Oil trading is one of the favored diversification trades of Forex traders, with oil CFDs the best option. We have evaluated the best brokers for trading crude oil to ensure you have a competitive edge from a secure and trustworthy trading environment.
High floating leverage + fast execution
Daily market research and Autochartist access
Trade 1,000+ financial instruments
Experience low, competitive spreads
Multiple funding and swift withdrawal options
Solid broker for scalping and hedging
Institutional-style trading opportunities for retail traders
High level regulation in multiple jurisdictions
Impressive range of tradeable assets including vanilla options and gold options
Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution.
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500..
Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos.
Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging.
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads.
5.0/5 in this category
Best all-around broker with high floating leverage and fast execution
A competitive list of the best brokers allowing oil trading is incomplete without FXTM. While it only provides three oil and energy CFDs, traders get one of the best ECN cost structures. For a minimum commission of $4.00, clients get spreads from 0.1 pips while oil commences from 0.4 points. Active traders can lower their final trading costs with the Loyalty Program. With a minimum deposit of just $10, FXTM allows maximum leverage of 1:2000. The award-winning educational program will help new traders getting started, and FXTM Invest supports retail account management. FXTM upgrades the sub-standard out-of-the-box MT4/MT5 trading platforms with six add-ons plus its FXTM Pivot Points Strategy. It also provides its proprietary mobile trading app FXTM Invest.
Excellent commission-based Forex pricing environment and transparency
Upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms plus proprietary mobile trading app
Quality market research and educational content for beginner traders
Proprietary copy trading platform, low minimum deposit, and high leverage
5.0/5 in this category
ECN trading with leverage up to 1:500.
FP Markets is also among the best brokers for trading oil futures, with spreads starting from just 0.2 points and maximum leverage of 1:500. Oil traders have three CFDs plus natural gas. Traders get upgraded MT4/MT5 trading platforms, as FP Markets offers twelve add-ons to upgrade the sub-standard core versions to competitive trading terminals. MAM/PAMM provides retail account management services, Autochartist supports manual traders, and VPS serves automated trading solutions. The trader-friendly cost structure starting from raw spreads of 0.0 pips for a commission of $6.00 per round lot offers another advantage, while the minimum deposit is just $100. International clients will trade with the unregulated FSC-registered subsidiary. Unfortunately, the 10,000 CFDs are available on the Iress trading platform with restricted access.
Choice of trading platforms and auxiliary trading tools
Very competitive cost structure and excellent asset selection
Low minimum deposit requirement and leverage of up to 1:500
Well-regulated and trustworthy
4.5/5 in this category
Competitive pricing + excellent daily videos
Eightcap was originally founded in 2009 in Australia. Eightcap offers multiple different trading options in terms of what traders can buy and sell through use of their site's functionality. Customers can use Eightcap to trade their choice of more than 200 assets made up of nearly 50 currencies as well as a selection of cryptocurrencies, stock indices, commodities, precious metals, oil and more. Eightcap is accessible in more than 10 different languages, including but not limited to English, German, and French. Their services are available in South Africa, the British Virgin Islands, Italy, Australia, Japan, and Ireland among others.
Low minimum deposit and high leverage of up to 1:500
Competitive cost structure
Excellent technology infrastructure and seasoned management team
Daily research and quality educational content
4.5/5 in this category
Best ECN trading environment, with scalping and hedging
BlackBull Markets was founded in 2014 in New Zealand. Like many antipodean Forex brokers, BlackBull Markets is an ECN broker, offering raw spreads and commissions. They are regulated in New Zealand by the Financial Services Providers Register (FSPR) and offer a maximum leverage on some Forex currency pairs as high as 500 to 1. In addition to their global headquarters in New Zealand, BlackBull Markets also has presences in the form of branch offices in New York and Malaysia. BlackBull Markets offers a relatively tight range of tradable assets: 27 Forex currency pairs and crosses, gold, silver, crude oil, natural gas, and 6 major equity indices. That should be sufficient for those traders with more focused strategies not requiring wide diversification.
BlackBull Markets Pros & Cons
ECN/NDD execution model with deep liquidity
Institution-grade pricing for retail traders via proprietary price aggregation
ZuluTrade and Myfxbook for social trading
Leverage of up to 1:500
4.5/5 in this category
Highly regulated, choice of fixed or floating spreads
AvaTrade maintains competitive subsidiaries regulated by the ASIC, FSCA, BVIFSC, and FSRA, but traders should avoid the others. Besides its excellent training academy, SharpTrader, AvaTrade offers clients more than 1,250 CFDs from a minimum deposit of $100 with a maximum leverage of 1:500. It features an average commission-free trading environment with minimum spreads of 0.9 pips or 0.13%, but oil traders have a mark-up of 0.3 points with a maximum leverage of 1:200. Five CFDs on oil and energy products plus options contracts offer an excellent choice. Traders may choose between six trading platforms and three social trading providers.
High-quality educational offering via SharpTrader
Excellent choice of trading platforms catering to various trading needs
Broad asset selection and cross-asset diversification opportunities
Well-regulated and trusted broker with oversight from a central bank
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Traders should start with in-depth education about the oil market, as it consists of many moving parts. Fundamentals play a significantly more dominant role in trading crude oil than technicals.
The primary drivers for crude oil are:
- Supply and demand, making global GDP a core data point
- OPEC adjustments to production, as it accounts for approximately 40% of global oil production
- Oil production data from Saudi Arabia, the US, and Russia, the top three oil producers
Most crude oil contracts remain priced in US Dollars, but competitive brokers list alternate ones quoted in various currencies, offering advanced traders another variable. Traders should consider the quote currency of an oil contract, a secondary driver of price action but a potential short-term catalyst when no primary ones exist.
Traders should decide which asset suits their trading strategy. Crude oil instruments consist of crude oil futures or spot contracts, oil equities for upstream and downstream companies, or ETFs. The two benchmarks for crude oil are West Texas Intermediate for North America and North Sea Brent for the global market. Opening and funding a trading account is the final step, which allows traders to execute their previously developed crude oil trading strategies.
Oil is a volatile commodity, and the two most traded assets are West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and North Sea Brent, both considered light sweet crude as their sulfur content is below 0.50%. Brent crude remains the global standard while WTI is more US-specific. Brent usually trades above WTI in terms of price, known as the WTI/Brent spread.
The oil trading basics are the same as trading Forex, equities, or any other asset class. An online broker offers the most convenient option to trade oil. The price of oil is volatile and influenced by geopolitical events, the economy, and the weather. Therefore, oil traders must monitor events across the pipeline. CFDs remain the best oil trading instrument offered by the best brokers for trading crude oil. It grants traders exposure to price action without purchasing the underlying asset. Since the introduction of CFDs, they became the primary trading tool for hedge funds and retail traders alike.
US and Canadian regulators do not allow CFD trading and deploy an outdated regulatory framework. Therefore, traders can transact in options, which have an expiry date after which they become worthless or futures, legally binding contracts to deliver oil. It remains one of the most popular trading assets, and its liquidity results in low spreads, ideal for scalpers and high-frequency traders. OPEC lost control of the oil market over the past decade. Russia and the US yield significant influence over price action, sometimes countering Saudi Arabian policies, the primary oil producer within OPEC, and the top global oil exporter.
Traders should ensure that they trade with a regulated broker but must also consider the regulator. The ESMA in the EU, the SEC in the US, and the IIROC in Canada have strict and counter-productive rules. Despite the regulatory climate, the most significant frauds occurred in the US and Cyprus. Regulators including the ASIC (Australia), the FSCA (South Africa), the BVIFSA (British Virgin Islands), the FSC (Seychelles), the IFSC (Belize), the DFSA (Dubai), and the CIMA (Cayman Islands) remain among the most competitive and trustworthy ones, but none allow US-based traders.
Since US traders cannot benefit from CFD trading due to SEC regulations, their best product is an oil exchange-traded fund (ETF). Futures contracts on US crude oil and UK Brent crude traded on the NYMEX, where one contract equals 1,000 barrels, is another option for more significant portfolios. The e-mini crude oil futures contract written by the CME Group offers smaller portfolios an improved asset and consists of 500 barrels of oil.
Traders should look for brokers allowing oil trading from a secure and competitive trading environment. Tight spreads, low commissions, high leverage, and a volume-based rebate program ensure traders earn more per oil trade. The trading platform should support automated trading solutions and third-party upgrades to create a competitive edge.
Oil prices are making great trade opportunities
The MT4 trading platform and cTrader remain two of the best choices. The former is the most versatile one, and the latter the best out-of-the-box solution. The best brokers for trading oil futures will offer one or both. Several brokers also provide proprietary trading platforms as an alternative, but most of them support manual trading only, which suffices for new traders but is not enough for advanced ones.
Oil is one of the most volatile assets, and trading from the appropriate account type allows traders to achieve improved trading results. New traders should consider a micro account, ideal for learning how to trade with deposits under $1,000. It precedes the mini and standard ones, best suited for portfolios below and above $10,000, respectively. Some provide VIP accounts that grant special non-trading-related bonuses. Not all brokers maintain a multi-tier account structure. Therefore, traders should ensure that the minimum transaction size is 0.01 lots.
Commissions and spreads are the primary direct trading costs. They will have the most visible impact on your trading strategy. Active traders should seek an ECN account with no mark-ups on spreads and competitive commissions no higher than $6.00 per round lot. Oil spreads should range between 0.2 and 0.3 points. A volume-based rebate program will lower final trading costs, and I highly recommend a broker that offers one.
Margin refers to a percentage amount a trader needs to pay to take a position. For example, if a broker has a 5% margin requirement, a $500 position requires $25 capital. Leverage represents a ratio that defines the margin requirement. Competitive brokers offer 1:500, meaning a $500 trade requires $1 in margin capital. Risk management remains critical to margin and leverage trading.
Crude oil is one of the most-traded commodities, and together with gold, the primary diversification trade for Forex traders. It is a highly liquid asset, usually quoted in US Dollars, and West Texas Intermediate and North Sea Brent are the primary global benchmarks for trading crude oil. Some brokers offer 1:100 leverage with negative balance protection. Spreads, commissions, and swap rates on leveraged overnight crude oil trades are the three trading costs traders must carefully evaluate.
Futures and spot contracts are the two primary assets used to trade crude oil. The former refers to contracts for future delivery, while the latter is for on-the-spot delivery. Alternate methods are via equities in upstream and downstream oil companies and ETFs. ETFs continue to gain market share, which offers less risk if the ETF is well-diversified.
Fundamentals play a significantly more dominant role in trading crude oil than technicals. Therefore, trading crude oil involves more unpredictable short-term catalysts. Supply and demand are the ultimate drivers of price action, making global GDP data, geopolitical events, developments in the supply chain, and production changes from OPEC, the US, and Russia core areas for traders to focus on for long-term trends.
What does an oil broker do?
An oil broker offers trading instruments for oil. Depending on what is available, an oil broker also facilitates the storage and delivery of physical goods, i.e., the barrels of oil purchased.
How much do oil brokers make?
It depends on various factors – some out of their control – making an estimate rather challenging. The majority average somewhere between $30,000 to $70,000 in commissions, while top brokers can easily crack seven figures.
How do you buy oil trades?
An online broker remains the most convenient way to buy oil trades. There are countless oil trading brokers and Forex oil trading brokers catering to the rise in demand.
Can you make money trading oil?
Yes, you can make money trading oil. The same as with all other asset classes applies. Education, knowledge, patience, discipline, and capital remain the primary ingredients to succeed as a trader.
Which platform can I trade in crude oil?
Crude oil is usually available on any trading platform a broker offers. The most popular ones for retail traders are MT4 and cTrader due to their excellent trading infrastructure, availability, and full support for algorithmic and copy trading.
How is oil traded in South Africa?
Trading crude oil in South Africa is identical to any other country. Brokers and oil trading firms handle order flow and deliveries, and traders must open an account with a broker offering crude oil contracts.
How can I invest in oil trading?
The most efficient method for investing in crude oil rather than trading it is via unleveraged equities and ETFs, which ignore short-term price fluctuations, focus on long-term fundamentals, and do not incur swap rates, applicable to leveraged overnight positions.