Best Forex Brokers in Singapore

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 3, 2024

City Index is a highly rated brokerage option among forex brokers in Singapore.

Forex trading helps drive Singapore’s thriving economy and with no tax on capital gains, forex profits are unburdened for Singaporean traders, potentially providing even greater opportunity for gains than in other parts of the world.

Quick Look: Best Forex Brokers in Singapore

Disclosure: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Best Forex Brokers in Singapore

Let's take a deeper look at who made the list of the best Singapore forex brokers and how to choose the right forex brokerage for your FX needs.

1. Best for All Around Offerings: City Index

  • securely through City Index Singapore's website
    securely through City Index Singapore's website
    Best For:
    CFD Trading
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Investors should keep in mind that 70% of CFD accounts lose money.

City Index is a well-known forex broker that provides Singapore residents with a reliable and secure trading platform. It offers various features such as an easy-to-use online platform, comprehensive market analysis, competitive spreads and a variety of instruments to trade. It also provides traders with access to the latest technology, including automated trading tools, charting packages and mobile platforms.

The City Index platform is highly secure and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), making it one of the most trusted forex brokers in Singapore. Additionally, City Index offers a range of advanced features such as its Advanced Risk Management tool, which helps traders to manage their risk more efficiently.

Overall, City Index is an excellent choice for Singaporean forex traders looking for a reliable and secure broker.

Pros

  • Regulated by MAS
  • Automated trading tools
  • Easy to use online platform
  • Competitive spreads
  • 84 currency pairs
  • Offers CFD trading

Cons

  • Inactivity fees

2. Best for Trading Experience: Pepperstone

  • securely through Pepperstone FX's website
    securely through Pepperstone FX's website
    Best For:
    Trading Experience
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Known for competitive spreads and reliability, you can trade a number of instrument with Pepperstone and engage in algo trading, API trading, use Autochartist and work with the customer service team any time you need help.

You can learn while you trade on this site, whether you are a new investor or professional and enjoy:

  • No minimum deposit
  • Over 60 currency pairs
  • Trading on MT4, MT5, cTrader, Web Trading Platforms and the Mobile App
  • 30:1 leverage for retail clients and up to 500:1 for professional clients

Pros

  • You can trade on a number of platforms
  • It’s easy to get and manage leverage
  • No minimums help you save money and invest in your own time

Cons

  • You might be concerned about slippage on the site

3. Best for Beginner Forex and CFD Traders: XM Group

  • securely through XM Group's website
    securely through XM Group's website
    Best For:
    Beginner forex and CFD traders
    Rating:

    Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 72.89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

With more than 1,000 trading instruments, XM Group offers forex and CFD trading that helps grow or diversify your portfolio, depending on your personal strategy. CFDs include stocks, commodities, equity indices, precious metals and energy. You can trade on MT4 or MT5. There’s a powerful mobile app and fast execution that ensures all your trading decisions are effective and impactful.

Pros

  • More than enough trading instruments
  • No fees for deposits or withdrawals
  • 24/5 service in over 30 languages

Cons

  • Limited product offerings

4. Best for Trading in the App: OctaFX

When you start trading with OctaFX, you can gain access to accounts for Singaporeans that includes:

  • Negative balance protection
  • Islamic accounts
  • MetaTrader 4 and 5, cTrader and more
  • Platforms that work anywhere
  • Spreads starting at 0.6 pips
  • CopyTrading
  • Referral program

Traders can sign up today to see which account is right for them, and you can buy into over 30 currency pairs with low minimums.

Pros

  • You can trade for less money
  • CopyTrading helps you learn as you invest
  • You can earn more from their contests and giveaways

Cons

  • You may want more assets in which you may invest
  • Some fees may accrue over time

5. Best for a Wide Range of Financial Markets: Plus500

Plus500 is a forex broker that has become increasingly popular amongst Singaporeans looking to invest in the foreign exchange market. The company, founded in 2008, offers a range of trading instruments including currencies, indices, commodities, and ETFs. Plus500 also provides an intuitive platform for users to manage their investments with ease.

The company is highly regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS ), as well as the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). This means that Plus500 is a reliable broker for Singapore residents.

In terms of fees, Plus500 charges a commission of 0.08% per side on trades, with no additional costs or hidden fees. This makes it one of the most cost-effective brokers in the industry. The company also offers leverage up to 1:30 and a demo account to allow users to test their strategies risk-free.

Pros

  • Great mobile app
  • Low spreads and commissions
  • Unlimited demo account

Cons

  • Only derivatives are available

6. Best for Execution: IG Markets

  • securely through IG Markets's website
    securely through IG Markets's website
    Best For:
    Forex Execution
    Rating:
    Read Review

    Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

IG Markets is a leading online Forex broker for Singapore residents. It offers a wide range of services, low trading fees, and great customer support. With IG Markets, traders can access the world’s largest financial markets with a range of powerful trading tools at their fingertips.

The platform allows users to trade in over 14,000 global markets which include currencies, commodities, stocks, and indices. It also offers a variety of analytical tools such as advanced charting, news feeds, and economic calendars to help traders analyze the markets. For those wanting to practice their skills, IG Markets provides a free demo account with virtual funds.

Pros

  • Regulated by MAS
  • Platform is easy for beginners to use
  • Margin rates are easy to understand and affordable
  • Access to 80+ currency pairs

Cons

  • Customer service options are lacking
  • No 2-factor authentication on mobile

7. Lowest Cost Broker: Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is an online forex broker based in the United States that offers a wide range of trading services to Singapore residents. The company has been in business since 1977 and currently services over 140,000 active customers worldwide. Interactive Brokers is regulated in several countries, including Singapore, where it is a member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The broker offers access to more than 150 global markets, including forex, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and options. They also provide a wide variety of trading tools and educational materials for traders. This enables Singapore traders to have access to a comprehensive set of resources that help them become successful in the market. Furthermore, Interactive Brokers offers low commissions and fees on their trades which make it an attractive option for Singapore traders.

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Wide range of products
  • Extensive research tools

Cons

  • Customer support is lacking
  • Complicated desktop platform

8. Best for Beginners: AvaTrade

AvaTrade is an online Forex broker based in Ireland that has been providing services to Singaporean Forex traders since 2006. This broker offers a wide range of trading options for both novice and experienced traders alike, as well as a comprehensive selection of platforms for different types of trading styles.

For Singaporeans, AvaTrade offers two main account types: the Standard Account and the Pro Account. The Standard Account requires a minimum deposit of $250, while the Pro Account requires a minimum deposit of $1,000. Both accounts offer tight spreads and fast execution speeds, as well as a range of trading accounts for different types of traders.

AvaTrade also provides a wide range of educational materials on their website for beginners to become familiar with Forex trading. 

Pros

  • Wide range of educational tools
  • Standard and Pro account types
  • Fast execution

Cons

  • Slow platform compared to other options
  • High inactivity fees

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Regulation

As Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) also oversees financial sector businesses, including forex brokers, and has the reputation of being one of the strictest regulators in the world. Similar to regulatory requirements in other regions of the world, MAS regulation requires that forex brokers segregate investor accounts from broker funds to help protect investors from broker insolvency risks or impropriety.

Traders in Singapore will find that many of the leading forex brokers are global players that are also monitored by regulatory authorities in other parts of the world, such as the U.K.’s FCA and Cyprus’s CySEC. Additional oversight for Singapore’s forex market is provided by the Singapore Foreign Exchange Market Committee, a panel comprised of both government authorities and representatives of private banks.

Understanding the Forex Market

Many forex trades use leverage to amplify market gains from price movements within a currency pair. Singapore joins a number of other countries, including the U.S., that significantly limit the amount of leverage available to traders. In other parts of the world, forex traders can leverage a trade up to 1:1000 or even higher.

In Singapore, forex trades are limited to a maximum leverage of 1:50, with some currency pairs like USD/MXN that are limited further. Lower leverage, while potentially limiting gains, can also reduce loss liabilities, helping well-capitalized traders to stay in a trade that may change to a more favorable direction and prevents traders from washing out entirely due to leveraged losses.

At 1:50 leverage, a trader needs to have a forex trading account value equal to or greater than 2% of the trade. At 1:20 leverage, a maximum leverage for many FX currency pairs traded in Singapore, traders need to maintain an account balance of 5% or the trade. Within a forex pair, the first currency is the base currency and the second currency is the quote.

Profits or losses are based on price movements within the currency pair, but profits or losses aren’t realized until you exit the position. Overnight swap rates, which are charges based on the difference in interest rates for the two currencies, can add to the cost of the trade, although they might also be a credit to your account.

Margin calls are another possible expense if the price movement brings your account value below the margin requirement for the trade, which can be as high as 8% for some currency pairs traded in Singapore. Margin calls can also lead to a forced liquidation of your position on a trade. Because forex trades often involve large amounts of currency, most exchange rates are carried out to the fourth or fifth decimal place.

In an exchange rate quote, the fourth decimal place (1/10,000 of a full currency unit) is called a percentage in point, or a PIP. The fifth decimal place is a pipette, a fractional pip. The Japanese yen diverges from this system, with the second decimal place being the pip and the 3rd the pipette.

To calculate pip value, the value to you as a trader for a one-pip move, you can use an equation with just three elements: 1/10,000 (a pip) ÷ Exchange Rate x number of units = pip value

Pip changeExchange RateUnitsPip Value
.0001.733310,0001.3636983

If the exchange rate (or bid) for SGD/USD is .7333 and you have a 10,000 unit order, each single pip move is worth about 1.36 SGD.

SGD Trading

The Singapore Dollar (SGD) is regularly traded with all major currencies, including EUR, AUD, USD, and others. SGD represents about 1% of global forex trading volume, placing SGD in the top 15 currencies worldwide based on forex trading volume.

Forex Lot Sizes

Forex trading uses “lots” to standardize trading quantities. A standard lot is 100,000 units. Smaller trade quantities are also commonly used.

  • Standard Lot = 100,000 units (1 lot)
  • Mini Lot = 10,000 units (.1 lot)
  • Micro Lot = 1,000 units (.01 lot)
  • Nano Lot = less than 1,000 units (varies depending on quantity)

Not all brokers make nano lot trading available. Through leverage, micro lots or even mini lots are within reach for many traders.

Types of Orders

Traders familiar with stock trading will be pleased to know that forex trading uses the same primary types of orders:

  • Market order: fills your forex order at the best available price
  • Limit order: fills your order only at a specific price and won’t execute if that price is not reached
  • Stop order:  sells your currency holdings at a specific price and won’t execute if that price is not reached
  • Stop loss order: sells your forex order automatically at a specific price to avoid further losses
  • Trailing stop: a stop loss order that automatically adjusts the selling price as you realize gains on a trade to protect a percentage of those gains if the market turns downward

Forex Trading Risks

Regulation by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and other agencies helps to reduce risk for forex traders by limiting leverage and by enforcing rules for brokers to keep investor funds segregated. However, as with all financial trades, traders still face risks to capital.

  • Exchange rate risk: Exchange rates can change rapidly, with leverage or high trade quantities making even small moves having a significant impact on the dollar value of the trade.
  • Leverage risk: The Monetary Authority of Singapore limits leverage for forex trades in Singapore, but many currency pairs can still be leveraged up to 1:50, meaning traders can execute trades of up to 50 times the amount of capital they put up for the trade. With leverage, a small drop in the exchange rate for a currency pair can trigger a margin call or force a liquidation.
  • Volatility risk: Currency prices within a forex pair can change rapidly, possibly creating a challenge for traders who wish to start or exit a position but find that the trading range has become less optimal for the intended trade.
  • Interest rates: Demand for currencies is often swayed by interest rate changes or even signs that may indicate to the market that an interest rate change can be expected.
  • Sovereign risk: The actions of a government can affect the value of a nation’s currency. As a specific example, a government can cause selling pressure for its currency if it fails to make debt payments or even if the market suspects a possible default.
  • Counterparty risk: Over the years, a number of forex brokers have become insolvent. The Monetary Authority of Singapore regulates brokers, but in a market that grants up to 1:50 leverage and in which prices can change in a instant, risk remains even if decreased.
  • Liquidity risk: Markets only work well if there are enough buyers and sellers. Thinly traded currencies or currencies for countries or regions that have had economic or political news that can change demand may find fewer buyers or sellers. In this case, a trader wishing to buy or sell may not be able to complete a desired trade at an ideal price.

Singapore Forex Trading Strategies

If you want to trade forex successfully, you will need to master some basic strategies:

Price Action Trading

Price action involves studying the historical movement of price. Using this information, you can identify possible entry and exit points for investments. This trading style is usually meant for short-term moves of less than 1 week. Trend identification, momentum indicators and support and resistance levels are important terms to learn. 

Trend Trading

If a market has a definite direction, you can take advantage of trend trading. An uptrend is a market achieving higher highs and higher lows on pullbacks. A downtrend is moving through lower lows and lower highs on retracements. Strong trends may take time to mature, and this strategy may require weeks or months to work out.

Range Trading

If a stock is moving around a certain price level, investors may attempt to trade around it. This strategy works well in a market that does not have an obvious trend or significant volatility. The forex market generally has less volatility than other markets, so range trading is an important strategy to learn.

Position Trading

If you like researching the long-term fundamentals of a currency, position trading may be for you. Position traders are not worried about short-term fluctuations in the forex market. Macroeconomic factors, less important in price action or range trading, become especially important here.

Forex Trading Example in Singapore

You want to take advantage of the current price of SGD/GBP, which is trading at 0.83960/0.83970. You think this price is low and will soon rise. You want to purchase S$10,000. The margin rate of this currency pair is 3.11%, so you will need £261.13 in your account.

The EUR/GBP price does actually move up. In 4 hours, it’s trading at 0.84450/0.84460. This is a move of 48 points (0.84450-0.83970), with each point = $S0.0001, and your profit is (S$10,000*0.84450) – (S$10,000*0.83970), or £98.

Note: Using margin comes with additional risk. You can actually lose more than your cash on hand. Learn how to use leverage in forex wisely before applying a margin to your investments.

How We Made Our Forex Brokers in Singapore Selections

As one of the world’s leading forex markets, Singapore attracts forex trading brokers from all over the world. We looked at a number of key areas with an eye on customer service, regulation, trade costs, trader tools, and trade execution.

Spreads

Unlike stock trading, many forex trades don’t require a commission for the trade. Instead, brokers make money from the spread between the bid and the ask price. Closer spreads generally mean the trader spends less in trading expenses, but other fees may apply, particularly for trades held overnight.

Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Regulation

Singapore’s central bank also regulates forex brokers as well as advises the Singaporean government on foreign exchange matters. As part of regulatory requirements for brokers, leverage is limited and investor funds must be kept separate from broker funds.

Cash Management

It’s important for traders to be able to fund their accounts easily and to move money back out of accounts when needed. Ease of cash management allows for more nimble trading, as is often appropriate for forex trading.

Trader Tools

Modern forex trading benefits from charting tools to help traders understand markets and demo accounts that allow traders to test trading strategies with no risk. An expansive learning center and an up-to-date news feed also put the tools a trader needs on the trading dashboard.

Customer Support

If questions arise or if there is a problem with the platform, it’s important that traders can reach support staff easily to get answers or seek a resolution.

Choose Your Trading Platform, Open Your Trading Account, Start Trading Forex

As the largest financial market in the world, trading opportunities abound with forex and Singapore’s traders are in the heart of one of the world’s leading forex trading centers. With no capital gains tax on trading profits, forex traders in Singapore have an advantage over traders in the U.S. and much of Europe, allowing a higher effective return on trades.

MAS has published an investor alert list of forex brokers that may be wrongly perceived as being listed or authorized by MAS. This list is useful for confirming MAS regulation designed to provide essential trading protections for Singapore’s growing forex community. Traders are encouraged to do their own research and due diligence in choosing a broker. Any of the brokers in our roundup can be a great starting point, each with their own advantages and unique focus for traders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Is forex trading legal in Singapore?

A

Forex trading is legal in Singapore but it is crucial to understand the rules and regulations governing this type of activity. In Singapore, forex trading can be done via a licensed broker or bank. All brokers must be licensed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and banks must adhere to guidelines set out by MAS.

Q

What is the best time to trade forex in Singapore?

A

The best time to trade forex in Singapore is during the Asian trading session, which runs from 2:00pm to 10:00pm Singapore time. This timeframe is when the majority of market activity takes place in this region, as well as when most international news events are released, making it an ideal time for currency traders.

During this period, there is generally higher liquidity and more price movements, creating more opportunities for traders.

Q

Is forex taxable in Singapore?

A

Yes, forex trading is taxable in Singapore. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) requires that any income earned from forex trading must be declared as part of an individual’s income tax return. All profits earned from forex trading are subject to the same taxation policies and regulations as those applied to other forms of income such as wages, salaries, or investment returns.

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About Dan Schmidt

Dan has written about a wide range of topics including stocks and investing, cryptocurrencies, banking, student loans, and credit cards.