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How to Trade Gold:
A Beginner’s Guide

Simplify the gold market and get the knowledge you need to start trading. Check out our guide to gain the fundamental understanding and strategic insight needed to trade gold with confidence. 

Key takeaways

Understanding the fundamentals of gold markets are vital to any trading strategy.

You can trade gold in different ways: from spot gold to ETFs.

Monitor market trends and news to capitalise on the volatility of gold prices.

Gold, an asset revered through centuries, has not just remained a symbol of wealth but evolved into a strategic investment and a staple in trading portfolios. If you're eager to understand how to trade gold, particularly against the US dollar (USD), you've struck the right vein.

At FXTM, our global presence and experience in the markets make us a potent ally in your financial journey. As you venture into the domain of gold trading, remember that with our guidance, unlocking the potential of gold markets is within reach.

Types of Gold You Can Trade

The beauty of gold trading lies in its versatility. Let's explore the different forms this precious metal takes in the trading world:

Gold Bullion
Bullion refers to physical gold, typically bars or coins, often held as reserves by central banks or owned by investors. Bullion offers a way to trade in the physical form of gold, but its value is based on the current market price and not tied to its rarity or collectability.

Spot Gold
Spot gold trading involves buying or selling gold at its current market price, with transactions typically settled within two business days. This is the most common and direct way to trade gold, where you own the underlying asset.

Gold Futures
Gold futures are standardized contracts to buy or sell a certain amount of gold at a predetermined price at a future date. These contracts are bought and sold on futures exchanges, with the goal of profiting from price movements in gold.

Gold Options
Gold options give you the right, but not the obligation, to buy (call options) or sell (put options) gold at a specific price during a set period. Options provide a more flexible way to trade gold, as they require less capital but still offer exposure to price movements.

Gold ETFs
Gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are investment funds traded on stock exchanges, much like shares, and backed by gold holdings. These funds provide exposure to the price of gold without physically owning it, making them a convenient option for investors.

Gold Stocks
Investing in gold stocks means purchasing shares of companies involved in gold mining, refining, or exploration. With stocks, you're not directly trading gold itself, but rather speculating on the performance of companies in the gold industry.

Open your account today to maximize profits with our advanced technology, customer-centric approach, and exceptional trading experience. Join experienced traders who choose FXTM today.

What Moves the Price of Gold in USD and Other Currencies?

Several factors can sway the price of gold vs USD and other currencies, from geopolitical stability, inflation rates, and currency strength, to supply and demand dynamics. Gold is traditionally seen as a haven asset, often appreciating during times of economic uncertainty. Alternatively, an increase in interest rates can lead to a decrease in the price of gold as it becomes less attractive compared to other investments.

Keeping an eye on these factors and monitoring market trends can help you make informed trading decisions. Key factors that influence the price of gold include:

Economic Data: Economic indicators such as GDP growth and employment rates can impact investor confidence and, consequently, gold prices.

Geopolitical Events: Times of political unrest and uncertainty can increase the demand for gold as a 'safe haven' asset.

Monetary Policy: Decisions by central banks on interest rates and quantitative easing can affect the value of currencies and drive investors towards or away from gold.

Physical Demand: Central banks have been large buyers of gold to diversify their reserves. Consumer demand for gold products such as jewellery, especially during the festive seasons in large markets like India and China, have a significant bearing on gold prices.

Inflation Rates: As an asset that often retains value, gold is sought after as a hedge against inflation, with higher inflation typically boosting gold prices.

Investment Demand: Trends in the investment community, including ETF inflows and outflows, can also impact the supply and demand dynamics of gold.

Currency Valuations: Gold is often inversely related to the US dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, which can increase demand and drive up prices.

Market Volatility: During periods of high market volatility, gold often becomes a favoured investment choice due to its perceived stability.

What is the Historic Value of Gold in USD?

Examining gold's historical price reveals a tale of consistent value and spikes during economic downturns.

Price of gold since 1970

Trading PlatformsTrading Platforms

The price of gold surged during the global financial crisis in 2008 and again amidst the pandemic-induced uncertainty. However, in the long run, gold has generally maintained its value and even outperformed some currencies. This makes it a compelling option for diversifying your trading portfolio.

When Should You Day-Trade Gold?

Day-trading gold, a strategy that involves buying and selling within the same day, demands attention to market trends and technical trading signals.

It is ideal when markets are volatile, offering more opportunities to capitalise on short-term price movements. The most opportune time to day-trade gold often aligns with the opening hours of leading stock exchanges, as these windows manifest substantial market activity and liquidity, pivotal for capturing potentially profitable price movements.

Here are a few of the benefits of day trading gold:

Liquidity and Volume:
With its high liquidity, gold markets offer traders the ability to enter and exit trades with ease. This translates to tighter spreads and the potential for more precise execution of trades, a definitive advantage for the day trader who counts on swift movements. 

Price Transparency:
The gold market is well-established with a global presence, ensuring a transparent pricing mechanism. Day traders can leverage this transparency to make informed decisions based on accurate market data.

Market Reactivity:
Gold is highly sensitive to events that introduce economic uncertainty, often providing numerous day-trading opportunities to capitalize on these short-term reactions. The ability to exploit these market fluctuations is a powerful draw for traders seeking to profit from volatility.

Targets and Pitfalls When Day-Trading Gold

When jumping into day-trading, setting clear targets for profits and stop-loss limits to protect against losses is paramount. Avoid common pitfalls like overtrading or disregarding market trends.

Instead, rely on your trading tools, such as technical indicators and market analysis, to identify potential entry and exit points. Be disciplined in sticking to your strategy, avoiding emotional decision-making that can lead to unnecessary losses. And remember, day-trading gold is not for everyone – it requires a high level of focus and discipline, but when done correctly, can offer lucrative opportunities.

Understanding leverage and margin requirements when trading gold is crucial, as they significantly affect both potential profits and risks. Leverage enables you to command a large position with a relatively small capital investment, amplifying the magnitude of both gains and losses.

At FXTM, we provide expert guidance to ensure you navigate margin and leverage with confidence, empowering you to make strategic decisions that align with your trading objectives, while diligently managing your risk exposure.

Here are few things to be aware of to maximise your profits:

Market Volatility:
While volatility can create opportunities, it also brings with it significant risk. Day-trading gold requires a steadfast approach as rapid fluctuations can lead to sisable losses just as quickly as potential gains. It is essential for traders to remain disciplined and not let emotions dictate their trading decisions.

Costs and Fees:
Each trade carries with it a cost, comprising of brokerage fees and sometimes, spreads, which can accumulate rapidly with high-frequency day-trading. Efficient trading therefore not only requires calculation of potential profits but also the management of these costs to ensure they do not erode your trading capital. With FXTM, you can trade gold and take advantage of competitive pricing with spreads from zero.

Intensive Time Commitment:
Successful day-trading necessitates a considerable amount of time dedicated to monitoring markets and executing trades. The need for constant vigilance and prompt decision-making means that day-trading gold may not be suitable for those unable to commit the necessary time and attention.

The bottom line

In embarking on the journey of day-trading gold, knowledge and strategy are your most valuable assets.

FXTM empowers you with the insights and analytical tools necessary to navigate this dynamic market. By understanding the variables that affect gold pricing and adhering to disciplined trading practices, you position yourself to harness the potential that volatility offers. Remember, trading is not just about seizing opportunities; it's also about mitigating risks with precision and foresight.


Like any investment, gold trading comes with associated risks, including market volatility and liquidity risks. Always trade within your risk capacity.

A tradable instrument is a kind of asset that you can buy. These assets can be anything from shares in a business, to precious metals like gold and commodities like Crude Oil. Instruments aren't exclusive to physical assets either; they can include indices and CFDs, which are more virtual and speculative.

The best trading instrument largely depends on how you intend to invest. Instruments like Commodities and Forex tend to be more volatile with the highest risk and reward ratio.

When you register with FXTM, you can access a vast library of instruments to build up your portfolio. Instruments you can trade include: Forex, Commodities, Metals, Stocks, Indices, and Stock CFDs.

When you register with FXTM, you can access a vast library of instruments to build up your portfolio. Instruments you can trade include: Forex, Commodities, Metals, Stocks, Indices, and Stock CFDs.