Contracts for Difference
A CFD is an agreement between two parties to settle, at the close of the contract, the difference between the opening and closing prices of the contract, multiplied by the number of underlying shares specified in the contract.
CFDs are traded in a similar way to ordinary shares. The prices quoted by many CFD providers is the same as the underlying market price and the you can trade in any quantity just as you would with an ordinary share, you will usually be charge a commission on the trade and the total value of the transaction is simply the number of CFDs bought or sold multiplied by the market price. However, there are some distinct differences from trading ordinary shares that have made them increasingly popular as an alternative instrument to speculate on the movements of shares or indices.