Forex Futures

Forex futures contracts are a popular trading derivative. As one of the most liquid trading instruments, FX futures are frequently used by traders to dampen the downside of exchange rate movements. Here we explain what forex futures are, why they are useful and how to trade them. We also highlight the differences between the heavily regulated UK futures market and decentralised spot forex.

Brokers with Forex Futures

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Found 45 Brokers
Pepperstone offers spread betting andCFD trading to both retail and professional traders. Clients can trade FX, indices, commodities and shares on MT4, MT5 and cTrader platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, SCB, DFSA, CMA, BaFin
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£200 / $200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Bonus
None
Trade Forex on 0.0 pip spreads with the world's leading True ECN forex broker - IC Markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
ASIC, CySec, FSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Bonus
None
Forex.com boast a global reputation. Regulated in the UK, US and Canada they offer a huge range of markets, not just forex, and offer very tight spreads and a cutting edge platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
NFA, CFTC, FCA, FSA, IIROC and CIMA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
XM.com Offer a range of Account types and a low minimum deposit to appeal to all levels of trader. With 1000+ markets and low spreads they offer a great service.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, IFSC, CySec, ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
5 $/€/£
Min. Trade
0.01 Micro lots
Bonus
None
Multi-Award winning broker. Specialising in Forex but also offering stocks and tight spreads on CFDs and Spread betting across a huge range of markets.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySec, FCA, SCB
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 Lots
Bonus
None
NinjaTrader offer Traders Futures and Forex trading. Use Auto-trade algorithmic strategies and configure your own trading platform, and trade at the lowest costs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
NFA, CFTC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
Varies by asset
Bonus
None
IG offer spread betting, CFD and Forex trading across a range of markets. They are FCA regulated, boast a great trading app and have a 40 year track record of excellence.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£250
Min. Trade
£1
Bonus
None
DeltaStock is a multi-asset online broker offering desktop & mobile trading tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSC (Bulgaria)
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
FxNet is an online forex broker regulated by the IFSC and offering the MT4 platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
IFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Infinox is a UK-based broker offering MT4 trading with tight spreads.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£1
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
ICM Brokers is a regulated MT4 broker offering online trading in forex & CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VFSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$300
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Orbex is a trusted forex broker offering several accounts & the MT4 platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC, BaFin, FSC (Mauritius)
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Axes offers multi-asset trading through the MT5 platform and mobile app.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA, IFMRRC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
GKFX is an MT4 trading broker offering a suite of financial instruments & tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MFSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
€100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
IronFX offers online trading in forex, stocks, futures, commodities and cryptocurrencies
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, CySEC, ASIC, FSB
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
LBLV is a MT5 broker offering trading in FX & CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSA (Seychelles)
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$5,000
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Varianse is an online broker offering unique instruments and powerful analysis tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
FortFS is a multi-asset trading broker offering a range of tools & resources.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$5
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
FXFlat offers several asset classes on the MetaTrader 4 & MetaTrader 5 platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
BaFin
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
€200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
FXGiants is a top trading provider, offering a breadth of assets on the MT4 platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA & ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
SmartFX is a leading online provider of forex, CFDs and futures.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
VFSC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
Undisclosed
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Trade on the financial markets with the latest technology at City Credit Capital.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
TMS Brokers is a leading European trading broker providing powerful tools and a suite of financial instruments.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF)
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
None
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
ICM Capitals offers ultra-low spreads on FX, CFDs and futures via the MT4 platform.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, SVGFSA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$200
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
CGS-CIMB is a Singapore-based trading broker offering futures, FX, CFDs & bonds.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MAS
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
100 SGD
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Trade Nation is a top FX and CFD broker regulated in multiple jurisdictions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC, FSCA and SCB
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
No minimum
Min. Trade
0.1 lots
Bonus
None
Trade Pro Futures offers trading across futures & forex assets on multiple platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
NFA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$2,500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
London Capital Group provide trading on 7000+ markets over 9 asset classes. Spreads are competitive but active traders may have better broker options elsewhere.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
0 $/€/£
Min. Trade
Lots vary by asset
Bonus
None
Just2Trade offer hitech trading on stocks and options with some of the lowest prices in the industry
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FINRA, SIPC, NFA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
£2500
Min. Trade
1 contract
Bonus
None
Forex broker Videforex accepts deposits in a range of cryptocurrencies. Payouts reach 95% per trade.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
$1
Bonus
None
Amana Capital is a leading retail broker offering deposit bonuses and MT4 trading.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, DFSA, CySEC, CMA, LFSA, FSC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$50
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
AETOS offers trading on the MT4 & MT5 platforms with a deposit joining bonus.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, ASIC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
ArgusFX is a Cyprus-based broker offering MT4 trading from a sleek client portal.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
No minimum
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Mitto Markets offers multi-asset trading across a range of competitive instruments.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
No minimum
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Choose from a multitude of trading platforms and instruments at Intertrader.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
Gibraltar Financial Services Commission & Limited Regulation under the FCA
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
WH SelfInvest facilitates multi-asset trading through web & downloadable platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
BaFin, CSSF, FSMA, AFM
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
€500
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Bulbrokers EAD offers FX & CFD trading on a choice of leading online platforms.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FSC, FCA, CNVM
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
DirectFX is an offshore online forex broker offering MT4 trading.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Mega Trader FX is a multi-asset broker offering 1:500 leverage and deposit bonuses.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
None
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Trade12 offers multi-asset trading with tiered account levels to suit different needs.
Demo Account
No
Regulated By
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$250
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
DIF Broker is an online Portuguese broker offering proprietary trading solutions.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CMVM, CNMV
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
Undisclosed
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Financial Spreads is a UK-regulated broker offering spread betting and CFDs.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
£250
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
CPT Markets offers CFDs, futures and options trading on the MT4 platform. 
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
FCA, IFSC (Belize)
MT4 Integration
Yes
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Trade forex, CFDs and futures with leading tools and low minimum deposits.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
CySEC
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$100
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None
Daniels Trading offers a variety of trading solutions & advanced tools.
Demo Account
Yes
Regulated By
National Futures Association (NFA)
MT4 Integration
No
Min. Deposit
$2,000
Min. Trade
0.01 lots
Bonus
None

Forex Futures Explained

Forex futures are contracts to buy/sell currency at a set time and value in the future. Changes in the value of currency have the potential to dramatically impact trading for international firms. Futures can help to minimise downside and maximise upside for traders who expect movements in exchange rates.

For example, consider a company in the US that has agreed to buy a machine from an Italian factory for EUR 1.1million. If the current exchange rate for USD/EUR is 1:1.1 then this will cost the firm $1 million to purchase. But, if the exchange rate moves to 1:1 the new machine price will be $1.1million – costing the company $100,000 more than they originally expected.

To avoid this scenario, the company might purchase five forex futures contracts with a value of $200,000 each. These contracts allow them to purchase at the current exchange rate on a set date in the future. If the exchange rate improves, they’ve lost the benefit they could have seen. But, crucially, if the exchange rate worsens, they don’t have to fork out the extra $100k they would have done had they had traded currency at the new rate.

Forex futures trading

Forex futures and options are often quoted together. The latter gives the contracted party an option to purchase the currency pairs at the old rate vs futures which are the obligation to.

There are futures and options available on most tradable assets – it’s not restricted to forex. This hedging tactic can be utilised on stocks, bonds and indices such as the S&P 500 (ticker symbol ^GSPC), Dow Jones (DJC) or USD index (DX); or commodities such as gold (GC), natural gas (NG), and crude oil (CL).

What Makes A Forex Future?

Forex futures have a number of differences compared to other assets.

Standardised

Forex futures contracts are standardised and not customisable. This ensures they’re ease of trade on futures exchanges.

The nominal amount (eg. AUD$100,000), margin, maturity date, and delivery date are all standardised. The only contract component which is not is the price. This is determined by supply and demand on the exchange.

There are smaller forex contracts available for those looking for lower nominal amounts and margin requirements. These are known as ‘mini’ futures which are half the size of a standard contract. E-minis are even smaller, at one tenth vs the standard. And e-micro forex futures contracts are one tenth of an e-mini (i.e. one hundredth of a standard).

Publicly Traded On A Futures Exchange

Just like stocks on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), forex futures are traded through specific futures exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME Globex) or ICE Futures Europe in the UK.

To trade on live exchanges, brokers must be a futures association member (eg. part of the NFA in the US) or in the case of ICE, be a registered participant.

Some notable examples of futures brokers include TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers, and TradeStation.

The Tick (Minimum Price Fluctuation)

Another standardised feature of a forex futures contract is minimum price fluctuation know as ‘the tick’. Ticks are unique to the instrument being traded. For example, in forex, the USD tick size will always be $0.01. What that means on a contract size of $125,000 is that the minimum price fluctuation for the contract to be enforced is $1,250.

Margin & Leverage

Forex futures work on leverage, so a trader does not have to put down the full nominal value in order to invest. Instead, they use the margin as consideration (or a down payment) for the trade. The margin is a fraction of the nominal value, facilitating liquidity in the futures market. However, this means there’s a risk that losses could exceed the margin amount.

Despite this, because of UK regulation in the market, leverages on forex futures tend to be lower than for spot forex, which can be up to 1:500 at unregulated brokers.

Guaranteed By Clearing Houses

Once a trade has been executed, a third-party, known as a clearing house, steps in to ensure the trade has cleared and settled. Clearing houses also guarantee trades against credit losses ensuring that there is no risk of default by either party.

Apps for forex futures trading

Benefits Of Trading Forex Futures

Forex Futures vs Spot Forex

Trading forex futures has some pros when compared to with trading spot forex. Spot forex trading involves buying/selling currency pairs (eg. USD/CAD) on the day of the trade. You’re exchanging one currency for another. But, there are major differences in how these instruments are traded (as mentioned above) which bring a number of benefits.

In particular, since there’s a central exchange, there are no market makers. Therefore, futures brokers cannot trade against you and there are no spreads.

You’ll also notice that volume and positioning data is hard to come by for spot forex, as it would only reflect the volume traded through the individual broker. Sharing this data would be the equivalent of Apple telling the market how many handsets they sold today and being able to compare this to their competitor’s sales. With futures, you’ll be able to access this data more easily because trading is centralised and heavily regulated by the FCA.

Forex Futures Strategies

There are a number of strategies that can be used when trading forex futures. Some of these are unique to futures and others you may recognise as similar to spot forex strategies.

  • Speculation – Traders can use futures to speculate on a change in the value of a currency, index, stock or commodity and profit from the difference.
  • Hedging – Hedging forex with futures reduces the risk of currency price movements on trade agreements. This tactic comes with pros and cons – investors won’t reap the benefits of a favourable price movement, but will mitigate the risk against an unfavourable one. It’s also useful for businesses reliant on commodities (such as natural rubber, gold or silver) who know that they’ll need to purchase in the future.
  • Arbitrage – Forex traders can use the ‘futures spreads’ technique to benefit from discrepancies in market prices by taking both a long and a short position at the same time.
  • Day trading – Day traders hold positions for a very short time period vs swing traders who could hold on for months. Letting a futures position rollover to the next day or over the weekend exposes you to risk. This is particularly prevalent on the forex market as exchange rates may not open at the same rate they closed at. Day trading eliminates this risk.

Where Are Forex Futures Traded?

Whilst forex futures are traded on centralised exchanges, as a retail trader you can enter the market using a broker. There are fewer futures brokerages than spot forex due to the heavy UK regulation on this instrument.

The best forex futures brokers enable you to trade the assets directly. Examples include Interactive Brokers, ADM Investor Services, AMT Futures Ltd & GHC Capital markets Ltd. All of these brokers are registered participants of the ICE Futures Exchange which facilitates global futures trades.There are also retail brokers which will offer you spread bets and CFDs on forex futures. You will not own the underlying futures contract, but will instead be trading on a derivative of futures. Brokers include FxPro, XM and Forex.com. Most providers offer detailed forex futures charts, symbols and quotes.

Trading on forex futures is available 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday.

Final Word On Forex Futures

Trading forex futures is big business in the UK. The financial product offers a means to hedge against exchange rate risks and to trade on the financial markets with leverage. Forex futures are available at multiple regulated trading brokers in the UK, though it is worth highlighting, spot forex and CFDs on forex are more readily available.

FAQ

Is The Forex Futures Market The Same As A Spot Forex Market?

No, spot forex is trading one currency for another in a pair. The exchange takes place on the day the trade is executed. Futures are a commitment to purchase the currency at a later date, at a set price. They are considered derivatives, as they are a contract based on an underlying asset. Whilst the two markets are linked, there is not necessarily a correlation between them.

How Do Forex Futures Work?

Forex futures are financial derivative contracts that commit to purchasing currency at a set rate on a future date. They are often used to speculate on currency fluctuations or to hedge against poor exchange rates.

Are Forex Futures Profitable?

Yes, forex futures can be profitable if you have the right strategy in place. However, speculating on exchange rates is risky, particularly if you’re trading CFDs with high leverage. Some brokers, such as Daniel’s Trading, offer forex futures calculators to help you understand your risk and reward potential. Always ensure you understand the investment fully before you trade.

Does My Broker Offer Forex Futures?

A broker must be a registered participant of an exchange to trade forex futures. Most retail brokers offer CFDs on futures instead. Check our broker reviews to find a provider that’s right for you.

Forex Futures Vs Stocks - Which Is Better?

Neither asset is better than the other. The choice depends on your expertise, interests and risk appetite. Both are traded on centralised exchanges and are heavily regulated, and both can be profitable with a considered approach. But equally, they can be risky if you’re not willing to put the hours in to do the analysis.