Trading Forex is one of the most popular forms of retail trading. Over the last decade, Singapore has become one of the largest global Forex markets. Forex trading relies on trading one form of currency for another and capitalizing on the difference to earn a profit. For example, a trader may trade Singaporean Dollars for American Dollars (SGD/USD) to earn a profit on the difference between the two.
In this article, we checked out some of the most popular Forex brokers available to Singapore traders. We looked at their trading platform, commission and spreads, and other aspects of each broker.
If you’re still not sure which broker to choose, we put together a useful FAQ and information resource at the end.
Best Forex Brokers Singapore 2021
Every retail broker offers something different to its clients. We looked at some of the most popular brokers and compared them in terms of customer service, research and educational tools, and commissions.
This is our selection:
- IQ Option
- CMC Markets
- Saxo Markets
- FX Primus
- City Index
eToro is one of the most popular retail trading platforms. They provide brokerage to millions of users and facilitate thousands of transactions every hour. Their customer service is among the best in the business.
They are regulated by trusted authorities all over the world, so you can rest assured that everything is above board.
eToro has access to many tradable instruments including Forex, CFDs, stocks, and commodities. This means traders can easily diversify their portfolios and strategies.
Large variety of trading instruments, including cryptocurrencies
Minimum deposit to open an account is $200
In-depth financial reports
One base currency
Free demo account allows up to $100,000
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 67% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
IQ Option first went live in 2013 and since then has grown into one of the most highly regarded brokers worldwide. They are based in Cyprus and regulated by CySEC.
Opening an IQ Options account is easy: the minimum deposit to start an account is low and set up is quick. Users have the option to choose a VIP or demo account in addition to the standard account type.
Proprietary trading platform is fast and effective
Customer service is known to be slow to respond
Easy-to-use mobile app
Limited number of tradable currency pairs
Fast deposits and withdrawals
Plus500 is one of the most strictly regulated brokers on the market. They started as an online retail broker in Israel in 2008 and have grown globally to be regulated in 9 different regions.
Plus500 is technically not a Forex broker, although they offer CFD trading based on underlying Forex pairs. This means traders do not own any currency, instead, they speculate on various currencies’ performance.
Although the minimum deposit amount is relatively high, Plus500 excels in fees and commission charges. They charge highly competitive rates and don’t charge a withdrawal fee.
Easy to use
Limited research tools
Customer service is quick and responsive
Only offers CFD trading
Opening an account is quick and easy
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
XTB is a globally-based online Forex and CFD broker with offices in Warsaw and London.
XTB offers an impressive 49 currency pairs available to trade. Their Forex trading fees are competitively low. Another point in their favor is the promise of free withdrawals over $100. XTB charges inactivity fees for any account that hasn’t traded in a year.
Their commission structure is competitive with any other retail broker. They also offer a $0 minimum deposit to open accounts.
Low Forex fees
Made specifically for CFD and Forex trading
5 base currencies are accepted
Excellent educational tools
PepperStone is regulated by the ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the UK. They are not listed on any stock exchange and are not required to release their financial statements.
PepperStone trades over 60 currency pairs in Forex. They also offer a wide variety of CFD options to traders.
They have partnered with multiple social trading platforms to allow their users to mimic the trades of high-profit signal providers from different brokers. This is a useful trading strategy for newer traders looking to learn from more experienced users.
Low inactivity fees
Limited research tools
Free deposits and withdrawals
Advanced risk protection and stop losses
Hynep Market (HYCM), was launched in 2007 focusing specifically on bringing trading to markets in Asia. Over the years, they have been awarded several awards for customer service and broker support.
HYCM has 70 currency pairs available to trade. Traders using HYCM can trade Forex and CFDs but cannot trade cryptocurrency, stocks, or commodities.
The biggest draw for HYCM is the range of services it offers to its traders, both novice and professional. New traders can choose from thousands of high-performance signal providers on the platform.
They host seminars and webinars on trading
Limited charting capabilities
Excellent customer support
Low Forex and CFD fees
HotForex is a European ForEx broker regulated by CySEC in Cyprus. They launched in 2010 and have expanded to multiple regions.
HotForex offers competitive fees on 47 different currency pairs. Their website advertises that users have access to stocks and commodities, but users should be aware that these are only available through highly volatile CFDs.
They have a variety of commission-free, spread-only accounts as well as the “Zero” account, which charges commission. This is sure to fit any trader’s needs and demands from their broker.
Broker offers a wide range of CFD and currency pairs
No Cryptocurrency offering
Social trading enabled platform
Not a publicly listed broker
Tight spreads and commissions.
CMC Markets is a long-standing CFD and Forex broker. They are based in the UK and regulated by the FCA. CMC Markets is listed on the London Stock Exchange so they release yearly financial statements.
They are committed to customer service and care. Their help-line is available 24/7, something most brokers cannot compete with.
They offer over 300 currency pairs to Forex traders which makes them stand out over other Forex brokers. They also have a range of CFD offerings.
Industry-leading research tools
High Forex commissions and spreads
Highly regulated globally
Short trading is restricted
Award-winning customer support
Saxo Markets is a Danish retail broker, a subsidiary of Saxo Bank. It is regulated by various European agencies and has been in operation since 1992.
They use a proprietary trading platform called SaxoTraderPro, and a web-based platform called SaxoTraderGo.
They offer a wide range of Forex pairs as well as a selection of other trading instruments such as stocks, bonds, ETFs, and futures.
Massive range of tradable assets
No MetaTrader platform support
Stop-loss and other safeguards are encouraged
Complicated fee structure
Excellent user interface
Oanda is a broker that trades entirely in CFDs and Forex. They are regulated by the SEC. It is a private company and is not required to release its financial statements.
It offers a range of over 70 different currency pairs for Forex trading, as well as a selection of CFDs based on underlying assets.
They offer tight spreads on Forex trading and further sweeten the deal by providing one free deposit and withdrawal from your trading account each month.
Great, user-friendly trading platform
Only Forex and CFD options available
Fundamental research tools
Customer support is lacking
Choice of proprietary or MT4 trading platforms
FXPrimus is the brokerage arm of Primus Global Ltd. and began operation in 2009. They are registered in Cyprus and are regulated by CySEC.
Traders have access to three different account types, depending on their minimum deposit amount. Higher tier trading account get benefits such as telephonic market updates or consultations with market specialists.
FXPrimus has 40 currency pairs available to trade, as well as a selection of equities and stocks.
Enhanced MT4 trading platform
High minimum deposit
Choice of proprietary or MT4 trading platforms
IG is regulated by the FCA and Germany’s BaFin. Today, IG is one of the largest Forex brokers in the world. They are considered highly reliable.
Trading with IG gives access to both MT4 and IG’s proprietary trading platform. Their design has won them several awards and is one of the most intuitive platforms we’ve used. It is highly customizable and flexible.
They have over 200 currency pairs open for trading and a wide variety of other tradable instruments.
Large range of Forex and CFD options
Long history of reliability
Account opening is slow
Regularly discloses financial statements
City Index is a global Forex and CFD broker that launched in 1983 and is regulated by high-level authorities all over the world. They are a publicly listed subsidiary of GAIN Capital.
Their Forex offering is somewhat narrow considering they are such a large and popular broker, offering just over 80 currency pairs. An advantage is that traders have access to cryptocurrency trading.
City Index hosts frequent webinars and has lots of platform tutorials to make trading easier.
Varied research tools
Limited Forex options
Lots of educational resources
High minimum deposit
Easy account opening
Best Forex Trading App Singapore
So now we’ve rounded up some of the best Forex Platfroms in Singapore, but which firm stands out above the rest?
Every trader’s needs are different and eToro is best equipped to cater to the widest variety of traders.
They have an excellent limitless demo account that traders can use to test out their trading strategies.
Their trading platform is easy to use and well equipped for all levels of traders. A two-step authentication login means that the platform is secure.
How to pick a Forex Broker?
Fees & Commissions
Brokers charge their users a proportional fee for every trade.
Platforms such as eToro charge very little for the commission, but they take a proportional cut of each trade.
Most of these platforms make money from active traders, they penalize users who do not trade frequently. These are called inactivity fees and are used by most brokers.
The regulations that each broker must adhere to change depending on where that broker is based.
Traders can choose to trade with brokers that are not regulated by the MAS, but they run the risk of not being protected if that broker turns out to be a scam.
MAS has set guidelines for the maximum leverage amounts as well as rules regarding segregated client funds.
Brokers often have educational tools on their platforms. These can vary from slide shows on market indicators to webinars from experts.
Some brokers have resources that are useful to traders at all levels. Others cater specifically to novice users.
If you’re already experienced with retail trading, try and find a broker that has educational tools that will be useful to you.
Risks of Forex Trading
Like all forms of trading, Forex carries with it some risk. These come in all forms but could all result in the trader losing money despite their hard work.
Leverage is perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of retail trading. It allows brokers to increase the trader’s initial margin to secure a larger position than they would otherwise be able to afford.
Many traders appreciate using leverage as it can increase their profits from relatively small capital investment, but it can also increase losses. Using leverage can result in losing more money than your initial margin.
Volatility is what makes retail trading an equally risky and profitable endeavor. Traders rely on instruments being somewhat volatile for their positions to increase or decrease in value.
However, this volatility can also be dangerous. Traders could take a “sure-fire” position expecting it to head in a particular direction only for market conditions to cause a sudden spike.
Anyone familiar with the recent GameStop debacle will understand how volatile markets can lead to massive losses.
Many traders are attracted to Forex trading because of its short-term, high-risk, high-reward nature.
Forex positions can be held long-term, but it is also common for day-traders to use strategies like scalping to accrue profits from trades over minutes or seconds.
Like any short-term, high-reward strategy, there is a considerable amount of risk. Because of the volatility of Forex markets, traders may take on large losses over a short amount of time.
Why Trade Forex?
Because Forex is one of the most popular markets among retail traders, it has a high level of liquidity.
The Bank of International Settlements recently estimated that daily Forex volumes are traded more than $5 billion every day.
The high volume means that traders can expect that their trades will be executed quickly since there is almost always another trader looking to take the opposite position.
Forex is often traded on short-term positions. This is beneficial to traders for multiple reasons.
One of these benefits is that fees for shorter trades tend to be lower. Because Forex positions are often not held overnight, Forex traders don’t have to pay their broker overnight fees which can start eating into potential earnings.
Barrier to Entry
Trading is a complex practice that relies on knowledge of interconnected markets to accurately predict the trend of assets.
Forex trading largely cuts out the need for in-depth market knowledge by simply trading on currency strength. It is much easier to understand the interplay between the prices of currencies as opposed to the market sentiments that affect the prices of stocks or commodities.
Forex Market Hours and Best Time To Trade
Forex traders are looking to capitalize on fluctuations in currency pairs. There are various strategies that Forex traders can choose from such as swing-trading, scalping, or long-term trading.
The best time to trade will depend on which strategy a trader is using.
However, the best time, in general, to look for trades is when multiple global markets are open. Every region has its operating times which are dictated by its timezone.
For example, if you’re looking to trade JPY/USD (Japanese Yen/ US Dollar) pairs, you will need to do some when at least one of these markets is open. If both of the markets are trading, there is a higher level of fluctuation between the two.
Every broker will require a different minimum deposit to open an account. Some brokers do not require any deposit to open an account. But traders will still need some capital to open a position. Traders can use leverage to increase the position they can take. The recommended amount needed to start trading is around S$250.
No. Unless you work in the stock exchange, traders need to use a broker to facilitate their trades.
Yes. It is possible to make a large amount of money trading Forex, but it is not likely. Recently the EU has required that brokers release data on the number of traders who make profits and losses using their platform. These numbers are not encouraging. Most brokers report that anywhere between 70-85% of traders lose money. A more reliable way to make money is to invest in long-term, diverse portfolios to earn a profit.
The Singapore Forex market is open between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday.
CFD (Contracts for Difference) trading relies on buying or selling contracts based on an underlying instrument. Trading CFDs on Forex means that, without ever technically owning the instrument, traders can speculate on the direction of currency pairs. One of the reasons CFDs are popular is that traders can earn a profit even if the underlying instrument trends downwards, provided they short-sell their contracts.