You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[3:58pm] The rally has turned to rout this afternoon as dismal earnings and economic data from the US see markets retreat around the globe, with the FTSE down 60 points as it heads towards the close.
The modest pullback seen this morning has become something far more substantial thanks to news from the US.
The post-QE shine on European markets had already been taken off as the post-ECB euphoria fades, but the sellers have emerged from their bunkers after days of sheltering, encouraged by durable goods numbers that were very weak and an earnings season that has been very much below par.
IAG and easyJet are still holding on to some of their gains from the morning but have seen their wings clipped as the session moves into 'risk off' mode.
Meanwhile, solid dividend stocks like Centrica, United Utilities and SSE are back in demand, even though price cuts are the fashion right now for utility stocks.
Gold miners like Randgold are also moving up thanks to a rally in the price of the metal that has seen it move back above $1,290.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[3:48pm] UK Stock Markets
UK markets were hit by broad-based selling on Tuesday after UK growth estimates slipped in the fourth quarter with banks leading the declines under threat of a looming crisis in Greece spreading across the financial system.
The FTSE 100 index undid gains from the previous session and is at risk of putting in another top just shy of the 6,900 level that has been holding back advances since May 2013.
The first estimate of UK GDP growth in the fourth quarter has come in at 0.5% year-over-year, bringing 2014 annual growth down to 2.8%.
The slowdown in Europe is starting to take hold in the UK as inflation and now growth falls back thanks to the strong trade ties between the two.
Airlines were top performers for a second day after AER Lingus management accepted the bid from IAG leaving it up to major stakeholders including Ryanair and the Irish government to give it the green light.
Afren shares collapsed on Tuesday adding to what was already one of the ugliest price charts in the city after the oil producer announced the need for capital in excess of its market capitalisation.
Suspicious payments from executives and falling oil prices have proven too much and it now looks like Afren's days are numbered.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[3:11pm] Procter & Gamble, Du Pont and Caterpillar all missed targets today to continue this poor US earnings season, with many arguing the stronger dollar has harmed overseas business.
This misery was joined by worse than expected durable orders figures; the best consumer confidence figure since August 2007 was a rare bright spot on an otherwise gloomy day for the US.
Ahead of an important FOMC statement tomorrow, today has further dented the argument for the Fed raising US interest rates this year.
There are now rumours of a rate hike in March 2016, a far cry from the earlier date some were clamouring for at the end of 2014.
Syriza Forms 'Provocative' Cabinet
Syriza is already delivering on some of its promises by streamlining the Greek government to a 10-minister cabinet.
Provocative finance and foreign minister appointments showed that, for now, Syriza are not going to back down from the radical reforms the party want to see in Greece, even if this sets them on a collision course with the ECB, the IMF and the European Commission.
With Moody's stating the Greek election result is credit negative as it prolongs risk, that term looks like it will define Europe's 2015.
The string of uncertain European elections continues with a testy Presidential race in Italy on Thursday, and a UK general election only 100 days away, yet no clearer in its outcome.
As the DAX retraced its steps away from its resistance level, the stream of volatility inducing appointments leaking out of Greece caused the Eurozone indices to haemorrhage points as Tuesday continued.
The FTSE spent the afternoon at a loss as it struggled to overcome the Afren saga and GDP disappointments of this morning.
With Afren now approaching a share prices decline of 60%, this continued to have a knock on effect for the energy-sector as a whole, despite Brent crude's recovery of its $48 per barrel level.
With little in the way of significant data for the rest of the week, the FTSE will have to look elsewhere if it wants to reverse this retreat.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
[10:00am] The Greek elections might be over but markets remain preoccupied with what the new government will do next, conscious that a stern test of the Eurozone's commitment to stay together could be just round the corner.
So far in the morning session the FTSE has shed 20 points as the rally begins to stall.
Brussels will be hosting another European meeting today and this time it is the turn of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.
The close proximity of EU finance ministers, especially after the recent Greek elections, could well lead to a number of interesting quotes throughout the day.
UK preliminary quarterly GDP figures have come in worse than expected and this afternoon it will be the turn of US durable goods orders, and consumer confidence figures to improve sentiment.
Following a number of weeks charging higher, gold is struggling to hang onto its gains.
Both US Light Crude and Brent Crude continue to float mid-range in the $40's but are looking more likely to continue drifting lower than mount a serious recovery.
easyJet shares took off as soon as the markets opened following the announcement that first-half losses in the quieter winter months were less than expected and likely to be half of the previous year's.
An improvement in business travel numbers and cost efficient fuel prices have combined to send the shares higher.
Having already lost its CFO to ARM Holdings the airline will be hoping this further success will not add to the attractions of CEO Carolyn McCall.
Sticking with the airlines, Willie Walsh looks to have got his way as the Aer Lingus board has now recommended IAG's third offer worth €2.55 a share for the Irish airline.
Peppa Pig continues to bring home the bacon for Entertainment One following its 100% year-on-year growth which has helped return almost $1 billion in global retail sales.
This has helped drive the share price up by 2.67% in the morning session.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
[9:44am] After Monday saw impressive gains for the DAX and strong performances elsewhere in the Eurozone, news surrounding Greek cabinet appointments has caused the region to be less than enthused about the staunchly anti-austerity body it will have to soon deal with.
Syriza officials have already said it is 'unrealistic' to expect a full repayment of Greek debt, and the new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is a renowned proponent of the damage austerity has caused to Greece.
Syriza appear to be creating a 10-minister cabinet that is diametrically opposed to what the Troika and the Eurozone would want from Greece, and the reality of this is finally making itself felt on the markets today.
The FTSE managed to rebound before yesterday's close, but suffered a weak open after an ominous Afren announcement led the energy sector as a whole lower.
The renewed collapse of the FTSE's energy sector joins the recent problems in the mining sector as copper's decline continues to plague the UK index.
The UK's GDP data this morning then came in mixed as full year 2014 was its strongest since 2007 whilst still seeing a fall in the final quarter.
The overall picture is positive, but the final quarter slowdown is not the greatest sign for 2015, especially since this figure should have theoretically been aided by the current low oil prices.
Earnings season continues to provide blow after blow for the US markets, epitomised by the dismal performance by Microsoft which saw profits fall nearly 11% in the last quarter.
Apple are expected to announce a robust earnings release later today, but unfortunately for the US markets it will be after the closing bell.
This means they will have to make do with the recently troublesome core durable goods orders data, alongside a consumer confidence figure that will hopefully be buoyed by the continued cheapness of oil.
The US markets are in dire need of a good news day, but given the country's recent figure form, they may have to wait a bit longer.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
Stocks Gain as Greek Elections Cause Minimal Disruption
Stock markets managed to close higher as the Syriza election victory had a limited impact.
In UK shares news, the board of AER Lingus have approved the latest takeover bid from IAG.
Update by David Papier, Sales Trader,
FTSE 100 Daily Trading Report
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,847.0.
In the last session, the market closed up 71.4pts (1.05%) at 6,872.3.
30 Minute Indicator Analysis
The stock index is trading below the 20-period MA of 6,867.3 and below the 50-period MA of 6,849.8.
1 Day Indicator Analysis
The stock market index is trading above the 20-DMA of 6,583.6 and above the 50-DMA of 6,593.3.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:34am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6730
Our preference: Long positions above 6730 with targets @ 6900 & 6940 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6730 look for further downside with 6645 & 6578 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is bullish and calls for further upside.
[7:34am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
BG Group (+2.9% to 917.6p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Serco Group (-3.12% to 164.5p)
[5:23am] UK Growth Set to Miss 3% Target
As for today the main focus away from Greece is back on the UK with the initial assessment of the UK economy's economic performance for Q4.
Expectations are for Q4 GDP to come in at around 0.6% hindered somewhat by the slowdown seen in the construction and manufacturing sectors, in the last three months of the year.
The annualised measure is expected to improve slightly to 2.8%.
While this would be the best annual performance since the financial crisis, it's still below the OBR's 3% target, however there is still scope for the number to be revised upwards since the ONS' will only have about 40% of the data needed for a truly accurate assessment.
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-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.