Are you shopping around for the best forex broker for New Zealand residents? We’ve covered the local market, key broker considerations and which top brokers accept New Zealand residents as clients.
Forex brokers often differ quite a bit in the services and products they offer to their clients, so consider your trading requirements carefully before you fund a trading account.
Quick Look – Best Forex Brokers New Zealand
What You Need to Know About Forex in New Zealand
Traders living in New Zealand are fortunate to be able to choose from a wide range of reputable online brokers who will accept them as clients. Forex trading is legal in New Zealand and the country offers a relatively safe location for traders due to decent local regulation.
The currency used in New Zealand is the New Zealand dollar (NZD or NZ$) — it’s also referred to as the “kiwi” among forex traders. The NZD is broken down into 100 smaller denominations known as cents. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) ranked the NZD 10th among the world’s most actively traded currencies in April 2016. The BIS also noted that the NZD participated in 2.1% of the average daily forex market turnover seen that month.
A few key fundamental factors can affect the currency’s value:
- The price of housing and relevant commodities produced in and exported from New Zealand as well as oil and agricultural items like beef, dairy, lamb and wool.
- Natural events like major earthquakes
- Trade-related issues like tariffs and trade agreements
- A rise in risk aversion among investors
Online brokers must be authorized and submit to oversight by New Zealand’s financial regulator known as the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). The FMA began operating in 2011 after the global financial crisis. Trading losses prompted the Financial Markets Bill by New Zealand’s parliament.
The FMA is also a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), so it operates under the stricter rules that organization requires. The FMA’s basic responsibility is to enforce regulations that pertain to financial service firms that provide access to markets in New Zealand.
What to Consider Before You Choose a Broker
Choose a reputable broker you feel safe with when you make a margin deposit. You’ll also want to take the following list of key considerations into account.
One of the more important things you may want to look for in a quality forex broker is how strict its regulatory environment is since the best online brokers will be overseen by a good financial regulator. The regulator should ensure that any broker operating in its jurisdiction keeps client funds separate from its own funds to protect it in case of the broker’s insolvency.
Maximum Leverage Ratio
A higher leverage ratio means you can control a larger position with a given margin amount. Brokers regulated in the EU and the U.S. generally offer low leverage ratios of 30 to 1 and 50 to 1 respectively, while some brokers regulated in more lenient jurisdictions can offer leverage ratios up to 3,000 to 1 on forex trades.
Forex brokers allow clients to trade using trading software that can include their own proprietary platform and/or those offered by 3rd parties like the very popular MetaTrader 4 or 5 (MT4/5) platforms. Any modern electronic platform should let you draw charts and trade directly from them and have a news feed and a customizable interface. Some platforms like MT4/5 will even let you create custom indicators, backtest strategies and trade automatically based on programmed algorithms.
Educational and Research Materials
You might need educational resources to help you improve as a trader if you’re new to forex trading. Many brokers offer online courses, e-books, webinars, videos and articles that can help you self-educate. You might also benefit from expert fundamental and technical research from your broker.
You’ll want to look for fast customer support from your broker to prevent potentially expensive losses from accruing. Virtually all brokers offer prompt support in English via live chat and telephone, although email and fax are usually also options if a matter is not especially urgent.
Just about all online brokers let you try out their services and practice trading using a free demo account. They also typically have several account types to fit different clients:
- Micro accounts could be good if you’re a new trader
- Standard accounts are better for medium-sized traders
- VIP accounts are for well-funded traders
- Swap-free Islamic accounts are for Muslim clients who wish to conform to Sharia law
Brokers vary considerably in the minimum initial margin deposit they require for you to start trading, so check to see if you have the right amount of funds available. Some brokers will accept deposits in NZD but you might need to convert them to a major currency accepted by your broker like euros, U.S. dollars or pounds sterling when you open an account.
The Best Forex Brokers in New Zealand
It’s important to take your individual trading needs into account when you look into the best online brokerage firms that accept clients from New Zealand to deal forex. Each top New Zealand forex broker in the list below also ranks well in the key broker considerations listed in the previous section.
FOREX.com is the top U.S. forex broker in terms of client assets and is strictly regulated by the National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The broker accepts clients from New Zealand and is also regulated in other Commonwealth countries, including the U.K., Australia and Canada.
This broker requires a $250 minimum deposit and lets you trade micro lots, although complying with U.S. regulations means that you can only use 50 to 1 leverage. FOREX.com has its own proprietary platform but you can use MT4/5 and NinjaTrader and can trade on desktop, web and mobile platforms.
IG was founded in 1974 in the U.K. and remains a major forex broker specializing in CFDs. It also offers spread betting where allowed by law and accepts New Zealand residents.
The broker is also regulated by ASIC in Australia and the FCA in the U.K. IG uses straight through processing (STP) order execution for CFDs and spread betting and also uses direct market access (DMA) for share trading.
You’ll need a minimum deposit of $250 to open an account with this broker that will allow you to trade forex, commodities, shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), indices and cryptocurrencies. IG has a mobile trading app and a web trading option and it also supports MT4.
3. Plus 500
Founded in 2008 in Israel, Plus500 operates under 4 subsidiaries in Australia, the U.K., Cyprus and Singapore to provide its clients with CFD and online forex trading.
The broker accepts residents of New Zealand and it’s regulated by CySec in the EU and the FCA in the U.K., as well as by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in Australia.
Plus 500 offers a very wide range of over 2,500 tradable assets and requires a minimum deposit of $100 to open a trading account. The broker does not support MT4/5, and it has its own proprietary trading platforms that perform similar functions.
4. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is a U.S.-based online broker that lets you trade over 120 world markets. The company is regulated in the U.S. by the NFA and CFTC and accepts clients from New Zealand.
In addition to forex pairs, Interactive Brokers lets you trade stocks, futures, options and options on futures, bonds and funds. Interactive Brokers’ trading platform TraderWorkstation (TWS) has some of the best ratings in the business.
Its commission schedule is a bit complex, but its fees are among the industry’s lowest, which can suit high-volume traders. Interactive Brokers also provides an extensive set of research and educational materials. This broker charges a fee for inactive accounts and requires a minimum $10,000 initial deposit to open an account.
Marshall Islands-based easyMarkets was founded in 2001 and is regulated by ASIC and CySEC. The broker accepts clients from New Zealand and it offers decent dealing spreads in over 200 assets, including forex, options, forwards, CFDs, metals, commodities, indices, shares and cryptocurrencies.
You’ll need a $100 initial deposit to open an account at easyMarkets. The broker supports MT4 and has its own easyMarkets platform that features dealCancellation that can help protect your account.
You can also use corresponding mobile apps. easyMarkets provides useful market analysis and a news blog and educational materials.
You’ll find that most international brokers will accept you as a client if you’re a New Zealand-based forex broker. The amount of leverage available to you and the minimum deposit required to open an account can vary.
Select a well-regulated and reputable broker that segregates its funds from its clients and meets your personal needs.