IBKR Metals CFDs – Facts and Q&A

Overview: 

The following article is intended to provide a general introduction to London Gold and Silver Contracts for Differences (CFDs) issued by IBKR.

Please follow these links for information on IBKR Share CFDs, Index CFDs and Forex CFDs.

Risk Warning
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.

58.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with IBKR.

You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the
high risk of losing your money.

 

ESMA Rules for CFDs (Retail Clients only)
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has enacted new CFD rules effective 1st August
2018.

The rules include: 1) leverage limits on the opening of a CFD position; 2) a margin close out rule on a per
account basis; and 3) negative balance protection on a per account basis.

The ESMA Decision is only applicable to retail clients. Professional clients are unaffected.
Please refer to the following articles for more detail:

ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBKR (UK) and IBKR LLC

ESMA CFD Rules Implementation at IBIE, IBCE and IBLUX

Introduction
A London Gold CFD enables you to have exposure to price movements of physical Gold without actually owning it. A London Gold CFD is an agreement between you and IBKR to exchange the difference in price of the underlying over a period of time. The difference to be exchanged is determined by the change in the reference price of the underlying. Thus, if the price of physical Gold traded on the London bullion market rises and you are long the CFD, you receive cash from IBKR and vice versa. A London Gold CFD can be bought long or sold short to suit your view of market direction in the future.

Contract Specifications

Contract IBKR Symbol Per Trade Fee Minimum per Order Multiplier
London Gold XAUUSD 0.015% USD 2.00 1
London Silver XAGUSD 0.015% USD 2.00 1

Price Determination
The IBKR London Gold and Silver CFDs reference physical Gold and Silver traded on the London bullion market. The London bullion market is a wholesale over-the-counter market for the trading of precious metals. Trading is conducted among members of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). Most of the members are major international banks.

IBKR receives quote streams from approximately 10 such major banks, in much the same way it does for cash forex. IBKR Smart routes between the banks, and the best available price at any given time becomes the reference price for the CFDs. IBKR does not add a spread to the banks’ quotes.

Low Commissions and Financing Rates: Unlike other CFD providers IBKR charges a transparent
commission, rather than widening the spread. Commission rates are only 0.015%. Overnight financing rates are just benchmark +/- 1.5% (an additional 1% surcharge is added for retail accounts).

Transparent Quotes: Because IBKR does not widen the spread, the Metals CFD quotes accurately
represent the spreads and price movements of the related cash metal, as described above.

Margin Efficiency: IBKR establishes house-margin requirements based on historic volatility of the
underlying and other factors. Retail clients are subject to regulatory minimum initial margins of 5% for
London Gold or 10% for London Silver. 

Trading Permissions: Same as for Share and Index CFDs.

Market Data Permissions: Metals CFD market data is free, but a permission is required for system
reasons.

Worked Trade Example (Professional Clients):

You purchase 100 XAUUSD CFDs at $1,942.5 for USD 194,250 which you then hold for 5 days.

Closing the Position

CFD Resources
Below are some useful links with more detailed information on IB’s CFD offering:

CFD Product Listings

CFD Commissions

CFD Financing Rates

CFD Margin Requirements

CFD Contract Specifications

Frequently asked Questions

Are short Metals CFDs subject to forced buy-in?
No.

Can I take delivery of the underlying metal?

No, IBKR does not support physical delivery for Metals CFDs.

Are there any market data requirements?
The market data for Metal CFDs is free, and is included the market data for Index CFDs. However, you need to subscribe to the permission for system reasons. To do this, log into Account Management, and click through the following tabs: Settings/User Settings/Trading Platform/Market Data Subscriptions. Alternatively you can set up an Index or Metals CFD in your TWS quote monitor and click the “Market Data Subscription Manager” button that appears on the quote line.

How are my CFD trades and positions reflected in my statements?
If you are a client of IBKR (U.K.) or IBKR LLC, your CFD positions are held in a separate account segment identified by your primary account number with the suffix “F”. You can choose to view Activity Statements for the F-segment either separately or consolidated with your main account. You can make the choice in the statement window in Account Management.

If you are a client of other IBKR entities, there is no separate segment. You can view your positions normally alongside your non-CFD positions.

In what type of IB accounts can I trade CFDs e.g., Individual, Friends and Family,
Institutional, etc.?

All margin and cash accounts are eligible for CFD trading. 

Can I trade CFDs over the phone?
No. In exceptional cases we may agree to process closing orders over the phone, but never opening
orders.

Can anyone trade IB CFDs?
All clients can trade IB CFDs, except residents of the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand and
Israel. There are no exemptions based on investor type to the residency-based exclusions.