You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:07pm] Markets have been given a Friday boost by the Bank of Japan, which has stepped into the void left by the Fed.
Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 was 70 points higher.
Fears about a slowing global economy and other tedious fundamentals that seemed so pressing fewer than three weeks ago have been cast aside in another unseemly rush to buy shares.
Having lagged behind their US counterparts in the past week, UK and European markets are now desperately playing catch-up, with the DAX and CAC both adding over 2%.
Although some of this might be attributable to the usual month-end rally, the BoJ has certainly banished any lingering doubts that the end of US QE might have created.
Had it not been for the Japan boost, SuperGroup's decline today might have been even worse, but it still sits at a four-month low.
People were relatively forgiving of Next when it complains about warm weather but SuperGroup doesn't have the luxury of a dividend to tempt investors, while simultaneously trading on a much higher earnings multiple.
The 800p level holds for now but below that and we might see 700p very quickly.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[3:44pm] Equities continue to push on this afternoon in the wake of the BoJ surprising the market with an increase to asset purchases.
All major stock indices have inflated by more than 1% as traders look to snatch risk assets ahead of the broader allocation into stocks that news like this can sometimes induce.
The FTSE 100 is set to close up some 70 points at the 6,530 level.
And all of this happens only weeks after some commentators were running for protection from Ebola and ISIS.
Indeed, the market has erased all of those losses and is now looking ahead into Q4 in a positive way, underpinned by the dissipating liquidity from the BoJ.
Does Cheap Central Bank Money Create the Risk of a Bubble?
It's hard for investors not to want to participate when the market pushes on after the Fed leaves and then the BoJ ups purchases in any case.
The risk, naturally, is that of a bubble; cheap credit could misprice debt and equities, leaving greater tail risk than hitherto seen.
But, somewhat predictably, the market just might not care.
Update by David White, Trader,
[3:33pm] European Stock Markets
Markets in Europe opened significantly higher today thanks to the surprise stimulus of the Japanese central bank to extend its quantitative and qualitative easing program.
European markets had chopped around yesterday in response to the official end of quantitative easing in the United States on Wednesday but the lack of major sell-off offered some relief which markets were able to build upon today after the BoJ decision.
Global markets and global investments are very much interconnected and just like the Fed's recently ended QE program boosted the Japanese benchmark stock index the Nikkei, the Bank of Japan's additional stimulus has bolstered European and American benchmarks.
When a central bank, which can print money on an unlimited basis, buys financial assets, it makes it risky for individuals and institutions to sell them.
The central bank buying bonds also pushes down yields and so anybody looking for a steady flow of income is forced into riskier asset classes like the stock market which further pushes up share prices.
The BoJ decided to expand its quantitative easing program by tens of trillions of yen to ¥80 trillion per year and targeted longer-dated Japanese government bonds of up to 10 years in duration.
The Japanese government pension fund, in simultaneous action, has announced a massive change in asset allocation by shifting away from bonds and heavily into both domestic and international stocks.
The fund manages trillions of dollars in savings and the change in allocation means billions of dollars of stocks will be bought up worldwide.
In the UK, the FTSE certainly benefited from the BoJ rally, but the sharp drop in commodity prices as result of the strong dollar meant the rise in oil & gas and mining shares was very limited.
It was a similar theme to other major international banks from RBS who beat Q3 forecasts but increased its provision for regulatory fines.
British Airways owner IAG reported a 30% jump in third quarter profits thanks to the drop in fuel prices and strikes at competitor airlines.
SuperGroup was a big faller after citing similar concerns to fashion retailing competitor Next, that of the warm autumn weather and heavy discounting going into the Christmas period threatening to hit margins.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[10:39am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 76 points, at 6539, as the BoJ treats the markets on Halloween to a boost in its stimulus package.
In London, equities surged higher on the open after a surprise expansion in the stimulus package from the Bank of Japan.
The Japanese central bank has taken the QE baton from the Fed and equity traders couldn't be happier.
The ECB's ABS purchasing scheme will kick off next month and if that isn't enough to stimulate the struggling Eurozone economy, Ewald Nowotny of the ECB stated that full-blown QE should not be ruled out.
Traders have taken note of the ace up the ECB's sleeve.
Shares in the troubled lender RBS have rocketed this morning after it revealed a third consecutive quarterly profit.
The bank's core capital ratio is improving, which will bode well for the rigorous BoE stress test on the horizon.
The Scottish bank is standing by its Celtic cousin, Ulster bank, after a sharp improvement in Irish property prices in the past year has pushed the Dublin-headquartered bank into profit.
Direct line is motoring along after the insurance company announced a 5% decline in quarterly premium sales.
The growth in the commercial sector helped soften the blow from the decelerating motor business.
Meanwhile, it's up, up and away for British Airways owner IAG as third-quarter profits soar and the full-year guidance ascends.
The next destination for the airline could be dividend–island.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
FTSE 100 Daily Trading News
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,528.0.
Overnight, the market closed up 32.4pts (0.50%) at 6,481.1.
30 Minute Indicator Analysis
The index is trading above the 20-period MA of 6,501.3 and above the 50-period MA of 6,468.8.
1 Day Indicator Analysis
The stock market index is trading above the 20-day MA of 6,379.8 and below the 50-day MA of 6,601.3.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:45am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6425
Our preference: Long positions above 6425 with targets @ 6540 & 6560 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6425 look for further downside with 6355 & 6292 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is bullish and calls for further advance.
[7:45am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Smith & Nephew (+3.54% to 1054p)
St James's Place Capital (+3.56% to 712.5p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Melrose (-2.12% to 249.9p)
[4:27pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is up six points at 6460 as the artificially high US GDP figures fooled nobody.
In London, the market has made a rapid recovery as the US growth figure isn't as impressive as initially thought.
When the 3.5% US GDP figure flashed on the screens, it was traders' worst nightmare!
Dealers feared a rate rise must be around the corner, but after closer inspection the jump in growth was largely down to Washington's spending on defence.
After nearly six years of QE from the US, traders still have the attitude that bad news is good news; old habits die hard.
RBS will update the market on its third-quarter performance tomorrow.
The bailed-out bank raised traders' hopes last month by stating loan impairments would be greatly reduced; the bank has big expectations to meet.
IG is offering a binary bet on the outcome of the next UK general election.
UKIP's rise has eaten into the chances of a conservative majority and the problems in the Scottish Labour party have now diminished the likelihood of a Labour majority.
IG's binary is now indicating a 55% of a hung parliament.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
US Indices Dip as Fed Ends QE and Highlights Economic Strength
The Dow and S&P 500 saw some weakness as the Fed statement turned slightly hawkish, despite retaining the 'considerable time' phrasing on the timing of interest rate rises.
The dollar has also seen a boost on the FOMC statement, with the New Zealand dollar also slumping as the RBNZ softened its stance on rates.
[10:05am] The greatest economic experiment in central banking history was brought to a close last night by the US Federal Reserve, complete with suitably dovish rhetoric about the future path of interest rates.
US markets staged a modest decline by the close, but finished well off their lows.
We cannot hide from the fact that such dovish commentary is in part designed to keep a degree of order over capital markets, after the uptick in volatility seen since the start of the autumn.
European markets are not impressed, although this is entirely to do with their own problems, and pressure continues to mount on the ECB to resurrect QE in a multilingual European form.
European equities are lower thanks to comments from the Chief of the European Banking Authority that the banking stress tests are not foolproof; something we all knew but were kind of hoping nobody important would draw attention too.
Cue downside auctions in peripheral banks, especially Italy.
Regional CPI data from Germany had shown further month-on-month deflation, rather taking the shine of an unexpected fall in unemployment.
We could see a tricky end to the month here with quite a lot on the agenda before the weekend, including a speech by Janet Yellen.
UK equity watchers have some big names to delve into today, with the overall market weaker by 55 points, trading around the 6400 level.
Barclays (+0.5%) is holding up well as the market lives lower.
Underlying performance is on the right track, but further fine provisions take some shine off the numbers.
Shell (-1.5%) is shrugging off what it has called the 'volatility in our industry', lower oil prices to the rest of us, with a good set of quarterly numbers.
Somewhat surprisingly BT (-3.3%) is suffering this morning, despite a dividend hike and better profits thanks to premium broadband subscriptions.
The stock has closely hugged the FTSE this year and is giving away gains recouped since the mid-month falls, moving closer to a YTD low around £3.50.
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 31-Oct-14
For related articles also see:
Stock Market Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
We have stock market updates and analysis throughout the day. Our stock market guide also has live prices, charts, a spread betting comparison, tips on where to trade commission-free, tax-free* and... » read guide.
Stock Market Trading, updated 30-Oct-14
A look at popular stock market trading accounts, commission free accounts, charts, a price comparison, how to buy/sell a stock market index, regular analysis and... » read guide.
Dow Jones Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
Dow Jones financial spread betting guide with a price comparison and daily analysis. Plus live Dow Jones charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and... » read guide.
German Stock Market Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
German stock market spread betting guide with a price comparison, daily analysis, live charts & prices for the DAX 30, MDAX and German shares. Plus where to spread bet on the Frankfurt stock market commission-free and... » read guide.
S&P 500 Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
S&P 500 financial spread betting guide with a price comparison and daily analysis. Plus live S&P 500 charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and... » read guide.
NASDAQ 100 Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
Nasdaq 100 financial spread betting guide with a price comparison and daily analysis. Plus live Nasdaq 100 charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and... » read guide.
Nikkei 225 Spread Betting, updated 31-Oct-14
Nikkei 225 financial spread betting guide with daily analysis. Plus live Nikkei 225 charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and tax-free* as well as... » read guide.
Hang Seng Spread Betting, updated 30-Oct-14
Hang Seng financial spread betting guide with daily updates. Plus live Hang Seng charts & prices, where to spread bet on the stock market index commission-free and tax-free* as well as... » read guide.
About this page:
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.