How to Trade Forex in NZ: 2024 Guide

To trade forex in New Zealand, choosing a broker regulated by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is essential to ensure a secure and reliable trading environment. Forex trading, the act of buying and selling currencies on the global market, has seen a surge in popularity among New Zealanders. This is attributed to the market's high accessibility, the potential for profit, and technological advancements that have made trading more user-friendly.

This guide aims to provide a clear overview of forex trading within New Zealand, focusing on the basics of forex trading, understanding the regulatory landscape, and how to select a reputable broker. Our goal is to equip you with the necessary knowledge to navigate the New Zealand forex market successfully, highlighting the unique opportunities and considerations for traders in this region.

How Does the FMA Regulate Forex Trading?

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) regulates forex trading in New Zealand by licensing brokers, setting conduct standards, and ensuring compliance with financial laws, aiming to create a secure trading environment.

This entity is responsible for overseeing the operations of forex brokers, enforcing fair trading practices, safeguarding trader funds, and requiring the provision of clear and accurate information to traders.

The FMA's role is crucial in establishing a regulatory framework for brokers, mandating strict guidelines to protect traders. This includes enforcing fair trading practices, safeguarding trader funds, and mandating the provision of clear and accurate information.

Forex trading regulation by the FMA involves licensing financial service providers like CFD brokers, monitoring their compliance with regulatory standards, and enforcing actions as needed. FMA-regulated brokers are required to meet stringent financial standards, undergo regular audits, and operate with transparency, ensuring they act in their clients' best interests. 

Compared to top-tier regulators like in Australia (ASIC), Europe (CySEC), and the UK (FCA), New Zealand forex regulations are comprehensive, though some differences exist. For instance, while ASIC, CySEC, and FCA enforce leverage limits of 30:1 for major forex pairs, the FMA allows higher leverage, up to 500:1. Additionally, unlike in these top-tier regulated jurisdictions, negative balance protection is not mandated in New Zealand.

There are also offshore regulators in places like the Bahamas (SCB), Vanuatu (VFSC), and Seychelles (FSA). Justin Grossbard, an industry expert from CompareForexBrokers, highlights the high risks associated with offshore regulated brokers, stating, "Offshore regulators may allow higher leverage but require CFD brokers to provide significantly less protection for retail investors. This attracts brokers seeking more lenient regulations, which can significantly increase the risk of CFD trading due to reduced oversight and protection." 

Grossbard's insight underscores the importance of choosing brokers regulated by reputable authorities like the FMA. New Zealand's regulatory system mandates protections not assured by brokers operating in more lenient jurisdictions, including the segregation of client funds and the security of trader investments against the possibility of broker bankruptcy.

Choosing the Best Forex Brokers in New Zealand

When choosing the best forex brokers in New Zealand, traders should prioritise factors such as low spreads, a wide range of financial instruments, regulatory compliance with the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), favourable trading conditions, advanced trading platforms and mobile apps, and reliable customer support.

In New Zealand, forex trading primarily involves trading Contracts for Difference (CFDs) rather than directly buying and selling currency pairs. This means traders are speculating on price movements of currency pairs, a common form of derivatives, without owning the underlying asset.

In terms of the best forex brokers in NZ, Auckland-based broker BlackBull Markets is a top choice, offering ultra-low spreads, an extensive selection of trading instruments, and multiple trading platform options, including MT4, MT5, and cTrader. It also provides advanced tools for social and copy trading, catering to a wide range of trader needs from beginners to experienced professionals. Other FMA-regulated forex brokers include CMC Markets and IG Markets, which are known for their broad range of CFDs. While they may have higher trading costs than BlackBull Markets, their comprehensive trading tools, platforms, and customer support services make them top options for traders in New Zealand.

For more information, you can read about who the best forex brokers are in New Zealand, or learn more about what is available in terms of forex copy trading software in NZ.

Selecting the right CFD broker is crucial for a successful trading experience. It's important to ensure that the broker's offerings align with your trading goals, preferences, and strategies, and that they provide a secure and transparent trading environment, adhering to the regulatory standards set by the FMA.

What are the Most Popular Forex Trading Platforms and Tools?

The most popular forex trading platforms are MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5), and cTrader, which are known for their sophisticated trading tools suitable for newcomers and experienced traders. In addition to these widely used third-party platforms, brokers like Plus500 and CMC Markets offer proprietary platforms that are particularly user-friendly for beginners. Each platform serves various trading needs, providing distinctive tools and features to enhance the trading experience.

MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most widely used platform, recognised for its analytical tools, automated trading through Expert Advisors (EAs), and user-friendly interface. Despite newer platforms on the market, MT4 remains the first choice for many traders due to its reliability and comprehensive features. To learn more, you can read about the best MT4 brokers for forex trading.

MetaTrader 5 (MT5) builds on the success of MT4, offering additional technical indicators, timeframes, and enhanced trading functions. It supports more trading orders and has improved price analysis and forecasting tools. MT5 is designed to cater to traders looking to trade CFDs, stocks, and futures in addition to forex.

cTrader is known for its intuitive user interface, advanced charting tools, and superior order execution capabilities. It offers Level II pricing, detailed order depth, and faster order execution, making it a preferred choice for traders who value transparency and trading efficiency.

Brokers like Plus500 and CMC Markets develop their proprietary platforms to provide a unique trading experience. These platforms are designed to be intuitive, providing traders with advanced charting packages, a wide range of technical analysis tools, and user-friendly interfaces.

To help us understand the critical role of preparation and practice in forex trading, Justin Grossbard from shares his insights on the foundational tools for traders. Grossbard remarks, "The importance of demo accounts cannot be overstated for both beginners and experienced traders. Demo accounts enable traders to practise their strategies and become acquainted with platform functionalities without the risk of losing real money. They replicate live market conditions, allowing traders to test strategies, understand platform features, and gain practical experience in a risk-free environment."

Technical analysis tools and trading tools such as charting software, economic calendars, and news feeds are crucial for making informed trading decisions. These tools help traders analyse market trends, identify trading opportunities, and manage trades effectively.

Platforms like MT4, MT5, and cTrader support automated trading, enabling traders to develop, test, and deploy trading bots and Expert Advisors (EAs), further enhancing the trading experience by allowing for precision, backtesting strategies, and removing emotional decision-making from trading activities.

Choosing the right trading platform involves considering your trading style, the tools and features offered by the platform, and the level of support provided by the brokerage. Whether you prioritise comprehensive technical analysis capabilities, automated trading tools, or a user-friendly interface, the available platforms cater to a wide range of trading preferences and requirements. For more information, you can read about the best forex trading platforms in New Zealand.

Forex Trading Strategies

Trading strategies in forex are diverse, each with its unique approach to capturing profits and managing risks. Here are some widely used trading strategies:

  • Scalping: Involves making numerous trades throughout a day to capture small price movements. Scalpers aim for quick, small profits, often holding positions for just minutes. This strategy requires a significant time commitment and quick decision-making.
  • Day Trading: Traders open and close positions within the same trading day, avoiding the risk of overnight market fluctuations. Day trading focuses on short-term trading signals and requires a good understanding of market trends.
  • Swing Trading: This strategy seeks to capture gains in a stock or any financial instrument over a period of a few days to several weeks. Swing traders use a range of technical indicators to identify potential trading opportunities.
  • Hedging: Involves opening opposite positions in the market to offset potential losses in one position with gains in another. It is used to protect against adverse market movements and manage risk effectively. Hedging strategies can include using correlated currency pairs or derivatives, such as options, to mitigate downside risk while maintaining exposure to potential upside movements.

What are the Most Popular Currency Pairs to Trade?

The most popular currency pairs to trade, often referred to as the major currency pairs, include the Euro vs US Dollar (EUR/USD), US Dollar vs Japanese Yen (USD/JPY), Great British Pound vs US Dollar (GBP/USD), Australian Dollar vs US Dollar (AUD/USD), US Dollar vs Swiss Franc (USD/CHF), US Dollar vs Canadian Dollar (USD/CAD), and NZ Dollar vs US Dollar (NZD/USD). 

These pairs are known as the "majors" because they involve the currencies of the world’s largest and most influential economies, boasting high liquidity and low spreads. They enjoy significant popularity among traders and are commonly used as benchmarks for other forex pairs.

The NZD/USD pair is included among the most popular currency pairs to trade despite New Zealand's relatively small size due to several factors. The New Zealand Dollar (NZD), nicknamed "Kiwi," is New Zealand's official currency and plays a significant role in international trade and investment. 

To shed light on the dynamics influencing the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) in the forex market, Noam Korbl, a foreign exchange expert from CompareForexBrokers, offers his expertise. Korbl explains, "The NZD is sensitive to global demand and commodity prices, given New Zealand's economy relies heavily on agriculture and exports. Additionally, factors such as interest rate differentials between the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) and the Federal Reserve (Fed), dairy prices, tourism, and overall economic indicators play a crucial role in determining the NZD's stability and attractiveness for traders."


What is Risk Management in Forex?

Risk management in forex trading involves strategies and techniques used to minimise and control financial losses. This includes setting stop-loss orders to limit potential losses at a predetermined price level, managing leverage to avoid excessive exposure, and understanding the use of Contracts for Difference (CFDs) to speculate on price movements without owning the underlying asset. 

Key concepts essential for effective risk management in forex trading include:

  • Spreads: The difference between the bid (sell) and ask (buy) price of a currency pair. Spreads can impact the cost of trading, with narrower spreads generally favourable for traders. Trading accounts are often categorised into no commission (standard trading accounts) where brokers widen the spread to make their profit, and commission-based (raw/ECN trading accounts) where traders pay a commission on trades but benefit from tighter spreads closer to the market price.
  • Pips: Understanding pips, the smallest price move in a currency pair, is crucial for gauging market movements and potential profit or loss.
  • Liquidity: Recognizing the liquidity of an asset helps traders understand the ease of executing trades without significantly impacting the market price.
  • Leverage: Properly managing leverage is vital as it can amplify both gains and losses. Using online forex calculators can aid traders in understanding the potential leverage and money at risk for certain trades.

Volatility is a critical factor in risk management, especially when foreign exchange trading. Forex traders must implement strong risk management strategies to effectively navigate sudden price movements and minimise the risk of financial loss. 

CFDs extend beyond forex to cryptocurrencies, shares, indices, ETFs, commodities, and interest rates, introducing a range of investment opportunities and risks. While forex trading is inherently risky, the crypto market's extreme volatility requires even stricter risk controls due to its rapid price fluctuations. Adapting to the volatility of your chosen market is essential for implementing effective risk management measures, safeguarding your investments, and refining your trading strategies for optimal results.

FAQ: How to Trade Forex in NZ

Is forex trading allowed in New Zealand?

Yes, forex trading is not only allowed but also legal and regulated in New Zealand. The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) monitors forex trading activities in the country, ensuring that brokers comply with regulatory standards and providing a secure trading environment for investors. Forex traders in New Zealand can operate confidently, knowing that their activities are subject to oversight and that they have recourse in case of any issues or scams. This regulatory framework helps to protect traders' interests and promotes transparency and fairness in the forex market within New Zealand.

How do I Start Trading in NZ?

To start trading in New Zealand, begin by selecting a suitable broker, platform, and trading account type. Then, set up your trading account by completing the verification process and meeting the minimum deposit requirements, which can typically be done using various payment methods such as credit and debit cards, wire transfers, or e-wallets like PayPal and Skrill. Most FMA-regulated brokers offer the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) as a base currency option as well.

Next, download the necessary software, commonly a desktop or web-based platform, along with mobile trading apps for on-the-go access. Once set up, develop your trading strategy and practice using demo accounts to familiarise yourself with the market dynamics. Before diving into live trading, prioritise implementing risk management techniques, such as setting stop-loss orders. With these steps completed, you can commence trading confidently in the New Zealand market.

Do forex traders pay tax in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, forex traders are required to pay taxes on their trading income. However, there are no specific taxation rules solely for forex trading. Instead, any capital gains generated through trading currency pairs and other financial instruments are treated as income for tax purposes. This means that forex traders in New Zealand are subject to the same income tax regulations as any other individual earning income from various sources. Essentially, traders are obligated to pay taxes based on their total income, including profits earned from forex trading activities. Therefore, it's essential for forex traders in New Zealand to accurately report their trading income and comply with the country's tax laws to avoid any penalties or legal issues.

What do I need to start trading Forex in New Zealand?

To start trading Forex in New Zealand, you'll need a few essential items and considerations. Firstly, you'll require a reliable internet connection, as trading involves accessing online platforms and executing transactions in real-time. A computer or laptop is necessary for accessing trading platforms and conducting market analysis. Additionally, you'll need trading software, such as MetaTrader 4 or 5, which provides charting tools, indicators, and order execution capabilities. While the minimum deposit required to start trading varies among brokers, having a budget set aside for trading capital is essential. Moreover, adequate time is needed to plan trading strategies, conduct market research, and execute trades effectively. Lastly, acquiring knowledge about Forex markets, technical and fundamental analysis, and risk management is crucial for making informed trading decisions and navigating the complexities of the financial markets.

Can I trade forex with $100?

Yes, it is possible to start trading forex with as little as $100, although there are some considerations to keep in mind. While trading with a small account balance is feasible, it's important to have realistic expectations regarding potential profits and risk management. With a $100 deposit, traders may need to utilise higher leverage to increase the size of their positions, but this also amplifies the high risk of losses. Additionally, trading fees and spreads can eat into smaller account balances more significantly, impacting overall profitability. Therefore, traders starting with $100 should focus on developing a solid trading strategy, practising risk management techniques, and gradually growing their accounts over time through disciplined trading and prudent decision-making.


The information presented in this guide is for educational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Before engaging in forex trading, consult with a licensed financial services provider or issuer. Always conduct thorough research and seek professional guidance before making financial decisions.