Forex trading

Forex trading, which is also referred to as the foreign exchange or the FX market, involves the simultaneous buying and selling of currencies. The forex market is a global decentralized or over the counter (OTC) market where global currencies are traded. This means that the FX market is not based in a central location or exchange. You are also able to trade forex 24 hours a day, from Sunday night through to Friday night. In addition, it is one of the largest and most liquid financial markets in the world, and in terms of trading volume, the forex market totals an average turnover of more the $6 trillion per day.

Currency pairs

When you trade forex, this is always done in currency pairs. For example, the currency pair, the EUR/USD, includes the euro as well as the US dollar. The first currency in the pair, the EUR, is referred to as the ‘base currency,’ while the second currency in the pair, the USD, is referred to as the ‘counter currency’. The currency pair reflects how many units of the counter currency you can buy with one unit of the base currency. This is referred to as the exchange rate. In the EUR/USD pair, for example, we are looking at how many US dollars (USD) you can buy for one euro (EUR).
Via the iCapital trading platform, our clients can spread bet or trade CFDs on over 330 currency pairs. In addition, currency pairs can generally be divided into three groups:
major, minor and emerging currency pairs.

  • Major Currency Pairs
    All major currency pairs contain the US dollar (USD) as either the base or counter currency. The majors are the most frequently traded pairs and some examples include the EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CAD pairs.
  • Minor Currency Pairs
    The minor currency pairs do not contain the US dollar (USD). Examples of minor currency pairs include the EUR/GBP, EUR/CHF, GBP/JPY and CHF/JPY pairs.
  • Emerging Currency Pairs
    Emerging currency pairs are commonly referred to as exotic pairs. These pairs are made up of a major currency (such as the USD), paired with the currency of an emerging economy. Emerging currency pairs include the USD/NOK, USD/HKD and EUR/CZK pairs.

Indices Trading

What is an Index?

In general, an index refers to an indicator or measure of something. In finance, however, an index refers to a statistical measure of change that takes place in a securities market. With reference to a stock index, this represents the value of a group of stocks from one country, and it reflects the overall, current, and historic performance of that particular stock index. For example, the S&P 500 is a stock market index. It tracks the stocks of 500 large-cap U.S. companies and it also represents the performance of the stock market by reporting the returns and risks of the biggest companies that make up the index.

Trade Indices 24 Hours-a-day

On the iCapital trading platform, some of the popular indices are available to trade 24-hours a day, even when the underlying market is closed. These include the Germany 30, UK 100, US 30 and the Euro 50.

There are many benefits to having access to extended trading hours as follows:

Increased Flexibility – With added hours to trade, you are now able to open and close trade positions over a much larger time period. This will provide more trading choices and opportunities.
Reduced Slippage  – With the ability to execute stop-loss orders and liquidations during the out-of-hours session, this could potentially result in obtaining a more favourable price compared to if the market gaps on the open of the underlying market.

Take advantage and trade a choice of CFDs on over 90 cash and forward indices worldwide.

Cryptocurrencies

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset which has been designed to work as a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrencies use strong cryptography in order to secure financial transactions, to verify the transfer of assets as well as to control the creation of additional units. These digital assets function autonomously, which means that are not controlled by any forms of traditional banking and government systems. In January 2009, the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was introduced into the financial markets and today, it is by far most well-known cryptocurrency. Today, there are over 1,000 different types of cryptocurrencies available online, including, for example, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Ripple and more.
While cryptocurrencies differ significantly from traditional fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, you are able to trade them; that is, you can buy and sell digital currencies like any other asset. At iCapital, you are able to trade on the price movements of various cryptocurrencies.

  • trade on margin
    Margin Trading
    You can now take a position on cryptocurrencies without tying up all of your trading capital.
  • trade anywhere
    Trade Anywhere & At Any Time
    Trade while on the go with the industry leading iCapital trading mobile app.
  • Trade Accurately
    Access advanced charting, free​ ​market​ ​research,​ ​ ​market​ analytics​ and​ a choice of ​order​ ​types.
  • support
    Support & Service
    Access responsive and professional customer service and support 24 hours a day, 24/6.
  • crypto market
    Crypto market
    Trade over 800+​ ​cryptocurrencies​ ​and​ ​Initial Coin​ ​Offerings​ (ICOs).
  • Trade with confidence
    Safe and Secure
    Trade with confidence in a secure environment protected with SSL technology and our advanced protection systems.

Commodities Trading

Two of the most popular ways to speculate on the financial markets include commodities spread betting and CFD trading. Commodities trading can be traced right back to hundreds of years ago in Asia. In the financial markets, commodities are mostly traded in two forms; cash and forward trading. The difference between the 2 forms of trading is the settlement (or delivery) dates. That is, cash settled commodities have a settlement date that is usually in the near future, whereas forward commodities are usually settled later in the future and as a result, forward commodity trading tends to have wider spreads. In the online financial world, the most popularly traded commodity sectors include metals, such as gold, silver and copper; energies, such as crude oils and natural gas, as well as soft commodities, such as cocoa, sugar, coffee and wheat.

Commodities – Producers and Buyers

Commodity sales and purchases are usually carried out through futures contracts on exchanges. These exchanges then standardize the quantity and minimum quality of the commodity being traded. For example, the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) states that one wheat contract is equivalent to 5,000 bushels and in addition, it states the grades of wheat that can be used in order to satisfy the contract. Commodity futures are traded by two types of traders; the buyers and the producers of commodities, which then use commodity futures contracts for hedging purposes for which they were originally intended. These traders actually make or take delivery of the actual commodity when the futures contract expires. For example, if a wheat farmer plants a crop, they can then hedge against the risk of losing money if the price of wheat falls before the crop is harvested. The farmer can then sell wheat futures contracts when the crop is planted and in this way, they are able to guarantee a predetermined price for the wheat at the time it is harvested.
In spread betting and CFD trading, commodities are popularly traded instruments. At iCapital, we offer spread bets and CFDs on a wide range of cash and forward commodities instruments, including gold, silver, Brent and WTI crude oil.

Shares and ETFs

Shares refer to the units of ownership interest in a corporation, or they can refer to a financial asset that provides for an equal distribution in any profits, if any are declared, in the form of dividends. The two main types of shares are preferred shares and common shares. Today, physical paper stock certificates have been replaced with electronic recording of stock shares, in the same way as mutual fund shares are recorded electronically.

Example of Shares

From 2008, when the 10-year bull market began, there were many companies’ shares that reached new highs by 2017. Interestingly, it was the so-called FANG (Facebook, Apple, Netflix and Google) tech stocks that led the market rally, and in 2017, their share prices soared by double digits on strong earnings results. The increasing prices of these shares meant that investors were now willing to pay more to own shares of these companies. To put it into perspective, in 2017, the shares of the companies in the S&P 500 Technology Select Sector traded up 34.57%. In 2018, these prices started to decline and the shares of companies on the stock market began to experience volatility as a result of political and economic uncertainty.