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Difference between CFD and NDF

Difference between CFD and NDF

CFDs (Contracts For Difference) and NDFs (Non-Deliverable Forwards) are both commonly used financial instruments in the global market. Though they share some similarities, there are key differences between these two products that investors should be aware of before choosing which one to use. In this blog post, we will explore those differences and help you decide which one is right for you.

What is CFD?

CFDs are a type of derivative product that allows traders to speculate on the price movement of underlying assets, without taking ownership of the asset itself.

  • CFDs are traded on margin, which means that traders only need to put down a small deposit – typically just a few percent of the total value of the position – in order to gain full exposure to the market.
  • This makes CFDs an attractive option for leveraged trading. CFDs are also a very versatile instrument, as they can be used for a variety of different strategies, including hedging and arbitrage.
  • CFDs are available on a wide range of underlying assets, including equities, forex, commodities, and indices.

What is NDF?

NDFs are derivatives contracts used to hedge or speculate on currencies that are not freely traded in the open market.

  • NDFs are settled in U.S. dollars but the underlying currency may be any number of other currencies, including the Chinese yuan, Brazilian real, and Russian ruble.
  • NDFs are commonly used to hedge currency risk in countries where the underlying currency is subject to capital controls or where there is a lack of foreign exchange liquidity.
  • NDF contracts are tradeable through electronic platforms and OTC brokers. Prices are quoted as the dollar rate against the NDF’s notional currency amount and settlement is based on the difference between the NDF contract rate and the prevailing spot rate at maturity. NDFs have maturities ranging from overnight to one year.

Difference between CFD and NDF

CFDs and NDFs are both financial instruments used to speculate on the future price of assets.

  • CFDs are traded on margin, meaning that traders only need to put down a small deposit to open a position. NDFs, on the other hand, are settled in cash and cannot be traded on margin.
  • This means that NDFs are often used to trade assets that cannot be traded directly, such as foreign currencies. Both CFDs and NDFs allow traders to take advantage of price movements without having to own the underlying asset.
  • However, there are some key differences between the two instruments. CFDs are subject to stamp duty in the UK, while NDFs are not. CFDs also generally have lower transaction costs than NDFs.

Finally, CFDs can be sold short, while NDFs usually cannot. As a result, CFDs and NDFs each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and which instrument is used will depend on the specific trade being made.


CFDs and NDFs are two different types of financial products that can be used to speculate on the movement of currencies. In a CFD, you agree to pay the difference between the purchase price and the sale price of a security at the time of settlement. With an NDF, you agree to deliver the underlying currency at expiration. While there are similarities between these products, there are also some key differences that investors should be aware of before making a decision about which product is right for them.

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