today is just the second reading of Q3). Likewise, November’s ZEW economic sentiment is expected to increase to 19.8.

Is it just that with stock market valuations already looking high we need more catalysts to push them higher?

Without any foreseeable catalysts, and the US markets taking a breather, it’s understandable that traders want to lock in some profits before the end of 2017.

Sterling Hit By Blustery Conditions

Sterling took a hit yesterday as Machiavellian politics (is there any other kind?) continue to envelop Theresa May.

The pound did have a decent bounce off the longer-term support but that support could easily be tested again.

warning Be careful if you’re trading Sterling based markets (that includes the FTSE 100).

This week we have quite a bit of UK data including inflation (today), new unemployment and wages figures as well as October retail sales.

We also have MPs debating the EU Withdrawal bill and probably more shenanigans from the Tory party.

There is plenty of bluster that can cause unexpected forex moves.

See 10 Reasons Why Sterling Could Break Lower.

Chinese Data Looking OK and ‘That’ Alibaba Number

Chinese data slipped a little in October as industrial production dropped to 6.2% from 6.6% month-on-month. October retail sales were 10% vs 10.5% expected.

While that’s a bit of a miss on retail sales, many Chinese consumers look like they were holding back for the “new tradition” of the November “Singles Day”.

starAlibaba reported $25bn in revenues for Singles Day, up 39% year-on-year.

That’s not a typo. Alibaba recorded $25bn! in revenues… for a one day. That’s a good day.

That also suggests the Chinese economy is still ticking along nicely.

And Don’t Forget…

Trump: No One Knows the System Better Than Me

Also see Donald Trump videos.

For more, please see Dear Spread Betting Diary.

What’s New on SpreadBetMagazine?

We have worked for the spread betting companies in the past. We spread bet. We trade CFDs. We have seen much of what goes on, both good and bad.

Hopefully we can cover some industry gossip too (even when it irritates our advertisers).

Our aim with Spread Bets Magazine is to:

  • arrow_forwardProvide some informative views on how you can improve your trading. We think most trading losses are due to school boy errors.We don’t have a magic pill or ’20 amazing trading secrets’ but if we can help you become more disciplined then will be hopefully save you some money
  • arrow_forwardGive more detail on how to make the spread betting sites work for you
  • arrow_forwardOffer personal views but not trading tips. Note, we are not regulated to give advice and that is probably a good thing!
  • arrow_forwardShed some light on the poor industry practices
  • arrow_forwardPoint out were the industry is pretty fair e.g. we know that many spread bettors don’t like the rolling charges (aka overnight financing charges). However, investors need to remember that when you spread bet or trade CFDs that you are borrowing from the relevant broker. If the broker charges you a rate of “(baserate +2.5%)/365” per night, that’s a reasonable borrowing rate. It’s probably better than your mortgage rate.
  • arrow_forwardFlatter our egos and pretend we know something useful (mostly by pointing out all the school boy errors we have made in the past)
  • arrow_forwardAdd a little colour, politics and humour to what can be a very dry topic – also see Dear Diary
Sometimes we all need this kind of trading assistance...

A Wee Disclaimer and Possible Conflict of Interest

We provide this site for free and rely primarily on advertising revenues for our funding.

Readers should assume that we could well have commercial relationships with the various brokers, third parties, writers etc. on SpreadBetMagazine.com.

We do our best to be impartial but if you think we’re not being impartial please contact us or, better still, if you think a broker review is unfair or their service has changed for the worse etc. please add a comment on that review.

The more user comments we have on the broker review pages the more balanced the reviews will be.

Good luck

Alex Turner
Senior Editor

AuthorAlex Turner

Senior Editor, SpreadBetMagazine