You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[3:51pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE is up five points, looking as though it is likely to close around the 6550 level.
In London, equities are standing still, as traders try to figure out their next move in the wake of the strong US jobs report last week.
We are currently in no-man's land, and traders are neither fearing nor depending on the US Federal Reserve for guidance.
Mining stocks have fallen out of favour with investors after Chinese imports missed expectations.
The People's Bank of China is gradually deregulating the banking system but not at a fast enough rate, and the concerns of liquid issues are still looming.
Irish company Tullow Oil ran out of luck in Ethiopia, and after a failed attempt the company decided to abandon its well.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[3:45pm] UK Stock Markets
European markets, unlike their US counterparts haven't reaped a payrolls dividend today.
Instead they have had a somewhat mixed day after a disappointing reaction to the latest Chinese trade data and a disappointing German industrial production reading for October, which showed a sharp drop of 1.2%.
A sharp rise in Chinese exports with a particular improvement to the EU and US has been outweighed by a drop in Chinese imports which has seen commodity based stocks act as a drag on the major benchmarks, with the FTSE 100 struggling for gains.
The worst performers have been this year's perennial underachievers with Fresnillo, Antofagasta and Vedanta Resources leading the decliners.
Tullow Oil has also had a day to forget after the company announced that it was plugging a well in Ethiopia after it came up dry.
Bellwether retailer Marks and Spencer has continued its declines from Friday after Credit Suisse warned that further growth potential in the sector appeared to be somewhat limited after two years of solid gains.
On the plus side, British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines is higher on a positive read across from the US and first day of trading of the newly combined American Airlines/US Air group.
More Banking IPOs
This morning's news that HSBC is sounding out investors about a potential splitting off of its UK retail operation in an IPO doesn't appear to have perturbed markets too much today, with some investors accepting it as the natural consequence of a new more stringent regulatory environment.
What it does do though is make the potential IPO market place that much more congested for when the other UK banks look to IPO some of their surplus assets to comply with new state aid requirements.
Cases in point include Lloyds Banking Group and its TSB subsidiary, Royal Bank of Scotland, and its Williams and Glyns unit as well as Virgin Money which could well IPO as well.
The key question being asked now is whether the actual demand is there to meet the amount of new equity coming on the market next year.
Update by Michael Hewson, Senior Market Analyst,
[10:48am] While markets have had plenty of excuses to move higher this morning, it's again the mining sector which has shackled the FTSE, pulling the benchmark back into the red despite strong Chinese export data.
But of course for the miners, the concern is imports not exports, and while import growth continues to lag, the demand outlook for the sector weakens, already prompting a sell-off in a resource biased Australian indexovernight.
This isn't the first time the FTSE has faced a headwind from the heavyweight miners in the last week, and with major resource futures in the green, it makes the move all the more painful for investors.
The miners aside, there was some cause for optimism, with the Chinese exports beat prompting a rally in emerging markets, while at home a recent survey showed UK wage growth at its fastest pace in 6 years.
Of course the key factor will be whether that translates to consumers opening their wallets over the Christmas run in.
Gulf Keystone Rallies as Excalibur Drops Appeal
Gulf Keystone ramped up over 7% in the first hour of trading after confirmation that Excalibur Ventures would not be appealing September's court ruling, and agreed to pay £17.5m as an interim payment for legal costs.
Excalibur had claimed for up to 30% of GKP group assets over an exploration rights dispute in Kurdistan.
Following a meteoric rise to fame and fortune back in early 2012, the stock has suffered a string of setbacks both politically and legally.
The last 3 months have been no exception, shedding over a quarter of its value from a September peak of 240p, so whilst today's move is a welcome boost there is a long way to go for many long-term investors to see any return.
One oil explorer that is not sharing GKP's enthusiasm this morning is Tullow Oil, with the stock sliding back after it's Tultule-1 Ethiopian well came up dry.
The well will now be plugged and the drilling equipment will be moved elsewhere in the region for another lucky dip.
Kentz Gains on Valerus Deal
Kentz was another big winner in early trade, set to buy Valerus Field Solutions for around $435m in a bid to increase its US and Latin American presence.
Kentz are not planning to integrate the new addition, but will look for bumper earnings within the first full financial year.
The deal is scheduled to complete after a shareholder meeting on 2 January.
Software firm Anite moved higher this morning despite reporting a 64% cut in first half profits.
Poor revenues from handset testing were well publicised prior to today's results, which despite the headline figure have seen some improvement from estimates back in October.
The bullish outlook for an H2 revenue boost coupled with a flurry of positive analyst notes at the back end of last week was enough to persuade the market there is value to be had.
Update by Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader,
[10:28am] The positivity in European stocks following the better-than-expected Chinese export data has faded in early trade.
Surprisingly, the mining sector, normally quite sensitive to upbeat data from China, continues to be out of favour despite signs of a pick-up in global growth.
Investors have clearly taken a judicious approach to the positive US jobs data.
While markets should extract confidence from decent fundamentals, the increased odds of a quantitative easing taper has taken the wind out of the bullish sails for the time being.
The recent correction has been shallow at best and, while the overall uptrend remains intact, a more significant correction to the downside could actually be healthy and allow for new positioning.
The Sentix Investor Confidence indicator remains optimistic, although the 8.0 level on the index is lower than the 10.5 expected.
Progress within the Eurozone has, for the most part, succeeded in silencing some Eurosceptic naysayers.
However, as long as there is any uncertainty or lack of decisiveness surrounding the European banking sector regarding a future banking union, specifically the single resolution mechanism, investor confidence may hit a plateau.
The Eurogroup meetings taking place in Brussels today should go some way to addressing these issues.
Inmarsat launched its Proton rocket from Kazakhstan yesterday to begin the roll out of the single largest commercial space project in Britain to bring a new global telecommunications network to the company’s customers.
Tullow Oil, the African-focused gas and oil miner, has today revealed the well it drilled in Ethiopia had failed to find any oil. The well, referred to as ‘Tultule-1 Wildcat Well’ will be plugged and abandoned as a dry hole. The rig used on the site will now be moved to a different part of the country in order to drill another well to hopefully successfully find oil. The company is down -2.58%.
Kazakhstan’s largest copper miner, Kazakhmys, has today agreed a deal to sell two power producers for $1.3bn in order to protect loan accords. The firm has said the deal will give them an opportunity to realise an attractive ROI and is in line with its strategy of focusing on its core copper business.
Exploration and production firm, Premier Oil, has today said that following an exploration review, it is to withdraw from Block L10A, offshore Kenya. Premier Oil still holds 25% equity in an adjacent block ‘L10B’ which is still ongoing. The CEO has said they will continue to focus the firm’s resources on projects that will high grade their exploration portfolio.
Update by Lee Mumford, Trader,
[8:04am] The FTSE 100 closed down -0.1pts (0.00%) at 6,570.9.
The market is currently trading at 6,568.3.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:47am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6465
Our preference: LONG positions above 6465 with 6625 & 6678 in sight.
Alternative scenario: The downside breakout of 6465 will open the way to 6410 & 6360.
Comment: the RSI calls for a rebound.
[7:47am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Barclays (+1.26% to 265.65p)
Barratt Developments (+4.07% to 337.9p)
BT Group (+1.65% to 370.6p)
Bellway (+3.15% to 1440p)
Capita Group (+0.76% to 990p)
3I Group (+1.37% to 369p)
London Stock Exchange (+2.78% to 1626p)
Mitie Group (+2.02% to 308p)
TUI Travel (+0.93% to 378.1p)
Taylor Wimpey (+2.36% to 108.5p)
Unilever (+1.36% to 2465p)
John Wood Group Plc (+3.16% to 799.5p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Cairn Energy (-1.75% to 269p)
[5:00am] At 0430 BST today, FTSE 100 futures are trading 7.1 points higher.
The Daily Telegraph reported that HSBC Holdings is considering floating its UK arm ahead of new regulation that demands banks ringfence their retail banking operations. Investors have estimated that the UK arm could float with a total market value of around £20 billion.
The Times reported that Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to sell its subsidiary, De Vere Group, in a move that could push write-offs on the taxpayer-supported bank's backing of the hotel and leisure operator to almost €900 million.
Update by Ishaq Siddiqi, Market Analyst,
[4:30am] The following highlights the largest FTSE 100 risers/fallers during the last trading day.
Petrofac closed 3.65% up at 1194p Royal Dutch Shell closed 2.91% up at 2157p London Stock Exchange closed 2.78% up at 1626p
Whitbread closed -1.52% down at 3,492.00p International Consolidated Airlines closed -1.49% down at 357.6p Reckitt Benckiser closed -1.30% down at 4,772.00p
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 09-Dec-13
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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.