The third of our big four spread betting companies is CMC Markets, part of the CMC Group. The company started life in 1989 as the Currency Management Corporation and was founded by Peter Cruddas with just £10,000 in startup capital, initially brokering deals in the forex market which formed the core of the business for many years. Following several years of steady growth, the company was the first to launch an online dealing service for foreign exchange, at a time when the internet and currency markets combined to form the foundations of the online forex trading that is so popular today. Since then the company has expanded into a truly global organisation, with over 1,000 employees worldwide, and a vast array of products and markets on offer, of which spread betting remains one of the leading divisions of the company. CMC company is still largely owned by Peter Cruddas and his wife, although Goldman Sachs purchased a 10% share in the company in 2007, having originally persued the owner for an alleged 25% which he refused.

As you would expect for a company of this size, the number and spread of products and markets covered is truly awseome, and CMC markets differs in one key respect from the other spread betting companies here, in that they act as a market maker in their own right. Now my opinion of market makers in generally not high at the best of times, and as I have not used this company I do not feel able to comment personally, however I would urge you to do your research, as many of  the spread betting forums seem to have an increasing number of complaints from previous clients of CMC.

However, on the positive side, their trading platform looks excellent, and is available in three different versions. The platform itself is called Marketmaker, and in addition to the desktop and mobile versions, a browser based version has recently been launched by the company, which allows you to spread bet from anywhere in the world. One of the unique features of the web based platform is the single user ID which allows access both to the software as well as your trading account, reducing the need to memorise passwords and slow down trading online.

A big positive for CMC markets is that all the bet sizes are all freely available to check against the other spread betting companies, although the minimum £ value is less clear which is why some of the following are blank, so apologies, although it would appear to be £1 across all markets.

  • Daily FTSE 100  – the spread is 1 index point and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily FTSE future – the spread is 2 index point and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily Wall Street – the spread is 2 points and the the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily Wall Street futures – the spread is 4 points and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily SPX 500 – information not available
  • Daily Germany 30 – the spread size 2 point and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily Japan 225 – the spread size is 8 points and the minimum bet size is £0.50

Major Currency Pairs

  • EUR vs USD – the minimum spread is 2 pip and the minimum bet size is £1
  • GBP vs USD – the minimum spread is 3 pips and the minimum bet size is £1
  • USD vs CAD – information not available
  • USD vs JPY – information not available
  • AUD vs USD – the minimum spread is 2 pip and the minimum bet size is £1

Commodities

  • Daily Brent crude oil – information not available
  • Brent crude oil – information not available
  • Daily US light crude oil -information not available
  • US light crude – the minimum spread  is 6 and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Gold – the minimum spread is 0.6 and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily spot gold – the minimum spread is o.5 and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Silver – the minimum spread is 3 and the minimum bet size is £1
  • Daily silver – the minimum spread is 3 and the minimum bet size is £2

Stocks and Shares

  • Over 1500 UK shares available to trade
  • Shares in FTSE 100 would typically cost 0.1% of the trade value

In summary, if you do plan to open a spread betting  account with CMC markets then your deposit margin will be in the region of 1% to 20%, the minimum spread they offer is 1, the trading mimimum is £1 and the account open minimum is currently £200. They do offer 24 hour trading, but do not currently offer a demo version of their trading platform. At present they have a special offer running which allows you to spread bet risk free ( conditions apply ofcourse) for one day, with the company covering your losses.