You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:15pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 30 points, as a stronger dollar takes the shine off a good US non-farm payrolls report.
European markets continue to feel the benefit of Mario Draghi's largesse, as the likes of the DAX hit fresh all-time highs, however, in London things have rather taken a turn for the worse.
The dollar has been given a new lease of life this afternoon, on expectations that a robust rate of job creation in the US provides further reason to believe a US rate hike in the middle of this year is on its way.
Miners took the brunt of the selling, after a difficult week that saw China cut growth targets, as commodity prices fell, implying that a 7000 close for the FTSE 100 is still some distance away.
Rising US rates will erode some of the appeal of these high-yielding shares, which have seen their valuations pushed higher thanks to the attraction of their payouts.
With little heavyweight economic news out next week and the ECB's QE announcement now largely priced in, equities could struggle in coming sessions, providing a short-term dip after weeks of steady gains.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[3:54pm] UK Stock Markets
Without the direct benefit of asset purchases by the European Central Bank starting this Monday; the response in UK markets to the strong US jobs number was a fall in equities.
The US dollar strengthened after the heavy-duty non-farm payrolls number.
The strong US dollar sent metal prices diving which brought the heavily-weighted mining companies down with them.
The FTSE 100 pulled back from its all-time peaks made on Monday dragged down by prominent resource companies Randgold and Fresnillo .
The index lost out despite takeover rumours causing big gains in Weir Group.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[10:07am] European equity markets are treading water awaiting the latest set of volatility-stimulating US non-farm payrolls.
Equity markets were boosted by the bullish optimism of ECB president Mario Draghi yesterday, with indices rising as the euro sank.
Now that a start date to the Eurozone's QE policy has been announced this could signal the start of traders refocusing their attention back to the UK.
The Budget is on 18 March, only a short distance away, and even more importantly the volatility that a hung parliament would bring, if no clear majority is achieved in May's general election, does not appear to be being factored in by the FTSE yet.
This morning's action has been considerably more lacklustre as US economic data looms on the radar and European traders take their foot off the gas.
Although currency markets are still factoring in a third-quarter interest rate rise from the Fed, it is data like today's non-farm payrolls that will need to convince in order for that timeline to avoid being pushed a little further down the road.
Speculation that Weir Group, the Scottish based engineering group, is attracting more than just admiring glances from US equity consortiums, who might be tempted to pay up to £28 a share, have seen the company jump to the top of the FTSE performers list this morning.
George Osborne appears to have been enjoying one of the investment communities favourite past times as he has embarked on some hindsight trading with the UK taxpayers' position in RBS.
The appetite for European investments by Chinese funds continues to be strong as Fosun International has taken up a 5% stake in UK travel operator Thomas Cook, causing its shares to shoot 17% higher.
It is the first Friday of the month and once again European markets appear to be marking time in anticipation of the volatility that today's non-farm payrolls figure might bring.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
Stock Markets Remain Near Highs Ahead of NFP
There has been significant volatility after the ECB QE statement, though equities are treading carefully ahead of the latest Nonfarm Payrolls figures.
The FTSE has bounced towards 6964, with the DAX hitting fresh records and the Nikkei trading higher as the yen weakens.
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
FTSE 100 Daily Market Update
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,947.8.
At the end of the last session, the market closed up 53.1pts (0.77%) at 6,954.2.
30 Minute Chart Analysis
The market is below the 20 period MA of 6,953.7 and below the 50 period MA of 6,950.6.
1 Day Chart Analysis
The market is above the 20DMA of 6,898.2 and above the 50DMA of 6,747.7.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:33am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6880
Our preference: Long positions above 6880 with targets @ 6960 & 6980 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6880 look for further downside with 6845 & 6825 as targets.
Comment: The RSI advocates for further advance.
[7:33am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Croda International (+1.23% to 2716p)
GKN (+2.39% to 363.9p)
Hunting Plc (+3.67% to 491p)
Intu Properties (+2% to 362.2p)
International Personal Finance (+2.98% to 445.4p)
[4:37pm] ECB-inspired afternoon resilience in European equity markets drags the FTSE ever closer to the 7000 level.
Once again the Bank of England posted interest rate and asset purchasing schemes that were unchanged.
This has now become such an unsurprising event that one interested party sent out their analysis of the event fifteen minutes prior to its release.
Always more likely to stir up interest was today's European Central Bank press conference in Cyprus.
Mario Draghi and his team have confirmed that the new Eurozone QE would start on 9 March.
Less clear was exactly how this would work.
Considering the Eurozone nations have only sold €50 billion of debt a month and the remit was to purchase €60 billion a month, the shortfall will need to be made up in the secondary market.
If the ECB has to start haggling with banks for their existing positions in Eurozone sovereign debt, this could become a costly and complicated process very quickly.
When you consider that 14.46 index points were taken out of the FTSE because of such heavy weights as HSBC and Rio Tinto going ex-dividend, the early-morning charge to all-time highs and the mythical 7000 level was quite impressive.
Just ahead of next month's merger, both Aviva and Friends Life have wowed the markets with their expectation-beating full-year figures seeing shares in both over 7% higher heading into the close.
With the synergies and cost savings anticipated by this merger expected to add up to £225 million a year, this momentum could continue for some time.
Interestingly, the London Stock Exchange also posted its full-year figures, showing a 19% jump in its pre-tax profits due to the abundance of equity IPOs last year.
In fact, the volume of companies seeking a placing on the stock exchange was the largest since 2007, and integration with Clearnet and the Russell indexes have achieved increased cost-saving synergies.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
[10:33am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is marginally higher as traders eagerly await updates from the BoE and the ECB.
Stocks in London are creeping higher as the press conference from the European Central Bank is only a few hours away, and it will provide the long-awaited details about the quantitative easing programme.
Central banks have been the driving force behind the booming stock markets over the past few years and now it is the ECB's turn to flood the financial system with money.
Eurozone equity markets are highly dependent on the stimulus package from the ECB and traders will be looking for Mario Draghi to give the green light signalling the next round of buying.
Aviva announced a 30% increase in final dividend which is a good barometer of how successful Mark Wilson's restructuring scheme has been in the past two years.
However, Mr Wilson won't be resting on his laurels as the transformation of Aviva is still underway, especially with the Friends Life acquisition yet to be completed.
Shares in Admiral are lower this morning after the company revealed a 4% drop in pre-tax profits.
The insurer's drop in profits was for the right reasons as the investment in its US business was to blame for not posting another set of record numbers.
The London Stock Exchange reaped the rewards of a strong stock market, higher trading volumes and a jump in IPOs helping the company achieve double-digit increases in adjusted pre-tax profit and revenue.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[7:47am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6825
Our preference: Long positions above 6825 with targets @ 6920 & 6945 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6825 look for further downside with 6770 & 6730 as targets.
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 06-Mar-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.