Trading gold on MetaTrader 4 is pretty easy, in terms of the practical procedure of entering and exiting the market.
It’s virtually identical to trading currencies, which is why a substantial amount of Forex traders also trade/invest in gold from the comfort of their trading platform.
There are details that vary from broker to broker, such as margin levels. Some FX brokers have different margin requirements for precious metals, for example.
However, the basics of operating MT4 when trading gold are pretty much the same. Mind you, this is about how to open and close trades. Developing a trading strategy for gold is an entirely different (and much broader) subject!
Options Available on the Platform
Most Forex brokers offer two types of gold that you can trade: exchange and spot.
What’s the difference? In terms of price and how you trade, not much. But they do imply some differences in your strategy. They are:
- Spot (usually under the symbol GOLD), refers to the spot price of the metal on the commodity exchange. It’s quoted in dollars, and often the price people mean when they are talking about the price of gold
- Exchange refers to a “cross” between gold and a currency, as if it were a currency pair. For example, XAU – the symbol for gold – quoted in euros (EUR) would be XAUEUR on your MT4 platform.
Note that the spot price of gold and XAUUSD is basically the same thing, and your platform might have either GOLD or XAUUSD.
Where is it?
On the left hand of your MT4 screen, you should have a panel called “Market Watch” which lists all the instruments your Forex broker offers. In this example, in the middle, you can see the GOLD:
Sometimes not all the instruments available are listed, just the “most frequent”, and you might not see gold listed.
In order to see all of the options on the platform, you want to right-click on the top where it says “symbol” and then “show all” in the menu that appears like this:
You can then scroll down until you find the version of gold you are looking for. Once you do, you’re going to want to open a chart, which you do by right-clicking on the instrument (GOLD, XAUUSD, depending on the listing), and select “open chart window” like so:
A window should appear in the main screen of your MT4 forex trading platform which looks like this:
You can customize your chart just like you would with any currency pair, with the FX indicators you like, and other tools for technical analysis you might want to use.
Opening a Trade
Once you’ve done all the analysis you need to decide to enter the market, there are a couple of ways that you can trade on MT4. Note that these are all the same for currency trading.
The first is by right-clicking on the chart itself, and from the menu that appears, select “trading” and from there “New order”:
Alternatively, when you have the chart window you want to trade in open, you can press the F9 key on your keyboard, which will open up the trade panel:
Here you can choose the trade volume, set stop loss and take profit levels, whether you want to trade immediately or set a trade order for when the market reaches a certain level, etc.
After that, just click “sell” or “buy” depending on what your signal is telling you.
Bottom line, as you can see, trading gold on MT4 is just as easy as trading any currency pair you might already be used to.