How to trade nickel online

Nickel is one of the world's most versatile metals and is used in a range of applications. Learn how to start trading it in this beginners' guide.
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Updated: May 12, 2023
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This beginner friendly guide explains all you need to know about trading nickel. Read on to find a step-by-step guide on how to get started, the best platforms to use to trade, and what the future holds for this popular commodity. 

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Compare the best platforms for trading nickel

If you already have the knowledge you need to start trading, then use the brokers below. Our commodity experts have searched the best platforms and found the best brokers for trading nickel. If you’re not ready to trade yet, keep reading to learn more.

1
Min. Deposit
$ 10
Best offer
User Score
10
Up to $240 bonus!
Award-winning trading platform
Regulated and trusted broker worldwide
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Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Credit Card, Debit Card, PayPal, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA

77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.

2
Min. Deposit
-
Best offer
User Score
0.0
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Wire, Check, Debit Card, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
3
Min. Deposit
$ 0
Best offer
User Score
9.5
World's biggest online bullion market
High-security vaults based Zurich, London, Toronto, Singapore and New York
Next-day withdrawals
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Payment Methods:
Full Regulations:

How to trade nickel online – a step-by-step guide

Trading commodities isn’t a complicated process and is much the same as trading other assets like cryptocurrencies and stocks. Use our step-by-step guide below to get started. 

  1. Find a broker. A broker is where you can buy and sell nickel and using one which has low fees and an easy to use interface is recommended. You can check out our expert selections to find one that works for you. 
  2. Create an account. When you have chosen your broker you’ll need to register an account before you can trade. All you need to do is provide your contact information and provide a form of ID to be verified. 
  3. Deposit funds. The top brokers let you deposit money into your account quickly and through a variety of methods. It’s common to use things like a debit card, but it’s also  possible to use other payment applications like Paypal. 
  4. Decide whether to go long or short. One you’re ready to trade you will need to decide if you want to go long (buy) or short (sell). You can use things like technical analysis to help guide you with your decisions. 
  5. Execute trade. To make a trade all you need to do is search for nickel on your brokers platform. When you’re happy with its price you can click buy or sell and your nickel trade will be live. 
  6. Set stops and limits (optional). If its price doesn’t go where you think it will, losses can get away from you. One way to protect yourself is by using a stop loss. This will automatically close your trade at a specific level.

What is nickel? And why does it have value?

Nickel is a base metal that has been around for over 2000 years and is used in a broad range of products and industries. Although, it is mainly used in the production of stainless steel. While not as popular as precious metals such as gold and silver, nickel makes a good commodity to trade due to its demand from the infrastructure industry. 

What affects the price of nickel?

Like most markets, supply and demand affect the price of nickel. Demand mostly comes from the infrastructure industry, the Chinese market, and increasingly from batteries. Nickel is essential when producing stainless steel which is used commonly in construction. China is the largest consumer of nickel in the world and batteries for EVs all require nickel. 

Nickel is a global market and is mined in a few regions. Indonesia, the Philippines, and Russia are the three largest suppliers of nickel worldwide. Political instability in these countries can impact its price. For example, when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the price of nickel reached record levels when fears grew over supply issues in Europe. 

How has nickel performed in recent years?

Its price has been steadily rising since the turn of the decade. In 2022 its price hit a record high of over $100,000 a tonne. The London metals exchange was forced into halting trading after supply fears grew following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Its sustained price rise has been linked to growing demand from the electric vehicle sector. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk has been quoted as saying nickel is greatly needed in the manufacturing of EVs.   

Should I start trading nickel now?

If you are an experienced trader with a firm understanding of the commodity market, then you should consider trading nickel. If you’re a novice trader, nickel could still be a good market to trade. Its price is mostly smooth when it moves, and there are lots of opportunities to buy and sell. However, large moves can happen, as in March 2022. 

There are lots of ways to get exposure to the nickel market and further down this page we’ve explained the most common ones like stocks and ETFs. If you do decide to trade nickel, its a good idea to keep ahead of the game and up to date with the latest market news and analysis, which you can do on the links below.

Trading nickel for beginners

There are lots of things to consider before trading nickel, especially for beginners. Although, the most important part of trading commodities is research. It’s crucial to have a good understanding of how the nickel market works and what moves its price prior to making any trades. Below you will find some helpful information on what to do before you start trading. 

What to do before starting to trade

Before you make your first nickel trade you can use the guide below to prepare. Following these steps can help you make the right decisions and avoid making costly mistakes. 

  1. Research the commodity. You will need to research nickel and have a good understanding of what it’s used for, what moves its price, and what world events impact it. Good research will help you with buying or selling at the right time. 
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of commodities trading. There are lots of different ways you can trade nickel. You could consider trading nickel stocks, ETFs, or futures contracts and each will have a different benefit. 
  3. Decide between long term and short term trading. Depending on your research you may have a preference for short term or long term trading. If you want returns quickly, then short term trading might be best.
  4. Set a budget. Trading can be fast paced and its easy to get carried away making lots of trades. Its crucial to set a budge before you even start trading. This way you’ll know your risks ahead of time. You should never risk more than you can afford. 
  5. Find a broker platform. Some brokers are better for short term trading, while others are suitable for a longer time in the market. Choose the best one that fits your needs. You can check out our list above, or click the blue button below for recommendations.

The different ways to trade nickel

You have the option to trade nickel using many different methods and picking the right one will depend on your trading goals. Below we have explained the different ways you can trade nickel to help you choose the right way. 

  • Nickel spot trading. The spot market is used mostly by short term traders. The ‘spot’ is the price of nickel right now and tends to be done using Contracts for difference (CFDs). You can use spot trading to bet on short term price changes in nickel. 
  • Nickel futures contracts. Futures contracts are simply an agreement to buy a commodity at a set price in the future. Its another way to bet on short term price changes, although futures trading is best suited to experienced traders. 
  • Nickel options contracts. Options are similar to futures and you have a choice to buy the commodity at a fixed date in the future. Although unlike futures, there is no obligation to buy. 
  • Nickel spread betting. Spread betting is a way to bet on the short term price movements of nickel. You choose your stake and hit the buy or sell button. You profit or loss is calculated by multiplying your stake by how many points the market moved.
  • Nickel stocks. You can buy shares in companies that are involved in the nickel market. These could include mining businesses, refiners, transportation companies, and sellers. The price of these stocks normally moves up and down with the value of nickel.
  • Nickel ETFs. Exchange traded funds are possibly the easiest way to get involved with nickel. They are listed on teh stock market and you can buy shares in them. ETFs include lots of nickel stocks, or the wider metals market. 

If you want to learn more about commodities trading, you can check out our free courses page. Alternatively, click the blue button below to register with our expertly selected brokers and start trading right away.

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Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.