You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[10:30am] In mid-morning trading, the FTSE 100 is 50 points higher, as the pre-Christmas rally continues on its merry way.
The City is quietening down rapidly, while the corporate and economic calendars are emptying too.
Yet there are still buyers active, as the year-end window dressing pushes major indices higher.
The recovery of the past week in indices has been remarkable, with the potential for more given thin trading and the sparse calendar.
Greece's premier has helped to assuage some concerns by offering concessions if his Presidential candidate is elected.
In addition, Saudi Arabia appears to be reaching the end of its tether where oil prices is concerned, as it takes a leaf out of the Eurozone's book and blames 'speculators' for the price action in oil over the past half a year.
Such an approach rarely wins the confidence of markets, even if the oil price has joined in the general year-end festivities, with Brent making yet another attempt to hold above the $60 level.
As oil prices rise, the usual suspects are at the top of the FTSE leaderboard, such as Tullow Oil, Weir and BP, with the bargain basement prices on offer here tempting a few hardy souls.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[9:24am] The combination of the Santa rally, rising oil and a stabilising ruble meant that the global indices were nearing their start of the month highs, with the Dow Jones especially having a return to form.
With a quiet day, the Dow may not be able to reach the mythic 18,000 level; however, as long as oil continues its marginal rally, the US markets can relax ahead of Christmas Day on Thursday.
The FTSE is in a similar, if not quite as exalted, position as the Dow Jones, regaining much of its November highs in a late rally based around the improbable rallies that oil has been performing.
It opened slightly higher this morning, as the general lack of economic news meant its opportunity for significant growth was somewhat hampered.
Yet, even more so than the American markets, if oil keeps its current levels, the FTSE will ring in a merry Christmas as its energy sector seeks to recoup lost ground.
Update by Connor Campbell, Financial Analyst,
FTSE and Dow Rally as Crude Oil Prices Stabilise
With Brent crude bouncing to $62 per barrel, the Dow Jones is testing resistance at 17,895 and the FTSE is targetting 6589.
West Texas crude has managed to break its trend of 'long-legged' candles, with sideways trading that needs to break resistance before any attempt to move higher.
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
FTSE 100 Daily Report
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,589.8.
At the end of the last session, the market closed up 62.6pts (0.96%) at 6,572.2.
30 Minute Analysis
The stock market is higher than the 20-period MA of 6,578.5 and higher than the 50-period MA of 6,549.8.
1 Day Analysis
The index is higher than the 20-DMA of 6,562.3 and higher than the 50-DMA of 6,536.7.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:26am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Britvic (+1.68% to 666p)
Genel Energy (+2.65% to 717.5p)
Henderson Group (+2.21% to 213.1p)
Mondi Plc (+2.62% to 1059p)
Tesco (+5.46% to 185.4p)
[7:26am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6420
Our preference: Long positions above 6420 with targets @ 6590 & 6630 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6420 look for further downside with 6355 & 6275 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is mixed to bullish.
[5:35am] A 'go slow' approach to raising interest rates by the Federal Reserve has served to push US markets back towards their highest levels this year.
However, surprisingly, this has also turbo charged the US dollar, in spite of a rise in interest rates potentially coming later into 2015 than most had originally expected.
This 'patient' approach to policy normalisation, as well as a belated realisation that lower oil prices aren't necessarily such a bad thing, particularly in terms of their potential impact on global GDP and consumer sentiment, has seen a significant rebound in the last four days.
In fact, as we start this shortened trading week, Europe's markets look set to open slightly higher, as crude oil gains a firmer footing.
This stabilisation in the oil price has raised the expectation that we may well have found a short-term base, and is mitigating concerns that further declines could well prompt large scale losses on highly leveraged oil producers and governments.
Germany Keeps Trying to Drag Europe Higher
On the economic data front, this week's final UK and US Q3 GDP numbers are expected to confirm that both economies remain at the forefront of the recovery in developed markets.
They are certainly well ahead of the sclerotic economies in Europe, which continue to give cause for concern, with the probable exception of Germany which appears to be showing signs of a pickup in domestic demand.
Last week's data showed that German consumer confidence was at an eight year high, along with some evidence of a rebound in economic data, that could well make for an interesting discussion at next month's ECB rate meeting, as markets continue to expect the ECB to undertake some form of QE stimulus.
This remains an optimistic view given the tug of war between German officials who remain opposed to QE and some on the council who affirm that QE is legal.
Whatever happens next month any measures that are taken are unlikely to be sufficiently large enough to make a difference.
Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst,
[4:28pm] European Stock Markets
The reindeer got tired and Santa took a break from his rally on Friday as European shares gave back some of the prior session's record gains.
Standard & Poor's downgraded several Italian banks, sending the sector and broader indices mostly lower.
Global indices had been benefiting from the Federal Reserve declaring it will be patient with regard to the timing of the next rate hike.
Low interest rates provided by the Fed should continue to be supportive of markets but after the strongest two-day action in years and no major catalyst for the next leg higher, shares were due a pullback.
The reason the Santa rally phenomenon exists is simply because of positive feeling from investors for the New Year.
For investors in 2014, there are multiple reasons to be hopeful for 2015.
Inflation looks like it will stay subdued and keep a lid on interest rates and falling oil prices put money into consumers' pockets to drive demand in the global economy.
Oil prices saw some stabilisation on Friday but stocks were lower.
The last couple of trading days have seen equities and oil prices decouple from the strong link that saw both crashing simultaneously.
It was this stabilisation in oil as well as gold prices that saw oil companies and miners as some of the top risers in UK spread betting markets.
The UK is less exposed to the Italian banking sector and was still benefiting from a little hubris leftover from renewed M&A activity after IAG made a failed bid for Aer Lingus.
Upwards momentum continued for Tesco with shares atop the FTSE 100 up over 4% after Nielsen data revealed Tesco's 12 week sales were down 3%.
Declining sales are still not good but if they're declining at a slower pace that is at least pointing in the right direction.
Tuesday the Kantar survey showed sales at Tesco declining at a slower rate of 2.7%, the best performance since June.
Kantar said this showed 'some signs of stabilisation for the retailer'.
Smith's Group was trading lower on news that their CEO is to retire.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[4:18pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is some 70 points higher, holding on to gains after a somewhat indecisive session.
London's market continues to maintain its form despite an earlier wobble around options expiry.
Having gained over 6% from the lows the question could justifiably be asked where the next reason for a rally is coming from.
However, this question is easily answered by the simple fact that it is nearly Christmas and hallowed tradition requires markets to remain cheery until the end of trading next Wednesday.
Oil has risen by around 1.3% today and this has allowed the bargain hunters a further excuse to buy shares in the likes of Tullow Oil and BP.
The festive cheer has even extended to such dire performers as Tesco and Morrisons, with the former up 5% and the latter rising over 3%.
European markets have been weaker but patient investors have been rewarded, as the overnight froth dissipates and buyers find an opportunity to step in at more congenial levels.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
Is Tesco Set to Rebound in 2015?
Given that the Tesco share price has halved since the start of 2014, IG talk to several market commentators about whether the supermarket is a stock to watch in 2015.
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 22-Dec-14
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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.