How to Trade Gold Online in the UK

Authored by:
Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury


Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

Twitter Profile
Author Bio
Reviewed by:
Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell


Dom, a Co-Founder at TIC, is an avid investor and experienced blogger who specialises in financial markets and wealth management. He strives to help people make smart investment decisions through clear and engaging content.

Twitter Profile
Author Bio
Last Updated 06/05/2024
Fact Checked

How We Test

At The Investors Centre, we pride ourselves on our rigorous fact-checking process. To delve deeper into our meticulous testing procedures and discover how we ensure accuracy and reliability, visit our dedicated page on how we test.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 5168% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Quick Answer:

  1. Choose a Trading Platform: Select a reputable online broker or trading platform that offers gold.
  2. Open and Fund an Account: Create your account and deposit funds.
  3. Educate Yourself: Learn the factors influencing gold prices.
  4. Start Small: Begin with gold ETFs or stocks.
  5. Use Risk Management: Implement strategies like stop-loss orders to protect investments.

Step-by-Step Guide to Trading Gold for Beginners

Trading gold can be a rewarding venture if done correctly. Here’s a straightforward guide to help beginners understand the essentials of trading gold.

Step 1: Understand the Different Forms of Gold Trading

Gold can be traded in various forms, each with its own set of characteristics and market dynamics. The most common forms include:

  • Physical Gold: This includes coins, bars, and jewelry, which can be bought through dealers.
  • Gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds): These are traded on stock exchanges much like stocks and mirror the price of gold.
  • Gold Futures: Contracts to buy or sell gold at a future date and a predetermined price, traded on commodities exchanges.
  • Gold Stocks: Shares in gold mining companies, whose value is influenced by the price of gold and the company’s performance.

Step 2: Choose a Trading Platform

Select a reputable trading platform or broker that offers the type of gold investment you’re interested in. Look for platforms known for their reliability, customer support, and the educational resources they provide to help new traders. Platforms like eToro and TD Ameritrade offer access to gold ETFs, futures, and stocks.

Step 3: Set Up and Fund Your Trading Account

Once you have chosen your platform, you will need to create and verify your account, which typically involves providing some personal identification. After your account is set up, deposit funds to start trading. It’s recommended to start with an amount you are comfortable potentially losing, as all trading carries risk.

Step 4: Educate Yourself About the Gold Market

Before you start trading, it’s crucial to understand the factors that influence gold prices. These include global economic indicators, inflation rates, currency values, and geopolitical events. Use educational resources available through your trading platform to become knowledgeable about these factors.

Step 5: Start Trading

Begin with a cautious strategy. If you are new to trading, you might want to start by investing in gold ETFs or buying shares in gold mining companies, as these can be simpler and less risky than trading futures. Consider using risk management tools such as stop-loss orders to protect your investments.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust Your Portfolio

Regularly review and adjust your investments based on market conditions and your financial goals. Stay informed about the gold market and broader economic trends. As you gain experience and confidence, you may explore more complex trading options like futures or direct trading of physical gold.

By following these steps, beginners can develop a solid foundation for trading gold. Remember, successful trading requires patience, continual learning, and a disciplined approach to risk management.

Where Can I Trade Gold?

Commodity Exchanges

Gold can be traded on major commodity exchanges such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and the London Metal Exchange (LME). These platforms offer futures contracts for gold, allowing traders to speculate on the future price of gold or hedge against price changes.

Online Brokers

Numerous online brokers offer access to gold trading through various instruments such as gold ETFs, stocks of gold mining companies, and Contracts for Difference (CFDs) on gold. Platforms like eToro and Saxo Bank provide comprehensive tools and resources for trading gold online, catering to both beginners and experienced traders.

Bullion Dealers

For those interested in purchasing physical gold, bullion dealers are a direct option. These dealers provide gold in the form of bars, coins, and bullion, allowing traders to own physical gold as an investment. Buying from reputable dealers ensures authenticity and security in transactions.

What is Gold Trading?

Gold trading involves buying and selling the precious metal, either in physical form (such as bars or coins) or more commonly through financial instruments. Traders engage in gold trading to profit from price fluctuations, hedge against inflation, or diversify investment portfolios. Here are the key aspects that define gold trading:

Trading Physical Gold

Physical gold trading is the act of buying gold in tangible forms like jewelry, coins, or bullion. This form of trading is often preferred by those looking to hold an actual asset, offering a tangible hedge against economic instability or currency devaluation.

Gold Financial Instruments

Most gold trading is conducted through financial instruments such as:

  • Gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds): These funds track the price of gold and trade on stock exchanges, offering a straightforward way for investors to gain exposure to gold price movements without the need for storing physical gold.
  • Gold Futures: These contracts are agreements to buy or sell gold at a future date at a predetermined price. Futures are traded on commodity exchanges and are used by both speculators and investors looking to hedge against price changes.
  • Gold CFDs (Contracts for Difference): CFDs allow traders to speculate on the rise or fall of gold prices without owning the actual metal. This instrument is popular among traders who seek flexibility and leverage.

The Role of Gold as a Safe Haven

Gold is often considered a safe-haven asset, meaning it tends to retain or increase in value during times of market turbulence and economic uncertainty. This characteristic makes gold trading popular during periods of inflation, geopolitical instability, and financial crises.

Market Influencers

Gold prices are influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Global Economic Indicators: Interest rates, economic stability, and inflation rates can affect gold prices.
  • Supply and Demand: Production changes, mining issues, and physical demand for jewelry and technology applications impact prices.
  • Investor Behavior: During times of uncertainty, increased buying of gold can drive prices up, while a move to liquidate holdings can cause prices to fall.

Gold trading provides a diversified investment opportunity that can act as a hedge against inflation and currency risk. Whether trading physically or through financial instruments, understanding the dynamics of the gold market is crucial for successful trading.

What Moves the Price of Gold?

The price of gold is influenced by a variety of global factors ranging from economic conditions to geopolitical events. Understanding these influences can help traders and investors make more informed decisions. Here are some of the key drivers of gold prices:

Economic Factors

  • Interest Rates: Gold often has an inverse relationship with interest rates. When interest rates are low, gold becomes more attractive as an investment because the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion is lower compared to interest-bearing assets.
  • Inflation: Gold is traditionally seen as a hedge against inflation. As inflation erodes the value of currencies, gold prices can increase as investors look for safe assets that maintain or increase their value over time.
  • Currency Values: The strength of the U.S. dollar is particularly influential on gold prices, as gold is predominantly priced in dollars. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies, potentially increasing demand and pushing prices up.

Supply and Demand

  • Jewelry and Industrial Demand: Demand from the jewelry sector and industrial uses, such as in electronics and dentistry, affects gold prices. Increased demand can push prices higher.
  • Central Bank Reserves: Many central banks hold significant gold reserves. Their buying or selling activities can influence global gold markets significantly.
  • Mining Supply: The amount of gold mined and brought to market can impact prices. If mining operations are disrupted or if new gold deposits become scarcer, reduced supply can lead to higher prices.

Geopolitical Stability

  • Global Stability: Gold is considered a safe-haven asset, so prices often increase during times of geopolitical uncertainty or economic instability. Investors tend to move assets into gold during these times as it is seen as a stable store of value.
  • Political Decisions and Conflicts: Decisions by governments that affect their own or global economies can also impact gold prices. For example, trade policies, sanctions, or military conflicts can create uncertainty, leading to increased demand for gold.

Market Sentiment

  • Investor Behavior: The speculative activity of traders and investors can cause significant fluctuations in gold prices. Positive market sentiment can lead to price surges, while negative sentiment can cause prices to fall.
  • Market Trends and Technical Analysis: Trends in trading and technical analysis indicators also play a role in the short-term movement of gold prices.

By keeping an eye on these factors, traders and investors can better understand the potential directions in which gold prices may move. This understanding is crucial for developing effective trading strategies in the gold market.

Is Trading Gold Ethical?

Environmental Impact of Gold Mining

Gold mining can have significant environmental consequences, including deforestation, soil erosion, and contamination of water sources with toxic chemicals such as mercury and cyanide. These practices not only degrade ecosystems but also pose health risks to local communities. Ethical concerns arise regarding the sustainability of these mining operations and the long-term damage to the environment.

Social and Economic Consequences

Gold mining often involves challenging ethical questions related to the working conditions and fair pay for miners. In many regions, mining work is underpaid and associated with severe health risks without adequate safety measures. Furthermore, the economic benefit of mining often does not reach the local communities, instead benefiting large corporations and foreign investors. This disparity raises concerns about the fair distribution of wealth and the empowerment of mining communities.

How is Investing in Gold Different from Trading Gold?

Investment Horizon and Goals

Investing in gold typically involves a long-term approach, focusing on wealth preservation, hedging against inflation, or diversification of an investment portfolio. Investors often buy physical gold, such as bars or coins, or invest in gold ETFs, mutual funds, or mining company stocks with the intention of holding these assets for several years or even decades. The goal is to benefit from the overall upward trend in gold prices over time, providing stability and security against economic downturns.

Trading Strategies and Frequency

Trading gold, on the other hand, usually entails a more active approach. Traders take advantage of the market’s volatility by buying and selling gold on a short-term basis, often using financial instruments like futures, options, or CFDs (Contracts for Difference). The focus here is on making profits from fluctuations in gold prices, which can occur over days, hours, or even minutes. Traders use technical analysis, market trends, and economic indicators to make quick decisions and frequently adjust their positions in response to market movements.

These two approaches to gold involve different levels of risk, capital, and engagement with the market, tailored to suit different financial goals and risk appetites.


Online platforms like eToro, Saxo, and AvaTrade are popular for trading gold due to their robust trading tools, access to multiple markets, and educational resources. These platforms support trading gold through ETFs, stocks, futures, and CFDs.

Gold prices often rise during times of economic instability or high inflation as investors seek safe-haven assets. Conversely, strong economic growth and higher interest rates can lead to lower gold prices as investors turn to yield-generating investments.

No, it is not necessary to own physical gold to trade. Many traders use financial instruments like gold ETFs, futures, and CFDs to speculate on gold prices without dealing with the challenges of storing and securing physical gold.

Before trading gold futures, consider your investment goals, risk tolerance, and market understanding. Futures are leveraged products, which can increase both potential gains and losses. It’s important to understand how futures work and possibly start with a demo account to practice.

Investing in gold doesn’t require large upfront capital. You can start with gold ETFs or mutual funds, which allow for buying fractional shares at a lower cost compared to purchasing physical gold bars or coins. This method also simplifies trading and lowers transaction costs.

Related Articles

Our #1 recommended provider to trade gold

{etoroCFDrisk} % of retail CFD accounts lose money.

Resize text-+=
Translate »