You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:19pm] Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is up ten points as the feel good factor from the US pulls European equities higher.
In London, the FTSE 100 is eking out a small gain as a lack of negative news from Eastern Europe and a string of positive updates from the US have brightened the mood; the Eurozone stock markets are benefiting the most from the improved relationship with Moscow.
The unimpressive services and manufacturing data from the Eurozone is fuelling speculation that the European Central Bank will loosen its monetary policy this side of Christmas.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[10:21am] European equities have opened higher today after the Fed kept the market happy with a no-shock minutes.
Similar to past guidance, the Fed requires more evidence from economic activity markers to compel an exit from the environment of ultra-low interest rates.
Unsurprisingly, the equity market found relief and remained at levels before the announcement.
The FTSE 100 is currently 16 points higher at 6,769.
Across the FTSE 350, today's winners are Hikma Pharma and Rank Group, both up by more than 2%.
Thomas Cook continues to suffer following yesterday's selling, now trading at less than 120p, down from the recent highs above 130p.
Update by David White, Trader,
[9:55am] The FTSE 100 has managed to shrug off any negative sentiment from this morning's Eurozone economic releases, and is up 17 points in the first couple of hours trading.
Today will be a particularly heavy day of economic data with manufacturing and service PMI figures out in China, France, Germany, the Eurozone and the US.
Sticking to the now familiar format of undershooting expectations, France has missed forecasts while, much to the relief of Eurozone enthusiasts, German figures have beaten expectations.
Last night's minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee have shown that the US has stolen a march on the UK in the race to raise interest rates, as earnings are improving at a healthier pace.
Subsequently, GBP/USD has been dragged below the $1.66 level and EUR/USD is looking even more oversold below $1.33.
The oft utilised excuse of 'currency headwinds' from many European companies in the latest reporting season looks to be wearing a little thin now.
Copper manufacturer Kazakhmys has posted figures reflecting the weaker copper price, while improving its cost base.
The bigger issues of asset stripping and streamlining the company continue to hang over it.
Premier Oil has posted solid figures this morning, seeing production up 11% and pre-tax profits up 7%.
A glance at the biggest movers in the FTSE, however, does emphasise the mining sector's exposure to the US dollar-denominated commodities, with all five of the biggest fallers coming from this sector.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
What to Look Out for When Trading Mining and Metals Stocks
The recent volatility in the precious metal markets and an increase in political risk has had a significant impact on the share prices of mining stocks.
In this trading video, IG talks to Simon Popple from Brookville Capital about what to look for when investing in metal producers.
[9:14am] The major equity indices are higher this morning ahead of UK retail sales data, European PMI and confidence figures.
FTSE 100 Daily Trading News
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,753.3.
At the end of the last session, the market closed down -14.7pts (-0.22%) at 6,760.1.
30 Minute Indicator Analysis
The market is below the 20-period MA of 6,761.9 and below the 50-period MA of 6,758.4.
1 Day Indicator Analysis
The stock market index is above the 20-day MA of 6,701.0 and above the 50-day MA of 6,743.1.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:41am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6717
Our preference: Long positions above 6717 with targets @ 6790 & 6830 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6717 look for further downside with 6680 & 6650 as targets.
Comment: The RSI is bullish and calls for further upside.
[7:41am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Croda International (+1% to 2222p)
United Utilities (+1.6% to 890p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Close Brothers (-1.48% to 1266p)
Carillion Plc (-1.99% to 330p)
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (-6.21% to 1692p)
Intermediate Capital Group (-1.17% to 397.8p)
3I Group (-2.65% to 381.6p)
Ladbrokes (-1.1% to 135.3p)
SABMiller (-0.86% to 3295.5p)
Thomas Cook Group (-3.35% to 124p)
[6:11am] MPC Sees Split Vote as Members Break Ranks
Rather surprisingly the latest minutes from the Bank of England saw two MPC members break ranks and vote for a 25 basis point rate hike at the last meeting.
I guess that's what they mean when the inflation report refers to a wide range of views on the amount of slack in the economy.
That being said, what MPC members knew then and what they know now is slightly different, given the most recent CPI and wages data.
It therefore doesn't perceptibly alter the prognosis that a rate hike is more likely next year than this year.
It does however change the maths somewhat with respect to the vote swing needed to push rates up.
Today's retail sales data for July in particular is likely to be a gauge as to whether the recent slowdown in consumer spending is anything more than a temporary lull as consumers swap the shops for a summer of sport on the sofa.
Expectations are for a rise of 0.4% in July, up from the 0.1% rise seen in June, however the equivalent BRC numbers last week saw a 0.3% decline in July, so don't be surprised if these numbers disappoint.
The public finances for July are expected to see the benefit of some cash receipts as tax payers on self-certification settle up for the tax year just gone, with a surplus of £1.9bn expected.
Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst,
[3:42pm] European Stock Markets
Shares in Europe were stumbling a bit today; the rally in stocks since August 8 is starting to run out of steam in choppy summer trading conditions after the Bank of England minutes revealed a shock double dissent of the decision to keep interest rates unchanged.
The price action in European indices has had all the hallmarks of trading in August with a surge one way and then the other, ultimately ending with little progress and prices going sideways.
The Bank of England's Monetary Policy committee voted 7-2 in favour of keeping rates unchanged, a variation from the 9-0 seen for near on three years.
The votes are a little dated given that earnings and inflation data has weakened since the MPC meeting, so there is some chance that the votes will be a one-off or that no other members will dissent at the next meeting.
The lower inflation and earnings growth cast doubt over the significance of the votes and a rate-hike this year still seems unlikely but central banks typically work off a longer timeframe than just one month's data so there is clearly a change of mood at the BoE.
The FTSE 100 extended early losses after minutes were released with investors none too happy at the improved prospects of a rate hike sooner than expected and likely cutting into how long the bull market in stocks can last.
It was the third failure of M&A prospects between UK construction giants Balfour Beatty and Carillion that got UK market sentiment off to a bad start.
Carillion's latest offer is a 36% premium over Balfour Beatty's share price a month ago.
Another bid with a premium larger than 36% would be getting fairly pricey and probably not in Carillion's best interest which renders the whole deal potentially dead in the water.
Persimmon and Barratt Developments were undoing yesterday's gains as hopes that the housing market would be supported by lower rates for longer based on missed inflation data was dashed by the two MPC members voting for a rate hike.
Beverage companies Diageo and SABMiller were a drag on the FTSE today after rival Carlsberg reporting that geopolitical tensions with Russia reduced demand in the country despite no official sanctions on imported alcohol.
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 21-Aug-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.