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Compare Brokers for Pairs Trading


Use our comparison tables to compare brokers for pairs trading. Compare key features like research, added value, market access, commissions and costs.

Best Brokers For Pairs Trading CFDs (Contracts For Difference)

Use our comparison tables to compare CFD brokers authorised and regulated by the FCA. Choose or switch to a CFD broker that offers the most markets, best pricing and client security.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. 

Featured CFD Broker What can you trade via CFDs? What are the CFD trading costs? CEO Interview More Info

IG

IG clients can trade a range of over 17,000 CFD markets Trade CFDs on interest rates, bonds, sectors, forex, indices, global shares, commodities and cryptocurrencies Opening an account is free, and charges are competitive. Trade spreads from 0.6 points on key FX pairs like EUR/USD, 1 point on major indices like the Germany 30 and FTSE 100, and 0.3 points on Spot Gold.

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

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IG Reviews

CMC Markets

Trade contracts for difference (CFDs) and access over 9,500 instruments with competitive spreads. Trade CFDs on forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, commodities, shares and treasuries. Trade CFDs on major forex pairs from 0.7 points and popular indices from 1 point. When trading UK shares a commission is charged from 0.1% or 2 cents per unit for US.

Read Peter Cruddas CEO Interview

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CMC Reviews

Pepperstone

150+ instruments across FX, indices, equities, cryptos, energy and commodities, and more, across three, free powerful platforms During liquid times, CFD spreads can go as low as 0 pips on the EURUSD on the Pepeprstone Razor account Tamas Szabo Pepperstone CEO Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview Visit Pepperstone

Pepperstone Reviews
Fineco Trade Fineco CFDs on thousand of asset classes Equity, Indices, Commodities, bond and Interest Rates Share CFDs have no additional spreads, indices have spread as low as 0.4pips on S&P 500 and 0.6pip on Nasdaq 100 and FTSE 100. FX spreads on 50+ pairs from 0.8pips.

Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco GM

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Fineco Reviews

Saxo Capital Markets

Access 9,000+ CFDs and trade CFDs on single stocks, indices, forex, commodities, options and bonds. Ultra-competitive pricing for trading UK stock CFDs from GBP 8, and US 30 Wall St. from 2 points. Andrew Edwards Saxo Capital Markets UK CEO Read Andrew Edwards CEO Interview Visit Saxo

Saxo Reviews

XTB XTB Brokers

Trade over 1500 global CFD markets including Forex, Cryptocurrencies, Indices, Commodities, Share CFDs and ETFs. Low forex spreads from 0.1 pips, stock CFD commission from 0.08%

Arnaout Omar Omar Arnaout

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XTB Reviews

Spreadex Financials

Spreadex

Trade one of the widest ranges of CFD markets including shares, indices, forex, commodities, bonds and interest rates. CFD spreads start from just 0.6 pts on EUR/USD, 1pt on UK 100 and 0.4 pts on Gold

Jonathan Hufford

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Spreadex Reviews

eToro

Trade CFDs in USD on eToro on a wide range of stocks, forex, indices, commodities and copy other CFD traders Cost are based in USD and eToro CFD trading costs are built into the spread.

Yoni Assai Interview

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eToro Reviews

Plus 500

Trade CFDs on a wide range of Indices, Forex, Commodities, Crypto, Shares, Options and ETFs Plus 500 CFD spreads are variable, yet competitive for new traders. There is no commission. Overnight funding is charged on positions. Coming Soon Visit Plus 500

Plus 500 Reviews

City Index

CFD Trading with City Index gives you access to over 4000 global markets including Indices, Shares, FX, Commodities and Bonds. Fixed and variable CFD spreads from 0.5 points with benchmark UK financing is LIBOR +/-2.5% Coming Soon Visit City Index

City Index Reviews

ETX Capital

Trade CFDs on ETX on over 5,000 instruments in all major asset classes including FX, Indices, Shares and Commodities.. Trade CFDs low commissions through ETX's pooled liquidity from a range of sources to deliver the best prices and narrowest spreads. Phil Adler CEO Interview ETX Reviews

Best Brokers For Financial Spread Bet Pairs Trading

Use our comparison reviews to compare spread betting broker costs, spreads, offers and features. Only Spread Betting Brokers authorized and regulated by the FCA where client funds are protected under the FSCS are featured.

Spread betting carries a high level of risk and losses can exceed your deposits. Featured brokers appear first.

Featured Spread BettingBroker What markets can you spread bet on? How much are the spread betting fees? CEO Interview More Info

IG

Go long or short and spread bet on more than 17,000 markets with with IG, the world’s No.1 provider Spread bet from 0.6 points on key FX pairs like EUR/USD, 1 point on major indices like the Germany 30 and FTSE 100, and 0.3 points on Spot Gold.

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

Visit IG

IG Reviews

CMC Markets

Spread bet on the price movements of thousands of financial instruments, including indices, currencies, cryptocurrencies, commodities, shares and treasuries. Competitive spreads on our spread betting instruments, including major FX pairs from 0.7 points, major indices from 1 point and crude oil from 3 points.

Read Peter Cruddas CEO Interview

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CMC Reviews

Pepperstone

Spread bet on 150+ instruments across FX, indices, equities, cryptos, energy and commodities, and more, across three, free powerful platforms Spreads on our MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 platforms are variable, with prices coming from many providers and sources to ensure you're getting the best price. Tamas Szabo Pepperstone CEO Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview Visit Pepperstone

Pepperstone Reviews

Spreadex Financials

Spreadex

Trade one of the widest ranges of spread betting markets including large and small cap shares, indices, forex, commodities, bonds and interest rates. Spread betting spreads start from just 0.6 pts on EUR/USD, 1pt on UK 100 and 0.4 pts on Gold

Jonathan Hufford

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Spreadex Reviews

City Index

Spread Betting with City Index provides a tax-free* way to trade over 8000+ global markets. Fixed and variable spreads from 0.5 points with benchmark UK financing is LIBOR +/-2.5% Coming Soon Visit City Index

City Index Reviews

ETX Capital

Trade over 5,000 markets with Profits exempt from both Stamp Duty and Capital Gains tax within the UK. ETX offer competitive spread betting costs with major FX pairs from 0.6 pips and spreads on major Indices from 1 pt. Phil Adler CEO Interview ETX Reviews


Best Brokers For Pairs Trading The Forex Market

All the forex brokers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority where client funds are segregated and protected under FSCS. Note: If you want to convert one currency to another and send money abroad you need a currency broker.

Featured Forex Broker What Forex pairs can you trade? How much does Forex trading cost? CEO Interview More Info

IG

With IG, you can choose to trade more than 80 currency pairs – from majors, such as GBP/USD to exotics such as HUF/EUR. You can trade these forex pairs via CFDs or spread bets. Get spreads from just 0.6 points on pairs like EUR/USD with the UK’s No.1 FX provider.

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

Visit IG

IG Reviews

CMC Markets

Trade forex on over 300 forex pairs, including EUR/USD, GBP/USD and AUD/USD, plus our customised range of 12 forex indices​. Spreads on EUR/USD, AUD/USD and USD/JPY start from just 0.7 points. CMC USD Index​ spreads from 0.25.

Read Peter Cruddas CEO Interview

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CMC Reviews

Pepperstone

Trade 61+ currency pairs with deep liquidity with pricing from multiple sources. Get some of the lowest forex spreads on the market with raw spreads from 0.0 pips on Razor accounts Tamas Szabo Pepperstone CEO Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview Visit Pepperstone

Pepperstone Reviews
Fineco Trade 50+ Global Forex pairs Forex pairs with Fineco Fineco Forex spread are as low as, GBP/USD 1, EUR/USD 0.8, EUR/GBP 1

Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco GM

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Fineco Reviews

Saxo Capital Markets

Access 182 FX pairs across majors, minors and exotics, plus spot metals, from only 0.4 pips Ultra-competitive FX spreads and trade major FX pairs from 0.4 pips. Competitive entry prices and even lower rates for active forex traders. Andrew Edwards Saxo Capital Markets UK CEO Read Andrew Edwards CEO Interview Visit Saxo

Saxo Reviews

XTB XTB Brokers

Trade 48 currency pairs, 24 hours, 5 days a week, micro-lot trading available Low forex spreads from 0.1 pips on EURUSD, 0.3 pips on GBPUSD and 0.02 on AUDUSD.

Arnaout Omar Omar Arnaout

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XTB Reviews

Spreadex Financials

Spreadex

Speculate on over 60 currency pairs with advanced technical analysis tools including Pattern Recognition, ProTrend Lines and advanced indicators plus drawing tools Low spreads from 0.6 pts on EUR/USD and 0.9 pts on GBP/USD with 24 hour trading on most FX markets

Jonathan Hufford

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Spreadex Reviews

Plus 500

Trade FX CFDs on 60+ Forex Pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD and EUR/GBP with up to 1:30 leverage Variable Forex spreads on currency markets. Plus500 does not charge additional Forex dealing commissions. Coming Soon Visit Plus 500

Plus 500 Reviews

City Index

Trade on 84 global FX pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/JPY at City Index with fast execution and tight spreads Trade forex CFDs, DFT or spread bets with tight spreads from 0.5pts on major FX pairs Coming Soon Visit City Index

City Index Reviews

eToro

Trade CFDs on 47 of the most popular currency pairs with trades based in USD with eToro Forex Forex spreads are variable and trading costs are built into the price. Daily finance is charged on overnight positions.

Yoni Assai Interview

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eToro Reviews

Best DMA Brokers For Pairs Trading With Direct Market Access

Compare brokers that offer Direct Market Access (DMA) who are authorised and regulated by the FCA.  Use DMA to get inside the price and reduce your trading costs by getting better prices.

DMA Broker DMA Access DMA Execution Account Types CEO Interview More Info

IG

Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
CFD
Spreadbetting:

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

Visit IG

IG Reviews
CEO Interview

Saxo Capital

Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
CFD
Spreadbetting:
Andrew Edwards Saxo Capital Markets UK CEO Read Andrew Edwards CEO Interview Visit Saxo

Saxo Reviews
Fineco Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
CFD
Spreadbetting:

Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco GM

Visit Fineco

Fineco Reviews
Interactive Brokers Interactive Brokers Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
CFD
Spreadbetting:

Thomas Peterffy

IBKR Services

Best MT4 Brokers For Pairs Trading With Metatrader 4

MT4 or MetaTrader 4 is currently offered by over 600 brokers worldwide. Compare the top MT4 brokers to ensure you get the best pricing, tools, analysis, welcome bonus and features.

Featured MT4 Broker What can you trade on MT4? How much does MT4 trading cost? CEO Interview More Info

IG

IG’s MetaTrader 4 package delivers instant access to 18 free add-ons and indicators, giving you an edge in your trading. You’ll also have the option to download thousands more from inside the MetaTrader 4 platform. Take advantage of minimum spreads of 0.6 on a host of forex pairs with IG. The minimum lot size on MT4 is 0.01 lots, helping you manage the risks of high-volume trading.

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

Visit IG

IG Reviews

CMC Markets

Trade CFDs on 30 currency pairs including EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/JPY, major indices like the UK 100 and US 30, plus popular commodities such as Gold, Silver and Crude Oil Trade Forex from 0.7 pips on MT4, indices from 1 point and Gold from 0.3.

Read Peter Cruddas CEO Interview

Visit CMC

CMC Reviews

Pepperstone

Trade 85 pre-installed MT4 indicators available on the desktop app for greater insight into market trends During liquid times, MT4 spreads can go as low as 0 pips on the EURUSD through the Razor account Tamas Szabo Pepperstone CEO Read Tamas Szabo CEO Interview Visit Pepperstone

Pepperstone Reviews

XTB XTB Brokers

Trade over 1,500 markets through MT4. Test and optimise your trading strategies with the MT4 Strategy Tester Low forex spreads from 0.1 pips, stock CFD commission from 0.08%

Arnaout Omar Omar Arnaout

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XTB Reviews

ETX Capital

Trade over 60 FX pairs including majors, minors and a range of exotics currency pairs with ETX. ETX offer low FX trading costs on spread betting and CFDs with spreads on EURUSD from only 0.6 pips, and GBPUSD from 0.9 pips. Phil Adler CEO Interview ETX Reviews

City Index

With City Index’s MetaTrader4 platform, you can trade over 80 Forex pairs, including majors, minors and exotics. Ultra-tight spreads, fast trade executions and unique trading tools. Coming Soon Visit City Index

City Index Reviews

Best Brokers For Trading Option Strategies

Use our comparison tables to compare the best UK based options brokers authorised and regulated by the FCA. Choose or switch to an option broker that offers the most markets, best pricing and client security.

Featured Broker Futures & Options Services Account Types CEO Interview More Info

Saxo Capital

Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
Options:
CFD
Spreadbetting
Andrew Edwards Saxo Capital Markets UK CEO Read Andrew Edwards CEO Interview Visit Saxo

Saxo Reviews

IG

Stocks:DMA
FX:
Index:CFD
Commodities:CFDs
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
Options:
CFD
Spreadbetting

June Felix, IG CEO

Read June Felix CEO Interview

Visit IG

IG Reviews
Fineco Stocks:DMA
FX:
Index:CFD
Commodities:CFDs
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
Options:
CFD
Spreadbetting

Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco General Manager Paolo Di Grazia, Fineco GM

Visit Fineco

Fineco Reviews

Linear Investments

Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
Options:
CFD
Spreadbetting

Jerry Lees

Linear Services
Interactive Brokers Interactive Brokers Stocks:
FX:
Index:
Commodities:
Voice:
Online:
Strategy:
Prime:
DMA:
Futures:
Options:
CFD
Spreadbetting

Thomas Peterffy

IBKR Services

Compare Prime Brokers

Use our comparison service to get the best access, rates, execution and service for your hedge fund from the most appropriate prime brokers based in the UK.

Pairs Trading - What is trading pairs and how and where can you do it?

One of the favourite trading strategies used by professional traders is pairs trading. With the advent of fast trading terminals, you can also seek profits from pairs trading too.

What is pairs trading?

Simply, pairs trading is a non-directional strategy that bets on the price movements between two instruments. The key here is relative movements between two set of prices.

For example, a pairs trade could entail buying an 'undervalued' stock and selling an 'overvalued' one. The premise is that the undervalued security will appreciate over time - and the overvalued one will fall. This reversionary price move could be independent to the general market direction. Hence the term 'market neutral'.

Pairs trading is a sophisticated trading strategy because it requires skills that are slightly different to long-only investing. Statistical knowledge, quantitative backtesting, technical analysis or fundamentals are all needed to some extent to create and manage successful pairs trading. Knowledge about short-selling is also required (link).

One appeal of the long-short strategy is that the returns are independent to that of market benchmarks, given that the strategy does not rely exclusively on buying benchmark members. Funds that employ pairs trade often boast of making money in all market conditions.

A few tips on pairs trading strategy

1) What is the best time frame for pairs trading?

A pairs trading strategy that holds instruments intraday will rely more on statistical analysis than fundamentals. A long-term (weeks to months) pairs trading strategy is inherently different to that of a short-term one in terms of signal generation, research, and positional sizing.

2) Choosing markets for pairs trading.

There are many ways to capitalise on the pairs trading strategy. Some focused on large-cap stocks; some on mid-cap stocks. Some trade equity indices ETFs; some exclusively on futures. A novice trader may focus on similar stocks within a popular sector (say, mining, banking or house builders in the UK) or between large indices (e.g. FTSE 100 vs FTSE 250). Larger stocks, such as FTSE 100 members, have better liquidity.

Here are our tips to help you find the best currency pairs to trade with.

3) Filtering pairs trading candidates.

This requires pre-determined filters to extract viable candidates from noisy datasets. This is dependent on the skills of the traders. Is the trader much more comfortable with statistics, fundamentals or technical analysis? What is the trader's edge? The strategy's time frame is critical. Also, will the filter be done solely with computers? Once a pool of trade candidates is determined, the next step is to narrow down the specific trades to buy and sell.

3) Determine buy and sell amount when trading pairs.

How much to trade on each leg, ie the amount to buy and sell? This is dependent on the trader's goal. He may choose share-equal (100 shares to buy and short), dollar-equal ($1000 on buy and short), beta-neutral (long beta must match short beta), etc etc. A very volatile stock may inject more volatility into a relative trade if both legs are dollar-equal.

4) Pairs trading risks and costs.

For each leg of the pairs trade, a stop loss level may be required. This means finding out where a trader would close the trade if it goes sour. A trader would also need to find out the costs of short an instrument due to dividends, and whether the stock is hard to short due to limited free float, corporate action, or regulatory embargo.

5) Executing a pairs trade.

Some brokers have pairs trading features that allows customers to execute both legs quickly.

You can trade pairs through most CFD trading platforms and spread betting brokers including:

Or you can use a derivatives prime broker like:

6) Managing pairs trade risk.

Sometimes, the easy part is to initiate a trade. The harder part is knowing what to do afterwards. To manage a trade, a trader will need answers to these scenarios, ie, when:

  1. Both legs (long and short) are instantly profitable.
  2. One leg is profitable and the other in losses
  3. Both legs in losses suddenly
  4. A 'short squeeze' happens

7) Exiting pair trade positions.

Once a trade is entered, there must be a plan to get out. Sometimes, the stoploss will do that for the trader. If not, a trade will need to monitor the trade continuously to see if the trade's potential is still there. Sometimes, after a  duration, the trade may be abandoned because it is not working out.

8) Pairs trading paper trading.

Before committing real capital into a trade, it is better to take some time to backtest the strategy on paper. This is to iron all programming mistakes, bad data, determining ideal parameters, or just to 'get a feel' for the strategy. Can you live with the drawdown? What is the appropriate capital to execute the trade? etc

Lastly, I present a highly simplistic pairs trade example below.

Example - Pairs Trade Using Relative Ratio

For example, using a computer program a trader finds two correlated stocks that are diverging and wishes to bet on that divergence extending further. The long side is Standard Chartered and the short side is Barclays (see below).

Their current relative ratio is about 4.05. The trader expects a relative breakout to, say, 4.5. The stop loss is set at 3.75. This approach is very simple and is based on relative ratios alone.

For other examples, read Douglas Ehrman's Handbook of Pairs Trading.

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