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 How Contracts for Difference of CFD trades are priced: a guide
July 4, 2023

How Contracts for Difference of CFD trades are priced: a guide

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Contracts for Differences (CFDs) have become increasingly popular among traders due to their flexibility and accessibility. CFD allows traders to speculate on price movements of various financial instruments in asset classes like stocks, commodities, and currencies, without owning them. But have you ever wondered how CFDs are priced?

In this article, we will take a closer look at the factors that influence CFD trade pricing and how traders can use this knowledge to make more informed decisions. It will also help you understand if your CFDs are overvalued or undervalued. So that you can make the most of your trades. If you are eager to see what kinds of instruments you can trade CFDs with, you can visit Saxo CFD broker. To learn about how CFDs are priced, read on to discover the 6 factors that influence their pricing.

6 factors that influence CFD pricing

The underlying asset

The first factor that influences CFD pricing is the underlying asset – what it is. CFDs can take on a variety of underlying assets from classes including stocks, commodities, and currency pairs. In these classes, instruments can vary widely. For example, stocks can cover both blue-chip stocks from large companies and penny stocks. Commodities range from metals to agricultural products, and within forex pairs, trading a major currency pair is a very different experience from trading an exotic currency pair. You can also visit Time Business for more information.

You should first understand what drives the prices of the instrument you are trading, whether it is economic data like interest and inflation rates and GDP, company management strategies, or investor sentiment.

Bid/ask spread

CFDs have a bid/ask spread, like any financial instrument. The bid/ask spread is the difference between the buy and sell price and the more liquid an instrument is, the narrower the spread will be. Therefore, a narrow spread is typically a good indicator that traders consider when they are about to purchase or sell a CFD. This bid/ask spread can affect the cost of trading as well as the efficiency of trade execution, and it can impact a trader’s returns in the end.


CFDs allow traders to use leverage when trading. Leverage is a tool that allows traders to control a larger position in the market with a small amount of capital they provide at the outset. The rest of the money used to control the position is usually a loan from the broker the trader works with. Leverage can amplify potential gains, but it may also lead to amplified losses should markets perform adversely. Therefore, it is essential that traders understand how to use appropriate leverage, as brokers may offer leverage from 1:2 to as high as 1:500.

The impact of leverage on the price of a CFD can be seen mostly in the funding costs the broker may request from the trader. This is because the higher the leverage, the more money the broker is funding as a portion of the total position. They may charge the CFD trader interest on the borrowed funds that are proportional to the leverage applied. This interest is typically known as the financing charge or overnight fee, and it is calculated based on the size and duration of the CFD position taken.

Interest rates

CFD pricing may be influenced by interest rates set by national and regional governments. This is particularly true for CFDs with long holding periods, such as those spanning weeks and months. The reason for this is because CFDs are typically traded on margin, and traders are borrowing funds from their brokers to facilitate their trades and keep their positions open. They may then be subject to interest charges on their borrowed funds, as mentioned in the previous point.

When the interest rate increases, the cost of borrowing funds from the broker will increase. This can eat into the potential returns of the trader, particularly if a CFD position spans a long period. For example, a CFD trader that holds a CFD spanning weeks will be subject to financing charges on the borrowed funds for those weeks. Should the interest rate rise, the financing charge may also rise. Conversely, should interest rates decrease, the financing rate may also decrease.

Another way interest rates affect the price of a CFD is that they may affect the pricing of the underlying asset of the CFD. This is true for currency pairs. If a trader is trading a currency CFD, interest rates increasing or decreasing will impact the value of the currencies. Which will lead to an impact on the price of the contract.

Market volatility

Market volatility can have a significant impact on the price of a CFD as well. Volatility is the degree of price fluctuation of an asset in the market. The more its price fluctuates and the more rapidly it fluctuates, the more volatile an instrument is. This can be caused by reactions to economic releases, geopolitical tensions and events, and company earnings reports.

Market volatility can increase or decrease the bid/ask spread. When an instrument is more volatile, the bid/ask spread tends to widen. And CFD traders need to pay more to open a position or receive less when closing a position. Conversely, when an instrument is a stabler. The bid/ask spread narrows, and CFD traders pay less to open a position and potentially receive more when closing a position.

Market volatility can impact the price of the underlying asset of a CFD as well. This can lead to a change in the supply and demand dynamics and levels of the contract, resulting in rising or falling CFD prices.

Broker fees

The final thing that can impact the price of a CFD trade is the fees charged by your broker. As a trader, you will be subject to costs charged by your broker for facilitating the trade. This includes commissions, overnight fees, and financing charges. Depending on the broker you work with, these amounts may vary. However, they will eat into your overall returns. So you should be aware of what charges you must pay before you go into the trade.

A word of caution

It is crucial that you remember CFDs are complex financial instruments that carry a high level of risk. And you should always use risk management strategies alongside your trades. Some of these include setting stop-loss and limit orders and using appropriate position sizing. And having a clear understanding of your own risk tolerance and trading objectives to minimize potential losses.


In conclusion, understanding how CFD trading is priced is crucial to successful trading. As we have seen, CFD pricing is influenced by a variety of factors. Including the price of the underlying asset, the size of the bid/ask spread, and the use of leverage. Interest rates, market volatility, and broker fees. By having a solid understanding of these factors. You can gain a strong understanding of how trades are priced and make informed trading decisions. Finally, always remember that CFD trading is a risky activity. And traders are likely to lose money as they are likely to make money. Therefore, you should always implement the appropriate risk management strategies. If in doubt, you should contact a financial advisor who will be able to provide guidance on CFD trading.

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