CFD trading

CFD trading with City Index gives you access to over 5,000 global markets including indices, shares, commodities and bonds.

  • Competitive pricing
  • Choice of 5,000+ CFDs from one account
  • Best CFD Provider at ADVFN International Financial Awards 2022
  • Competitive pricing
  • Choice of 5,000+ CFDs from one account
  • Best CFD Provider at ADVFN International Financial Awards 2022

Our key figures

0.1 m+
account holders*
1 k+
CFD markets
0.55 s
average execution speed
50 %
of trades executed

*StoneX retail trading live and demo account holders globally since Q4 2020.

Why trade CFDs with City Index?

  • Competitive

    Competitive spreads

    Competitive pricing across all asset classes, and improved processes if the market moves in your favour.
  • Markets falling

    Lowering the cost of trading

    Free live market data and no hidden fees.
  • Clock

    Extended market hours

    Out of hours trading on indices and share CFDs.
  • Award-winning platforms

    Award-winning

    Best CFD Provider - ADVFN International Financial Awards 2022
  • Financial strength and stability

    Globally trusted leader

    Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with up to £85,000 in funds protection (FSCS).

Trade CFDs with City Index

Become a better trader
Platform walkthroughs
Platform walkthroughs
Advanced trading platforms
Trade CFDs on our advanced technology and native apps.
Best Execution
Best Execution
Best execution policy
Utilise our ultra-fast execution to get an improved price if it moves in your favour.
Market info
Market info
Easy to spot trading opportunities
View buy/sell opportunities from our research portal.

Get access to 5,000+ CFD markets from one account

Exclusive trading tools

City Index provides clients with the dynamic and innovative trading tools that they can rely on to navigate volatile markets.

Performance Analytics
Performance Analytics
Performance Analytics
Discover the strengths and weaknesses of your own trading history and discover the achievable changes you can make to improve your trading.
SMART Signals
SMART Signals
SMART Signals
Receive trade ideas that are based on current market conditions and tested against historical data for accuracy.
Open a CFD account today
  1. Apply
    for an account
  2. Fund
    using card or bank transfer
  3. Trade
    on powerful platforms
Open a CFD account today

What is CFD trading?

CFDs (contracts for difference) are popular with investors who want the opportunity to try to make a better return for their money. CFDs are a derivative product, meaning you don't actually own the underlying instrument that you are trading on. This means that you do not have to pay UK Stamp Duty, saving you the charge associated with regular share dealing*.

With CFDs you can go long (buy) or short (short) on rising or falling markets. If you believe a market will increase in value, you’d take a long position (buy). You’d profit if the market price rises and lose if the price falls. On the other hand, if you believe that a market will decline in value you can use CFDs to go short (sell). You’d make a profit in line with any fall in price (and a loss if the price increases).

CFD trading explained

How to trade CFDs

1

Choose a CFD market

Decide which market you want to trade on. Get technical and fundamental analysis and trading ideas from our in-house experts.

2

Decide to buy or sell

Click 'buy' if you think the price will increase in value or ‘sell’ if you think the market will fall in value.

3

Select your trade size

Choose how many CFDs you want to trade.

4

Add a stop loss

Manage your risk by placing an order to close your position at a predetermined price set by you.

5

Monitor and close your trade

See your profit and loss updated in real time at the top of the screen. Exit your trade by clicking the close trade button.

Trade wherever you are, on our fast, reliable platforms

Customisable charts

16 chart types with 80+ indicators designed to help you pinpoint your next opportunity.


Award-winning platform

Our intuitive technology is designed to suit traders of all levels.


Actionable trade ideas

Our research portal highlights trade ideas using fundamental and technical analysis.


Insightful data

Receive all the latest market news and expert commentary direct from Reuters in-app.

Platforms Mobile

CFD trading FAQ

How do CFDs work?

CFDs work using contracts that track the live prices of financial markets. When you trade one of these contracts, you’ll exchange the difference in the market’s price from when you open your position to when you close it. You can buy CFDs to open a long position or sell them to go short.

For example, say you buy a FTSE CFD when the index is at 7100, then sell it at 7200. You’ll exchange the difference between 7100 and 7200, pocketing 100 points as profit. If the FTSE fell to 7000 instead, though, you’d lose 100 points.

Your total profit or loss is dictated by the number of contracts you buy or sell.

Learn more about how CFDs work.

Was this answer helpful?
How do you calculate CFD profits?

To calculate CFD profits, you multiply the number of CFDs you have traded by the point value of each CFD – and multiply that figure by the number of points the underlying market has moved from when you opened your trade to when you close it.

If the underling market has moved in your chosen direction, you earn that figure as profit. If not, you make a loss.

That might sound complicated, but it becomes much simpler in an example.

Buying a single FTSE CFD will earn you £1 for every point the index rises and lose you £1 for every point it falls, which means a FTSE CFD has a point value of £1. Buy 10 FTSE CFDs, and you’ll make £10 for every point the index rises – but lose £10 for each point it falls.

If the FTSE moves from 7100 to 7200, then it has moved 100 points. You’ve bought CFDs, so you profit if the index moves up, meaning your 10 CFDs make you a profit of (100 points * £10 point value) £1000.

If you’d sold 10 CFDs instead, you’d make the same figure (£1000) as loss.

Of course, you’ll need to minus any overnight financing fees to get the net outcome from your trade.

Learn more about how to trade CFDs.

Was this answer helpful?
How does CFD margin work?

CFD margin works by only requiring you to hold a fraction of a trade’s total value in your account in order to open and maintain your position. However, your final profit and loss will still be based on the full size of your trade.

Trading £1000 of Barclays stock with CFDs, for example, might only require you to have £200 in your account as margin. But if that stock then increases to a value of £1100, you’ll make the full £100 as profit – the same as if you’d paid the full £1000. If the stock falls to £900, you still lose £100.

Essentially, in this example you’d have made £100 profit from an initial outlay of just £200, a gain of 50%. Without CFDs, you’d still have made £100, but you’d have paid £1000. Your gain would only be 10%, meaning the CFD margin has magnified your profits.

However, exactly the same effect applies to losses – which is why risk management is a key part of CFD trading.

Find out more about how margin works in CFDs.

Was this answer helpful?

If you have more questions visit the FAQ section or start a chat with our support.

Benefits and risks of CFD trading

No UK stamp duty

As CFDs are a derivative product, you don't actually own the underlying instrument that you are trading on. This means that you do not have to pay UK stamp duty, saving you the stamp duty charge associated with regular share dealing*.

Ability to go long and short

With CFDs you can go long (buy) or short (short) on rising or falling markets. If you believe a market will increase in value, you’d take a long position (buy). You’d profit if the market price rises and lose if the price falls.

On the other hand, if you believe that a market will decline in value you can use CFDs to go short (sell). You’d make a profit in line with any fall in price (and a loss if the price increases).

Reduce your capital outlay using margin

CFDs are a leveraged product, which means you pay a small percentage of the total trade value to open your position, known as margin, rather than paying to cover the entire cost of your position.

For example, if a market has a margin requirement of 10% then you would need to have 10% of the full value of the trade in your account, as initial margin, to open the position.

Leverage is good news if the market moves in the direction that you expect, but it carries a high degree of risk if the market moves against you. In the same way that your profits are magnified, any losses will also be magnified, and you could lose more than your initial investment.

Hedge your portfolio

If you believe your existing portfolio may lose some of its value, you can use CFDs to offset this loss by short selling.

Let's say you hold £5,000 worth of Vodafone shares in your portfolio. You can short sell the equivalent of £5,000 worth of Vodafone shares through a CFD trade.

In the same way that your profits are magnified, any losses will also be magnified, and you could lose more than your initial investment.

Access global markets and 24-hour trading

CFD trading gives you access to a wide range of markets that would not otherwise be available to retail investors, all from one trading platform. You can speculate on the price movement of thousands of individual shares, indices, currencies, bonds and interest rates from across the globe.

It’s important to be able to access your account and trade whenever you want, wherever you are – so that you can take advantage of market volatility. So, we give you unrestricted access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

*CFD Trading is exempt from UK stamp duty. However, tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Please seek independent advice if necessary.

Summary of differences between CFD trading and share trading

Feature

CFD trading

Shares dealing

Free from Stamp Duty* Yes
Commission charged Yes Yes
Ability to go long – buy and take advantage of rising prices Yes Yes
Ability to go short – sell and take advantage of falling prices Yes
Ability to hedge – go short and mitigate against potential losses in your shares portfolio Yes
Leveraged trading – gain a large exposure for a fraction of the value Yes
Immediate dealing – instant trading both in and out of a market Yes Yes
Access to other asset classes – such as indices, FX, etc Yes
Access to global shares – trade over 5000 different markets from around the world Yes Yes
Receive dividend and interest adjustments Yes Yes
Physical ownership – benefits include the ability to attend AGMs Yes
Pay overnight financing charge Yes