Forex trading in Australia is interesting both for international traders and Australian citizens. Australian FX brokers are authorized by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). ASIC regulated brokers are those that have passed a set of standards set by the institution. Operating in Australia means that ASIC monitors their activities . Traders conduct transactions by using forex trading platforms. ASIC is the financial markets regulator. ASIC has to authorize every forex broker. They get the Australian financial Services Licence (AFS). ASIC’s website is asic.gov.au and their twitter account is @ASIC_Connect. As a trader wishing to trade forex in Australia, you should pick the right forex broker. This list will help you choose the right one.
Best FX Brokers in Australia
We compiled a list of the best forex brokers and ranked them. This is our list of the top Forex brokers for Australians:
- AvaTrade – Best Overall Forex Broker 2020
- eToro – Best Australian Social Forex Broker
- Plus500 – Best Forex Trading Platform for Advanced Traders
- CMC Markets – Best for High Net-worth Investors
- Saxo Bank – Best Premium FX Broker
- City Index – Best Research Tools
- FXCM – Great Education for Forex Traders
- IG – Best Advanced Features
- Pepperstone – Best Advanced Features
Why should you read this list of best forex brokers?
There are dozens of brokers in Australia. There are hundreds of trading platforms and forex brokers around the world. While it is great to have many options available, it is overwhelming to find the best among many. The following list of the best forex brokers is for traders living in Australia. It should help you in narrowing down your alternatives. We base this list on a set of variables important to make the right choice.
Compare Forex Brokers Australia In Detail
Available To Australian’s
Average Spread EUR/USD
YES (licence #406684)
YES (licence #491139)
YES (licence #417727)
YES (licence #238054 )
YES (licence #220440)
YES (licence #280372)
YES (licence #345646)
YES (licence #309763)
YES (licence #414530)
1.00 – 1.300
1 – Avatrade – Best Broker Overall
Founded in 2006 and regulated by top tier-1 and tier-2 authorities. AvaTrade is adhering to 8 financial regulatory authorities in 6 jurisdictions. AvaTrade is a safe broker for both CFD and foreign exchange trading. Traders can protect themselves for up to one million dollars. Avaprotect is their balance protection (fees apply).
- Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC)
- Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
- Japanese Financial Services Authority (JFSA)
- British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (B.V.I)
- South African Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA)
- Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA)
- Central Bank Of Ireland (CBI)
- Polish Financial Supervision Authority (PFSA)
AvaTrade developed their own proprietary web trading platform. They offer MetaTrader 4 and Metatrader 5, ZuluTrade, DupliTrade (great for social trading). A variety of forex trading platforms make AvaTrade one of the best in this aspect. AvaTrade is expanding their range of investment products. They develop new trading tools and number of licences. Traders can open a demo account and learn more about their trading platform.
Fees & Commissions
In November 2019, AvaTrade reduced their spreads by up to 50%, making it a competitive broker. Their spreads are over market. Their fees and trading conditions are great.
Avatrade trading fees are low, which is suitable for traders that trade multiple times per week.
Compliant with a wide variety of tier-1 and tier-2 authorities
Phone support not the best
Offers only forex and CFDs, Cryptos
Competitive fees & commissions
Great array of trading platforms
Great research tools
Fast trading account opening
Multiple deposit and withdrawal options
2 – eToro – Best Social Trading Platform
Founded in Israel in 2007, eToro is a popular broker. Two tier-1 financial regulators in the UK and Australia, regulate eToro. eToro is safe and reliable. It is great for beginners allowing them to copy successful traders.
eToro has popularized the concept of social trading. They introduced a social media-like trading platform. It allows users to interact with each other and copy their portfolios. This feature is attractive to traders in Australia who want to learn from others. It allows you to gain experience, before trading on your own.
Simplicity of its trading platform makes eToro appealing to entry-level traders. Traders can enjoy a user-friendly interface and a collaborative environment.
eToro offers 47 currency pairs to trade. They offer 2,000 CFDs covering commodities, cryptocurrencies, and other assets.
Fees & Commissions
eToro’s fees and spreads are above the average for forex spot trading and CFDs. This broker charges a fixed rate of 3 pips for EUR/USD trades.
The platform offers a five-level PRO membership. It requires minimum balances ranging from $5,000 to $25,000. These accounts entitle the holder to an account manager and lower withdrawal and deposit fees, along with other VIP benefits.
The minimum deposit for standard trading accounts is $200, in line for an Australian forex broker.
Users can trade actual cryptocurrencies rather than only CFDs
Automated trading systems are not permitted (social trading is)
User-friendly trading platform for entry-level investors
MetaTrader is not available for eToro users
Its social trading feature is one of the best in the industry
Educational materials are limited to platform-related tutorials.
Decent research tools.
Great mobile trading app
3 – Plus500 – Best for Advanced Traders
Founded in 2008, Plus500 is a company and broker traded on the stock exchange. Three tier-1 regulatory agencies regulate Plus500. These include regulators in the UK, Cyprus and Singapore. Plus500 is a reliable alternative for traders in Australia.
Among other Australian forex brokers, this trading platform offers competitive spreads. It is one of the best alternatives for advanced forex traders. Its trading platform is user-friendly. Plus500 is one of the preferred choices for those starting in the fx trading arena. The company provides a wide range of tutorials and learning materials. This is to help traders in Australia in understanding the platform.
The platform lacks diversity of currency pairs it offers. 50 forex pairs are available through CFDs for traders in Australia. Plus500 offers a large selection of CFDs, more than 2,000 to be precise.
Fees & Commissions
The spreads charged per trade by Plus500 are updated. The EUR/USD spread is fixed at 0.6 pips. For other pairs, the spreads range from 1 to 4 pips. It is important to note that Plus500 does not publish a list of average spreads per pair.
The minimum deposit for new accounts is €100.
Publicly-traded company with more than 12 years in operation
Average spreads for different pairs are not publicly available
One of the best brokers for amateurs
Not the best choice for active traders as it lacks some features
User-friendly interface, especially for beginner traders
Research materials, news feeds, and other similar tools are somewhat limited
Low minimum deposit
4 – CMC Markets – Great for High Net-Worth Investors
CMC Markets is a popular forex broker in Australia. Regulated by ASIC and three other tier-1 authorities. CMC Markets is a stock exchange traded company with over 30 years of experience. This makes it a low-risk choice for traders in Australia.
This broker specializes in providing low-cost trades for both amateur and professional traders. CMC Market offers 180 spot forex currency pairs and 10,000 different CFDs. These cover a wide range of financial instruments and assets. Trading forex pairs with CMC Markets is cheaper compared to other brokers. This is one of the platform’s important competitive advantages. CMC Markets provides great research tools for traders including. These include news feeds, market insights, and third-party content from Reuters and Morningstar. Its mobile app features a wide range of tools. 29 out of 81 of the technical analysis indicators featured by its desktop app. These trading tools are not available in other platforms.
The quality of its customer support ranked at the top.
Fees & Commissions
Trading EUR/USD through this broker costs 0.7 pips. This is a competitive rate, while the average spread for other pairs is 0.71 pips. VIP accounts are available for clients in Australia who have spent over $3,000 in commissions or have an account balance of over $2.5 million. This platform offers a great feature known as Guaranteed Stop-Loss. It reduces execution risks for active investors, though it comes at a cost of $8 per 100,000 units of EUR/USD.
No minimum deposit required to open an account with this broker.
Below-market trading costs
Limited educational materials
VIP accounts for high net-worth traders
Cryptocurrencies can only be traded through CFDs.
Advanced tools and software are available for professional traders through its Next Generation trading platform
No minimum deposit required to open an account
Guaranteed stop-loss orders are available
High number of currency pairs available compared to the competition
Great research tools and materials
ASIC regulated broker
5 – IG – Great Research Content
Founded in 1978 and regulated in six tier-1 jurisdictions. IG is a reliable forex trading platform regulated by ASIC.
This broker offers more than 17,000 financial instruments for traders. It specializes in currency trading and CFDs. IG offers traders 93 different forex pairs and the option of engaging in forex spot trading. The platform offers CFDs for its forex pairs and for cryptocurrencies.
Fees & Commissions
The latest information on IG indicates that the average spread for forex trades is around 0.73 pips (they vary depending on the pair). The minimum spread for a EUR/USD pair is 0.6 pips. This applies to mini and standard size contracts. There’s a minimum initial deposit of £250 to open an account with IG. For active traders and professionals who qualify, IG offers discounts. These include their standard spreads but requires a minimum deposit of £1,000.
User-friendly web-based trading platform that features advanced charts and real-time prices
Advanced research is not available for users with low deposits
ASIC regulated broker
Cryptocurrencies can only be traded through CFDs
Research content for users with deposits of over $500 (Real Vision TV) and $5,000 (Real Vision Research)
Automated trading signal recognition software that provides trade ideas
Mobile trading app
Its customer service was ranked 8th within a list of 22 brokers surveyed
6 – SaxoBank – Best Premium Broker
Regulated by ASIC and five other tier-1 jurisdictions, SaxoBank is a great choice. It has the support of its banking unit to strengthen its credibility. This Danish bank was founded in 1982. SaxoMarkets offers investors the possibility of trading more than 40,000 different instruments. These include 182 forex currency pairs and 35,000 CFDs.
That said, SaxoBank is not a platform designed for entry-level traders as its minimum initial deposit is above the average compared to other regulated brokers in this article. Its trading software is one of the best in the industry, featuring all the tools that experienced investors need to conduct their analyses.
Fees & Commissions
SaxoBank fees start at 0.4 pips, including a fixed rate of 0.6 pips for EUR/USD trades. High-volume trades offer an attractive rate of 0.5 pips.
For clients in Australia, the bank’s Classic account demands a minimum deposit of USD $10,000 while other premium alternatives require more than USD $200,000.
Proprietary trading platforms (SaxTraderGO and SaxoTradePRO) are one of the best in the industry
Above-average minimum deposit
Research materials feature both in-house and third-party investment analyses, both of which are available within the platform
Requires a minimum deposit of $20,000 to use MetaTrader along with a minimum requirement of $2,000 spent per month
High-quality mobile app
Excellent customer support
7 – City Index – Best Research Tools
Backed by one of the world’s largest retail brokers, GAIN Capital, City Index is a good choice. Investors in Australia seeking competitive spreads and premium research tools can trust City Index. It is a leading force in the trading industry.
Regulated by three tier-1 financial authorities in the UK, Australia (ASIC), and Singapore, City Index is considered safe. It offers investors the possibility of trading 84 currency pairs and 4,500 different CFDs, including cryptocurrency CFDs. Among other Australian forex brokers, City Index stands out due to its low-cost approach, which is enticing for traders who are on a tight budget.
Fees & Commissions
At 0.8 pips, the spread charged on EUR/USD is higher compared to other brokers. Its average spreads for all other forex pairs are low, if compared to premium alternatives. The spreads are higher for professional traders using MT4 platforms.
The minimum deposit required to open an account with City Index in Australia is £50.00.
Low average spreads
Spreads are considerably higher for professional traders compared to other brokers
Low minimum deposit
Great mobile app and web-based trading software
AT pro (the platform’s pro trading software) features more than 139 indicators and 25 drawing tools
Research tools including an economic calendar, news feed, and market research reports
Positive reviews on its customer service
8 – FXCM – Great Education
FXCM is a subsidiary of New York-based Jefferies Financial Group, an American traded company founded in 1968 with a market capitalization of $4bn. The company possesses a license from three tier-1 jurisdictions – Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom – and its main advantage compared to other brokers is that it caters to a wide range of traders going from day traders to algorithmic traders and quant funds.
This broker offers 39 currency pairs and 32 CFD contracts, which is a limited number of instruments, but its advanced features make it attractive to sophisticated players.
Research tools provided by FXCM are decent and should be good for the audience it serves. They include premium content from Trading Central and a news feed from Investing.com.
Traders who are new to the sophisticated trading strategies supported by FXCM can gain from its educational materials on algorithmic trading and quant trading.
Fees & Commissions
For standard accounts, the cost of trading some of the popular pairs, such as EUR/USD, is 1.3 pips. Which is twice what other platforms charge to entry-level users.
On the other hand, PRO users can benefit from lower spreads starting at 0.45 pips.
The minimum deposit for standard accounts is £300 while pro users must deposit £25,000 to enjoy the lower spreads.
Top-notch trading platforms available for PRO users
Higher than average spreads for standard accounts
A great alternative for sophisticated traders
Best suited to serve active traders than casual ones
Premium research content and news grid
Limited number of currency pairs and CFDs
Decent mobile trading app
9 – Pepperstone – Best Advanced Features
Pepperstone offers a limited number of products to trade but it excels in its competitive spreads, customer support, and varied selection of copy trading alternatives. This broker has more than 10 years in the industry. Regulated by ASIC (Australia) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom.
Pepperstone focuses on serving sophisticated traders by providing MetaTrader and cTrader platforms along with other premium features.
It offers 59 currency pairs and 86 different CFDs. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, can be traded through CFDs.
Fees & Commissions
The cost of trading through Pepperstone varies depending on the type of account the trader selects, yet its pricing is competitive compared to other forex brokers in Australia.
The Razor account is a commission-based account while the standard account incorporates commissions within the spreads. Fees vary between each of these accounts.
For Razor accounts the cost of trading EUR/USD is 0.91 pips on average, including a 0.753 flat commission, while the standard account does not charge a commission, though the spread is higher – 1.13 pips on average.
The minimum initial deposit to open an account with Pepperstone is $200.
Supports nearly every trading platform including MetaTrader, cTrader, and cAlgo
Limited number of currency pairs and CFDs compared to competitors
This broker allows for social copy trading
More suited for sophisticated traders
It offers two types of accounts (Razor and Standard) that cater to different needs
It does not have a proprietary trading platform
Lacks in-house research content but compensates with great third-party materials
High-quality customer service
What should you look for in a forex broker?
The best forex brokers assist traders in conducting their operations at an affordable cost while providing top-notch trading platforms, outstanding customer service, and a wide range of financial products to choose from. This will allow you to focus on your trading strategy and trading.
The best forex brokers are compliant with Australian regulations, based on the guidelines and rules established by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
A great forex broker provides educational materials, training programs, tutorials, and tons of information to help you at forex trading.
As we explained, it is possible that you will lose money by forex trading, but the right educational and research tools may help you move up along the learning curve so you can become a successful forex trader.
What's the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)?
It is a known fact that a high percentage of forex accounts lose money. There are many regulatory agencies around the world in the countries where forex trading is popular, that seek to prevent frauds and scams from forex brokers.
In Australia, the institution in charge of overseeing forex brokers and other financial and investment organizations is known as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
The role of this organization is to ensure the adequate functioning of financial providers, including forex brokers in Australia, by enforcing a set of rules and guidelines that seek to maintain an optimal level of transparency within the financial markets.
To put it in plain words, their job is to protect investors by preventing unlawful practices that may harm their interests.
ASIC regulated brokers are those that have passed a set of standards set by the institution. Approved to operate in Australia means that their activities are monitored by ASIC. Investors can trade using their brokers’ trading platforms and knowing that there’s a government agency that has their backs.
More information about ASIC can be found on their website and ASIC regulated forex brokers have to display their license number on their websites to inform investors that they have been approved to operate in Australia.
Certain trading platforms offer their services to forex traders in Australia, though they may not be regulated by ASIC. In this case, it is important to ensure that your forex broker is licensed and regulated by a peer agency in the country they have been registered.
This is a quick list of regulatory bodies for brokers:
- Canada – Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC)
- United States – Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
- Singapore – Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
- European Union – European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
- Cyprus – Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CSEC)
- Switzerland – Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (SFMSA)
- United Kingdom – Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
What is a ‘pip'?
You read this term throughout this article in the fees & commission section of each broker on the list, and it is important that you understand what it means.
A pip is one unit of the last decimal place of a forex price quote. The price of most forex pairs is displayed with 4 or 5 decimals, though some pairs feature 2 or 3 decimals. In any case, one pip is a single unit of the last decimal place.
Let’s say that the USD/EUR pair is trading at 1.0023. One pip for USD/EUR means 0.0001. Let’s say another pair such as the USD/JPY is trading at 1.02. A pip for that pair would be worth 0.01.
That’s enough context and information to introduce you to the interesting world of forex trading. Let’s move on to the list of best brokers for forex trading Australia.
Best Forex Trading Platform Australia 2020
The best Australian Forex Brokers are:
- Ava Trade – 4.9/5 – Best Overall Broker
- eToro – 4.9/5 – Best For Social Trading
- Plus500 – 4.8/5 – Good for Advanced Traders
- CMC Markets – 4.2/5 – Best Web Platform
- Saxo Bank – 4.4/5 – Best Premium Broker
- City Index – 4.1/5 – Best Research Available
- FXCM – 4/5 – Great Education Available
- IG – 4.3/5 – Best for Advanced Features
- Pepperstone – 4.2/5 – Great Third-Party Research
Summary and conclusion
The foreign exchange market is the largest financial market in the world. Total market capitalization is $2 quadrillion dollars. FX trading operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The daily trading volume of this massive market is around $7 trillion. A large amount of capital flowing through brokers has attracted the interest of forex traders. Hubs in Australia, UK, United States, Singapore and Hong Kong process 80% of forex market transactions. There are 170 currency pairs in the forex market. Popular counter currencies include (USD/JPY), (USD/GBP), (USD/EUR), (USD/CAD), (USD/AUD), and (USD/CHF). Not a high percentage of forex traders are successful. This is due to the inherent complexity and market volatility. Statistics show that 71% of retail investor accounts traders lose money . The remaining 29% is not able to sustain their profitability for more than 4 quarters in a row. Forex trading might not be suitable for all investors.
This should not discourage you from becoming a forex trader as an Australian. It shows that this is a challenging activity. It requires effort, training, and discipline to become a profitable venture.