You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:26pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE is clinging onto marginal gains as the London market looks set to finish the month on a positive note.
European equity markets barely reacted to the news that Germany agreed to Greece's reforms, and in reality Greece was never going to get its application for an extension knocked back.
The song and dance that played out over the last month about Greece's finances was a political stage show, and we will go through it all over again in a few months when the extension runs out.
Lloyds announced a dividend of 75p, which may not be much but at least the bailed-out bank has proven that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Westminster has been gradually winding down its stake in the UK's biggest lender, and we will get a better picture about the company's future after the general election in May.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[4:07pm] UK Stock Markets
Generally positive corporate earnings results and a yes vote to the Greek bailout extension in the Bundestag lifted UK spread betting markets early on but trading was generally flat, tempered by the troubles in Athens.
IAG led the FTSE 100 to new intraday highs after upgrading its full-year profit forecast, along with support from a return to paying a dividend at Lloyds.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[12:00pm] Heavy Copper Weighs on FTSE Miners
The FTSE slipped marginally into the red as Friday continued.
The UK index wasn't helped by copper, which continued to recede from the recent highs it saw yesterday, taking with it Vedanta Resources.
In the FTSE's other key commodity interest, Brent crude remained above $60 per barrel but this wasn't enough to cause any great surge from the oil sector.
On another quiet day, at the end of another quiet week, the FTSE looks like it will be reliant on the Dow and the DAX to inspire some kind of life as it limps towards the end of February.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[10:09am] The trading week appears to be ending with a whimper rather than a bang as FTSE corporate releases fail to inject much enthusiasm into traders.
After the events from earlier in the week, Friday does feel like a little bit of an anti-climax.
This morning's European inflation figures are unlikely to tell us anything that markets haven't been factoring in for some time.
Arguably the biggest stumbling block to Greece receiving funding for the next four months will be today's vote in the German parliament, but considering almost all of the compromises have been made by the Greeks, this looks likely to be approved.
Lloyds Banking Group has confirmed full-year profits of £1.8 billion which has enabled the company to once again resume paying dividends to its shareholders.
The UK taxpayer continues to trim their position in the company, now down to 23.9% following last week's sale of £500 million of shares, helping to improve the attractiveness of the bank to institutional investors.
International Consolidated Airlines has upgraded its profits forecast for the year by 20% as it has posted 2014 full-year profits up by 81%, helped by falling costs and ineptitude from European competitors.
The Irish government's reluctance to sign off on the group's takeover of Aer Lingus looks to be just one of the issues that will need to be resolved in order for Willie Walsh to get his hands back on his old stomping ground.
Although the UK housing market might have lost some of its momentum from previous years, Rightmove continues to make all the right moves as it has today posted a 20% increase in profits.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
Nikkei Rallies as Pension Fund Buys into Japanese Equities
With the Japanese civil pension fund starting its process of buying more heavily into domestic equities, raising its proportion from 8% to 25%, the Nikkei 225 is also benefitting from a rally in USD/JPY.
The FTSE has remained near its record highs and is seeing a steepening potential trendline, though there seems to be a lot of reluctance to push higher.
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
Lloyds Re-Instates Dividend as Profits Improve
Today's trading update marks an important milestone in the recovery story as the bank restored its dividend.
The announced 0.75p dividend payment for the year was slightly less than expected, as was the increase in pre-tax profits to £1.8bn from £415m the previous year, though both increases are still positive.
At its six month trading update last year, Lloyds announced further provisions against PPI and other regulatory and conduct issues, and it appears to be the same story over the next two quarters as well.
There is a further provision being announced today, bringing the total set aside for PPI in 2014 to £2.2bn, which means the total set aside over the past few years now stands at £12.2bn.
Other set asides included a further provision of £925m in respect of regulatory and conduct issues.
Costs Shrink and Lending Rises
The bank's cost base has continued to shrink as the company continues to close branches and reduce headcount, due to a shift in consumer banking habits amid the rise of contactless payment and internet banking.
Since 2010 the cost base has shrunk from £11bn to £9bn.
Also encouraging is the year on year loan growth of 17%, which shows that the UK economy continues to look fairly strong, while loan impairments are also down by 21%.
The bank's tier 1 capital ratio has improved, but there is a little disappointment that the profits came in a little bit short, due to further provisions, which continues to be a running sore.
The dividend is also less than expected, which again could be viewed as disappointing, but it's a start and investors will be looking towards a further improvement with the continued off-loading of the remainder of TSB by the end of this year.
As far as investors are concerned it's a question of whether they view the glass as half empty or half full, but whichever way you look at it, after 6 years of graft there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Another factor driving the share price will be the hope that TSB shares will continue to do well and return to the 280p level where Lloyds last sold some shares in September last year, given it needs to sell its remaining 50% stake in the bank by the end of this year.
Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst,
FTSE 100 Daily Trading News
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,955.0.
At the end of the last session, the market closed up 30.6pts (0.44%) at 6,946.3.
30 Minute Analysis
The index is trading above the 20-period moving average of 6,942.8 and above the 50-period moving average of 6,940.5.
1 Day Analysis
The stock index is above the 20-day moving average of 6,876.0 and above the 50-day moving average of 6,708.7.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:50am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6930
Our preference: Short positions below 6930 with targets @ 6853 & 6835 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Above 6930 look for further upside with 6950 & 6990 as targets.
Comment: As long as 6930 is resistance, look for choppy price action with a bearish bias.
[7:50am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Standard Chartered (+5.37% to 976p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Reed Elsevier (-4.8% to 1130p)
RSA Insurance (-4.71% to 429.1p)
SSE (-1.45% to 1562p)
Severn Trent (-1.84% to 2027p)
Tullow Oil (-1.31% to 391.7p)
[5:30am] As we come to the end of a historic week and month for stock markets, with new highs being posted across the board, the FTSE 100 continues to lag behind its peers in Europe.
With US markets posting yet another indifferent session, European markets look set to open mixed this morning.
The senior UK benchmark struggled to move beyond its recent highs yesterday, getting left behind by its sibling the FTSE 250, as well as the German DAX, as both put in new record highs, while the EuroStoxx 50 also put in multi-year highs as well.
You can also use a spreads account to access shorter-term daily FTSE markets. Readers should note that opening such an account is normally subject to suitability and status checks.
If your account application is accepted then, once logged in, you will be able to access the charts and the current prices. Access is normally free, however, the catch is that you could get the odd sales letter or email from your firm.
Of course, if you do decide to trade, be aware that spread trading and contracts for difference carry a high degree of risk and you may lose more than your initial deposit.
Advanced Charts for the FTSE 100
Although the charting packages normally differ from platform to platform, in order to assist you with your FTSE 100 analysis, most charts generally have:
A large range of time intervals - 1 minute, 2 minute, 10 minute, 1 hour, 4 hour, 1 month etc
A variety of chart types - candlestick, line and OHCL charts
Drawing tools and features - Fibonacci Time Zones, Arcs and Fans
If you are interested in a free Test Account which allows users to get a better understanding of financial spread betting, and practice trading markets like the FTSE 100, then you could always take a look at:
All of the above companies provide a Demo Account that lets users practice trading, apply a variety of orders, try out strategies and review charts.
How to Spread Bet on the FTSE 100?
As with many global markets, investors can spread bet on stock market indices, like the FTSE 100, to either rise or fall.
If we log on to Financial Spreads, we can see they are showing the FTSE 100 Rolling Daily market at 5785.3 - 5786.3. This means an investor can spread bet on the FTSE 100 market:
Going above 5786.3, or
Going below 5785.3
When spread betting on the FTSE 100 index you trade in £x per point.
Where a point is one point of the index itself.
Should you choose to invest £4 per point and the FTSE 100 moves 24 points then that would alter your profit/loss by £96. £4 per point x 24 points = £96.
Rolling Daily Index Markets
An important aspect of this Rolling Daily Market is that there is no closing date for your trade. You do not have to close your trade, should it still be open at the end of the day, it will roll over to the next session.
If you allow your trade to roll over and are spread betting on the market to:
Increase - then you will be charged a small overnight financing fee, or
Decrease - then a small payment is normally credited to your account
So, if we take the above spread of 5785.3 - 5786.3 and assume:
You have analysed the indices markets, and
You feel that the FTSE 100 index will rise above 5786.3
Then you could decide that you want to buy a spread bet at 5786.3 and risk, let's say, £2 per point.
With this trade you make a profit of £2 for every point that the FTSE 100 index moves higher than 5786.3. However, it also means that you will make a loss of £2 for every point that the FTSE 100 market moves below 5786.3.
Considering this from another angle, should you buy a spread bet then your profits (or losses) are worked out by taking the difference between the closing price of the market and the initial price you bought the market at. You then multiply that difference in price by your stake.
Therefore, if after a few trading sessions the UK stock market rose, you might want to close your position to lock in your profit.
So if the stock market increased then the spread, set by the spread betting company, might move up to 5849.4 - 5850.4. In order to close your position you would sell at 5849.4. Accordingly, with the same £2 stake:
P&L = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
P&L = (5849.4 - 5786.3) x £2 per point stake
P&L = 63.1 x £2 per point stake
P&L = £126.20 profit
Speculating on stock market indices, whether by spread betting or not, doesn't always work out. In this example, you had bet that the index would go up. Nevertheless, it might go down.
If the FTSE 100 index began to drop then you might choose to close your spread bet in order to restrict your losses.
Should the market pull back to 5731.9 - 5732.9 then you would close your spread bet by selling at 5731.9. If so, you would lose:
P&L = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
P&L = (5731.9 - 5786.3) x £2 per point stake
P&L = -54.4 x £2 per point stake
P&L = -£108.80 loss
Note - FTSE 100 Rolling Daily prices as of 1-Oct-12.
Below we have a simple interactive example from Financial Spreads on how spread betting works when trading the FTSE 100.
This quick example shows how the Stop Loss works and also how your upside is unlimited.
Note that Stop Losses are not guaranteed but you can opt for a Guaranteed Stop Loss with Financial Spreads.
How to Spread Bet on the UK 100 - Example 2
Looking at a spread trading website like Tradefair, we can see that they are showing the UK 100 Rolling Daily market at 5787.8 - 5788.8. This means an investor can spread bet on the UK 100 market:
Rising above 5788.8, or
Falling below 5787.8
Whilst financial spread betting on the UK 100 index you trade in £x per point. So, should you decide to risk £5 per point and the UK 100 moves 27 points then that would make a difference to your bottom line of £135. £5 per point x 27 points = £135.
So, if you continue with the above spread of 5787.8 - 5788.8 and assume that:
You have done your research, and
Your research suggests that the UK 100 index will move higher than 5788.8
Then you might decide that you want to go long of the market at 5788.8 and risk, for the sake of argument, £3 per point.
So, you make a profit of £3 for every point that the UK 100 index moves above 5788.8. However, such a bet also means that you will lose £3 for every point that the UK 100 market decreases below 5788.8.
Looked at another way, if you ‘Buy’ a spread bet then your profit/loss is calculated by taking the difference between the settlement price of the market and the price you bought the market at. You then multiply that difference in price by your stake.
As a result, if after a few sessions the UK stock market started to move upwards then you could choose to close your trade in order to guarantee your profit.
So if the market moved up then the spread might change to 5831.6 - 5832.6. You would close your position by selling at 5831.6. Therefore, with the same £3 stake your profit would be calculated as:
Profits (or losses) = (Closing Value - Initial Value) x stake
Profits (or losses) = (5831.6 - 5788.8) x £3 per point stake
Profits (or losses) = 42.8 x £3 per point stake
Profits (or losses) = £128.40 profit
Financial spread trading doesn't always work out as you would have liked. In this case, you wanted the UK index to rise. Nevertheless, it might decrease.
If the UK 100 index decreased, contrary to your expectations, then you might decide to close/settle your trade to limit your losses.
So if the spread fell to 5751.2 - 5752.2 you would close your trade by selling at 5751.2. Accordingly, your loss would be:
Profits (or losses) = (Closing Value - Initial Value) x stake
Profits (or losses) = (5751.2 - 5788.8) x £3 per point stake
Profits (or losses) = -37.6 x £3 per point stake
Profits (or losses) = -£112.80 loss
Note: UK 100 Rolling Daily spread betting market accurate as of 28-Nov-12.
How to Trade FTSE Futures
If we go to a platform like FinancialSpreads, you can see that they are currently pricing the FTSE 100 March Futures market at 5717.3 - 5721.3.
Therefore, you can speculate on the FTSE 100 index:
Settling above 5721.3, or
Settling below 5717.3
On the expiry date for this 'March' futures market, 15-Mar-13.
As with the daily markets above, with the FTSE futures market you speculate on the FTSE 100 index in £x per point. So, if you decided to have a stake of £4 per point and the FTSE 100 moves 35 points then that would alter your profits (or losses) by £140. £4 per point x 35 points = £140.
FTSE 100 Futures Trading Example
If we think about the spread of 5717.3 - 5721.3 and assume that:
You have analysed the UK stock market, and
Your analysis suggests the UK index will finish above 5721.3 by 15-Mar-13
Then you may decide to buy the futures market at 5721.3 and risk, let's say, £5 per point.
With this contract you make a profit of £5 for every point that the FTSE 100 index rises higher than 5721.3. Nevertheless, it also means that you will make a loss of £5 for every point that the FTSE 100 market moves lower than 5721.3.
Thinking of this in a slightly different way, if you are spread trading and you 'Buy' a market then your P&L is calculated by taking the difference between the settlement price of the market and the initial price you bought the spread at. You then multiply that price difference by the stake.
As a result, if, on the expiry date, the FTSE 100 settled higher at 5749.9, then:
P&L = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
P&L = (5749.9 - 5721.3) x £5 per point stake
P&L = 28.6 x £5 per point stake
P&L = £143.00 profit
Trading UK stock market futures is not always easy. With this example, you thought the index would increase. Nevertheless, the UK stock market could fall.
If the FTSE 100 fell and settled lower at 5696.4, you would end up making a loss on this trade.
P&L = (Closing Price - Opening Price) x stake
P&L = (5696.4 - 5721.3) x £5 per point stake
P&L = -24.9 x £5 per point stake
P&L = -£124.50 loss
Note - FTSE 100 March Futures market correct as of 27-Sep-12.
Financial Spread Betting on FTSE 100 Companies
Simply click on the company you're interested in spread betting on.
As well as broker ratings, indicative prices and charts, we talk you through the most popular spread betting questions for the UK firm:
Below, an old but still useful case study on the UK stock market by Shai Heffetz, InterTrader, 28-Apr-2011.
Being an index of the 100 biggest companies on the London Stock Exchange, the FTSE 100 is considered a quite reliable yardstick of the health of the economy in general.
If one looks at the period since the index started at 1000 on the 1st of January 1984, the picture certainly looks healthy. The current value of 6041 represents growth of more than 500 per cent over the 27-year term.
The fact of the matter is, however, that the index is currently well below the record level of 6950.6 it reached in December 1999, which means that in effect we have seen negative growth over the past 12 years.
FTSE 100 Technical Analysis
If we consider technical analysis of the FTSE 100 then, looking at the Ichimoku Kinko Hyo on the candlestick chart below, everything seems to point to a bull market as the price is far above the cloud.
It is also well above the red Tenkan-Sen (short-term average) and the blue Kijun-Sen (longer-term average). The green Chinkou Span line is also well above the price 26 days ago, strengthening the perception of a bull market.
There are, however, a couple of things that could indicate that we should not jump to conclusions. The red Tenkan-Sen has turned flat, which indicates short-term uncertainty in the market, and the cloud is also very thin, which further points to indecisiveness in the market.
If the price should break through the recent high of 6064.80, we might see it test the previous high of 6106.80 it reached on 8 February. A cautious trader would not enter a medium or long-term position long position before this happens. A potential stop loss level in this case is the red Tenkan-Sen line.
In the current market, traders should wait for further signs of weakness before entering into a short position. If the price drops as far as the Ichimoku cloud, it could be on its way to test the previous low of 5505.30 on 16 March.
A careful trader will wait for the price to break downwards out of the cloud before going short, but this could rob you of most of the profits in the swing trade. An alternative, but riskier, approach would be to go short as soon as the price drops below the blue Kijun-Sen.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is one of the world's oldest stock exchanges. It's been trading for over 300 years. According to the LSE website it started life in the coffee houses of 17th century London (pre-Starbucks).
For readers who are not familiar with the term 'FTSE 100' it is simply an index of the 100 largest companies on the London Stock Exchange. The index is maintained and owned jointly by the Financial Times and the London Stock Exchange.
The index came into being on 1 January 1984 with a base value of 1,000. It reached a record level of 6950.6 on 30 December 1999. The financial crisis of 2007–2010 saw it drop dramatically to 3,500. Since then it has recovered to a large extent.
FTSE: Financial Times Stock Exchange. These firms (FT and LSE) are jointly responsible for the compilation and maintenance of the main stock indices reflecting the performance of the UK's top shares
FTSE 100: The index of the UK's top 100 companies, as ranked by their market capitalisation. Also referred to as UK100
FTSE 250 or FTSE MID 250: The index of the next 250 FTSE companies as ranked by their market capitalisation
FTSE 350: The index of the top 350 UK companies by market capitalisation. A combination of the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 stocks
FTSE ALL SHARE: An index covering about 800 shares representing 98% of UK stock market value
UK 100: In spread betting and CFD trading, the FTSE 100 is often called the 'UK 100'
'FTSE 100 Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 27-Feb-15
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FTSE 100 Spread Betting
FTSE 100 financial spread betting guide with a price comparison and daily analysis. Plus live FTSE 100 charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and... » read from top.