Currently have an Oanda MT4 demo account, but it only appears to offer charts for FOREX. Is there someone who provides a free demo account that goes beyond FOREX, possibly even to cover futures indexes?
GCI's has one of the most extensive CFD instrument offerings of any MT4 broker.
On the plus side, most of the CFDs that have futures equivalents do not expire, which means you don't have to worry about rolling/changing contracts, nor will they be auto-closed for you. CFDs also allow you to go in 1/10 size or less of the size of the underlying futures/shares (ie., platinum, Apple stock) so less capitalization is required and risk does not need to be as great.
On the negative, there's a tick or 3 price differences from the actual future or share prices, which rolls up as their profit. And, some of the charts can have unexpected gaps, often due to the varying closing hours of the underlying futures contract, which can sometimes close earlier in the CFD equivalent. Also, should you trade stocks, there is no afterhours market, so, you could go underwater while the afterhours market is in play.
Overall, there are some instruments I'd not recommend trading here, bond instruments come to mind. Should you venture into this, spend more than ample time working with the demo. Oh, and I know nothing of their reliability as a broker, funds security, money holding/transferring timelines or mechanisms. They've got the standard MT4 standard line on safety of funds, etc, but the vast majority of times these outfits are incorporated in some little known quasi-money laundering locale - don't really know where these guys are.
If you find another MT4 broker with a greater breadth of instruments than these guys, let me know; I'm pretty sure GCI is the most expansive.
... probably not, but, it seemed you were just looking for a demo account. Not sure if it is blocking you based on US IP detection, or are you providing a US address of some sort. Try from a wireless/3G conection, or, better yet use a (free) anonymous proxy service to set up the initial account. I don't see how they could limit MT4 access, once you have the account.
Not true. Forex is a $4B+ 'real' market. The futures market includes currencies and commodities. The currency futures basically follow spot forex values, and whether they do so with a 97% accuracy or 99% is debatable. It is unscrupulous spot forex brokers - located in unregulated geographies who play games with their customers, knowing there is often little legally that they have to fear from both their geography or their customer - that have given the world of MT4 and spot forex an image problem.
There are many decent spot MT4 or other platform brokers out there. Validate your broker is a genuine ECN, with proper deep and multiple bank liquidity. Do not get caught up in spot's 5-decimal place accuracy, pre-news spread widening, spike move stop outs, or sending your money to a broker supposedly set-up on some remote island state, and you will have just as much an opportunity to profit. It's not as if people who know how to trade haven't made genuine profits in spot. But the key is, one needs to know how to trade, and where to trade.
The following 2 users say Thank You to Beljevina for this post:
Don't mean to take a tangent off the path of the OP's original question, but since I knew I quoted a 'older' $4 Trillion figure (I typo-ed a $4B above, oops ), thought I'd update here with the latest BIS sourced data that the global FX market has reached $5.3 Trillion in 2013. Data sourced here from a BIS report ( http://www.bis.org/publ/rpfx13fx.pdf ) and the neat infographic below was created by Australian based MahiFX.