How the oil market works
Luckily, you don’t need to handle large amounts of crude in order to trade the oil markets. That’s because most oil and gas trading is handled via futures.
To trade on oil prices you’ll need to open an account. It takes a matter of minutes, can be done entirely online, and there’s no obligation to fund once you’ve finished your application.
However, you will need to fund before you place your first trade. Funding a trading account is simple.
If you’d like to try out oil trading without the risk of losing any capital, there are many demo accounts available. Your demo will come preloaded with virtual funds, which you can use to trade live oil markets.
You can use your account to trade Brent Crude and WTI (Called US Light Crude on the platform), as well as Heating Oil, Natural Gas and No Lead Gasoline. And you can access a variety of tools to help you identify the right time to open your first position, including:
Oil trading signals, which tell you when opportunities arise with details on how to take advantage
Alerts, which notify you when certain conditions you’ve set have been fulfilled
Technical indicators, including MACD, Bollinger Bands and RSI
Once you’ve decided the market you want to trade, you can open your position.
Open the deal ticket to place your trade. First of all you’ll enter your stake, which dictates the profit or loss you’ll make when the market moves. You can also choose to add a stop or a limit here, which will automatically close your position once it hits a certain level.
Bear in mind, though, that a basic stop loss does not guarantee your position will close at the exact level you specify – if the market suddenly gaps beyond your stop level, it’s possible your position will be closed at a worse level than requested.
If you think oil is going up in value, then ‘buy’ your chosen market. If you think it’s headed down, then ‘sell’ it.
Now your trade is open, you’ll want to keep a close eye on it – or use the appropriate monitoring tools – and decide when the right time is to either cut your losses or take your profits. You can also add, remove or amend any stops or limits once your position is open.
To close a trade, you just click on your position and trade in the opposite direction to when you opened it. So if you bought oil, then you’d sell it. If you’d sold oil, then you buy it.
Your profit or loss is determined by deducting the price at which you opened the position from the price at which you closed it, and multiplying the result by your position size. If you bought the market at the outset, then a positive figure indicates a profit and negative one a loss. If you sold it, then it’s the opposite.