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 is 40 points lower but still finds itself over 3% higher for the year so far.
The FTSE 100 ends the month noticeably higher, making it a good start to the year for this index.
This has been done despite a continuation of the slump in oil company share prices, as well as more losses for the beleaguered mining sector.
The road however looks grim; Greece is increasingly behaving in a manner that seems calculated to infuriate its Eurozone partners, while US growth, as underlined by today's figures, is entering a softer patch.
January may have seen the high-water mark for the index for the time being, especially since it finds itself yet again unable to break through 6900.
BT's decision to put its pension fund in order before embarking on more adventures wasn't quite the outcome investors had been hoping for, and as a result the shares languish at the bottom of the index.
Over in Europe, markets are ending the month on a downbeat note, although the ECB's magic meant that major indices like the DAX and CAC have done even better than the FTSE 100 so far this year.
With Greek worries only set to increase as February begins however, there will be many looking to cash in their gains until the situation becomes clearer.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[9:37am] Syriza are set to meet with Eurozone financial chief Dijsselbloem later today, who has already thrown doubt on the party's ability to maintain their pre-election promises now they are in power.
With Greece appearing to delay the approval of new sanctions against Russia after Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis claims the country was not consulted on the issue, the fractious relationship between Tspiras and the European establishment is finally starting to coalesce after the pleasantries at the start of the week.
Whilst the Eurozone saw big gains by yesterday afternoon, Friday has brought a mixed morning as German retail sales fell whilst there was positive data from Spain, France and Italy.
The big test will be the flash inflation figures for the entire region alongside the overall unemployment rate later this morning; with QE to officially arrive in March, these results will likely be a further indicator of the Eurozone's long road to recovery.
The FTSE saw its gains stall this morning as its energy and mining stocks still struggle to regain their footing after the big falls at the start of the week.
Whilst Brent crude has fluctuated between $48 and $49 for much of the past two weeks, it has resisted the precipitous falls that had been a regular occurrence in the last few months.
However, this relative stability doesn't change the fact the commodity is too cheap for oil producers, and alongside copper which as seen losses for the past 3 days, commodities remain the dark cloud hanging over the FTSE.
A strong close for the US markets last night couldn't help this morning's futures, as the USA prepares itself for what is expected to be a disappointing advance GDP figure.
Earnings season has continued to be frustrating for investors as two more US giants struggled to full satisfy traders.
Google saw profit increase nearly 30% but still failed to match analysts' revenue forecasts, whilst Amazon saw a 15% rise in sales but a $25 million year on year drop in profits.
With Apple's strong earnings now a firm anomaly, the US has struggled to find solace in either its companies or its data, and looks set to limp to this week's finish line.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[9:33am] The FTSE is off by 15 points as it struggles to keep up with the optimism of the Eurozone equity indices.
This morning should see further comments from Greece's Syriza party as they are due to expand on their stance as far as the Troika-imposed austerity is concerned.
Regardless of the promises made in their run up to gaining power, the cold hard reality of Greece's predicament has been highlighted in the aggressive manner equity markets have thumped the Greek banks over the last week.
On top of the latest Greek twists and turns, the Eurozone will also need to absorb the latest inflation figures and, judging by the worse-than-expected German inflation figures yesterday, these are unlikely to come in better than expected.
Airlines are once again making all the headlines as the sector has fresh M&A activity as Qatar Airways has taken a 9.99% stake in British Airways parent company IAG.
There is every chance that this position will be added to in the future, as the Qatar sovereign wealth fund-owned airline looks to strengthen its relations.
With easyJet having already posted good figures and expectations that Ryanair's third-quarter figures on Monday will impress too, this is a sector that continues to fly.
BT Group has posted third-quarter figures which have seen pre-tax profits jump by 13%.
However, the looming costs of bidding for football rights, acquiring EE and having to pump a further £2 billion into the company's pension fund have dominated traders thinking, squeezing the shares down by almost 2% in early trading.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
Stock Markets Fall Back Ahead of US Growth Figures
Some stronger corporate figures, particularly from Apple, saw US stocks post a bullish engulfing pattern, however, the futures are struggling this morning, with the FTSE and the Nikkei also on the back foot.
Crude oil has maintained its downtrend as inventories continue to hit record highs, touching an intraday low close to $43, though it has not accelerated in its falls.
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
FTSE 100 Daily Market Update
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,840.3.
At the end of the last session, the market closed up 88.6pts (1.31%) at 6,841.3.
30 Minute Chart Analysis
The index is currently higher than the 20 period moving average of 6,827.1 and higher than the 50 period moving average of 6,813.5.
1 Day Chart Analysis
The stock index is higher than the 20 day moving average of 6,622.9 and higher than the 50 day moving average of 6,601.2.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:30am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6690
Our preference: Long positions above 6690 with targets @ 6805 & 6830 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6690 look for further downside with 6615 & 6578 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is above its neutrality area at 50%.
[7:30am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Associated British Foods (+1.25% to 3160p)
SSE (+1.58% to 1605p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Mitie Group (-1.76% to 272.9p)
[4:24pm] The absence of the normally dependable better-than-expected US reporting season has seen confidence eaten into as analysts try to get a handle on Syriza's tactics.
Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 20 points.
The last few days have seen investors in the Greek banking sector suffering from a delayed reality check from the consequences of an anti-austerity government taking control of the country.
The very real possibility of a separation from the Eurozone and the Troika taps being turned off has seen prices of Greek banks plummet.
This week's sell off appears to be squeezed low enough to tempt the buyers back in, triggering a bounce of 13%.
This pre-emptive doomsday scenario that Greek banks have played out has done the Troika's arguing for it.
Not that one is needed but tomorrow's Eurozone inflation figures should keep nerves on edge, especially as today's German figures showed that inflation came in lower than expected.
easyJet has spent all day as the FTSE's highest climber as the feel-good factor from yesterday's figures continues to generate fresh investors in the discount airline.
Royal Dutch Shell, on the other hand, has announced a further $15 billion in spending cuts as low oil prices see an increasing number of operations becoming unviable.
As much as the oil major tried to divert attention away from these spending cuts by maintaining its dividend, the shares have spent most of the day down by 5%.
Fresnillo has also suffered as the silver mining company has seen the commodities spot price look that little bit less precious over the last 24 hours.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
[4:14pm] UK Stock Markets
Disappointing earnings thanks to the sharp drop in oil prices from Royal Dutch Shell were a drag on the FTSE 100 as BP and other energy companies traded down in sympathy.
Earnings from Royal Dutch Shell missed expectations and shares traded lower on Thursday.
There could be some scope for recovery Shell's stock price in the days to come given earnings were higher year-over-year in the context of a 50% drop in oil prices.
The fact that Shell has seen earnings expansion is testament to CEO Ben Van Beurden's cost-cutting regimen which appears to have served the company well in a very difficult environment.
ASOS shares declined after CEO and founder Nick Robertson dumped 10% of his holdings.
An insider, especially the founder, selling 10% of their shares is not a great sign of confidence in future company performance.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[3:45pm] Despite being spooked by Syriza's continued faith to their pre-election promises, the Eurozone indices appear somewhat reassured by the country's discourse with the region's important financial figures.
Savvy Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis is set to visit London on Monday to meet with his economic-opposite George Osborne, before meeting France's Macron and Sapin later in February.
These moves seem to have calmed talks of a 'Grexit' and helped the euro make headway against the dollar.
Despite Syriza's seriousness over renegotiating Greek debt, these are the actions of considered politicians rather than the radical upstarts the party is often painted as and this shift in perception is helping the Eurozone indices.
The FTSE managed to hang on to its gains as the day went on, with Brent Crude oil creeping towards the $49 per barrel mark, and copper managing to stabilise slightly around $246 per pound.
The FTSE is still seeing losses in many of its energy and mining stocks, but is beginning to resist the index wide drag these declines have caused in the past couple of days, undoubtedly helped by a better than expected CBI realised sales figure.
Missed targets for Alibaba and a mixed reaction to Facebook's latest statement were countered by Ford exceeding expectations, a new CEO for McDonald's and strong jobless claims data for the US markets.
Thursday has two more giants to announce with Google and Amazon set to send ripples through the American indices when they reveal their numbers later today.
With this earnings season a mess, and a relatively hawkish statement from the Fed dampening US spirts, the advance GDP figure set to be released tomorrow is going to be the latest piece of data for the markets to endure, with estimates pointing to a decline.
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 30-Jan-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.