You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:22pm] A surprise bounce in US GDP was not enough to keep the UK in positive territory this afternoon, with the FTSE around five points lower heading into the close.
Supermarkets and miners populated the bottom of the FTSE 100 during the afternoon, as the broader equity rally seemed to go into a stall.
News of a lawsuit against Tesco by its shareholders merely piles further ignominy on the supermarket, emphasising just how far the firm's star has fallen.
When a strong revision to US GDP, which came in at 3.9% versus the expected drop to 3.3%, is unable to enthuse markets it is a clear sign that sentiment is finally beginning to turn modestly cautious.
Nonetheless, so long as London holds on to the 6700 area the outlook still looks good for a move higher into Thanksgiving as the US takes a holiday.
DAX watchers should be concerned by the index's inability to hold on to 9900, since a similar move in September preceded a hefty decline.
If the ECB fails to live up to expectations next week, it might not be a particularly festive season for European stocks.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[10:21am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up eight points at 6737, although it is once again being left in the dust by European indices.
European equity markets are still riding on the back of Mario Draghi's remarks that full-blown QE could be on the cards, should be it be called for.
In addition, a surprise uptick in French economic data has added to the positive news from Germany yesterday to provide a fresh catalyst for equity buying.
In London, shares in Kingfisher fell through the £3 mark as difficult trading conditions in France, which is its biggest market, took the shine off the encouraging numbers from the British and Irish divisions.
Screwfix nailed its numbers to the post as the wholly-owned subsidiary revealed a double-digit jump in third-quarter LFL sales; this was the bright spot in an otherwise dreary update.
House prices in the UK may be cooling but people's interest in property prices is still red hot as Zoopla reported a 33% jump in website visits.
Shares in the property portal increased by 2%, and the company still has a long way to go before it catches up with rival Rightmove.
De la Rue was true to its word as profits dropped by 31% in the first half of the year.
The shares in the bank note printer stood their ground as the figures met the previously lowered guidance.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
Thomas Cook Continues to Cut Costs
The airline is continuing to trim costs and pay down debt, and whilst revenue is expected to drop, profits are set to rise.
There have been plenty of issues for the sector this year, with the share price suffering as a result.
Dow Hits New Closing High but May Drift Lower as Pressure Builds
Whilst the Dow has continued to make new highs, some signs of weakness may see the index dip towards support around 17,738.
The FTSE has held below resistance at 6771, with overbought technicals pointing towards further weakness towards the bottom of the range at 6686.
Update by Craig Inglis, Head of Product Development,
FTSE 100 Daily Market Report
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,734.5.
At the end of the last session, the market closed down -3.0pts (-0.04%) at 6,739.9.
30 Minute Chart Analysis
The stock market is above the 20 period MA of 6,733.8 and below the 50 period MA of 6,737.1.
1 Day Chart Analysis
The stock market is currently above the 20 DMA of 6,614.9 and above the 50 DMA of 6,529.4.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:41am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6710
Our preference: Long positions above 6710 with targets @ 6775 & 6790 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6710 look for further downside with 6685 & 6670 as targets.
Comment: Even though a continuation of the consolidation cannot be ruled out, its extent should be limited.
[7:41am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
ITV (+1.59% to 205p)
TalkTalk Telecom (+6.37% to 300.5p)
UK Shares - Crossing Under their 50 Day Moving Average:
Anglo American (-1.88% to 1354p)
Aviva (-5.38% to 510p)
Firstgroup (-9.68% to 108.2p)
Fresnillo (-2.29% to 746p)
Petrofac (-26.45% to 877.5p)
Tate & Lyle (-2.98% to 602p)
John Wood Group (-1.87% to 682p)
William Hill (-5.38% to 339.6p)
[4:33pm] Heading into the close, the FTSE 100 is down 14 points, at 6736, as the miners lead the market lower.
In London, the mining sector giveth and taketh away.
Friday's surge was fuelled by the natural resources companies and now the sector is holding the FTSE 100 back, in comparison with its continental counterparts.
Traders quickly cashed in their chips on the back of the Chinese interest rate cut and now the city is wondering if one rate reduction is too little too late for Beijing to hit its annual growth target.
Petrofac is still feeling the pain after it announced a profit warning this morning; shares in the oil services company are down 25%.
The dramatic drop in the price of oil is separating the men from the boys in the oil industry, and I suspect more profit warnings will come out of the woodwork.
Shares in Aviva are off 4% after the insurer made a bid for Friends Life Group.
The shareholders in Aviva are telling the company the two companies should just remain acquaintances.
BT Group has changed its tune as it is mulling over buying O2 back from Telephonic.
The British communications company is looking to move into the mobile business to add to its wireless and fixed-line divisions.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
[4:09pm] European Stock Markets
Shares in Europe carried on where they left off on Friday, rising alongside the level of global stimulus as more ECB members come out in support of further stimulus.
Here in the UK, deal-mania has managed to keep investors interested.
It's a good time to be an exporter in Europe.
Whilst domestic demand may be tepid, the threat of further monetary easing from the ECB is rapidly weakening the euro, making European goods relatively cheaper abroad, and now credit-fuelled demand could pick up in China thanks to a cut in interest rates.
The ECB's Constancio reiterated on Monday that it's the ECB responsibility to raise prices in Europe, while fellow member Nowotny confirmed the potential need for more stimulus, but dampened prospects of new measures before the first quarter of next year.
The UK was beset with prospective deals on Monday with Stryker apparently again renewing interest in Smith and Nephew, BT looking to takeover O2 and GSK's board is looking for approval from shareholders for its asset swap with Novartis.
Update by Jasper Lawler, Market Analyst,
[3:01pm] Today was a big day for British stocks, with some dramatic losses and gains weighing on the FTSE after the UK market had closed out last Friday on a seven week high.
The flatness of the FTSE can be traced back to the dismal Monday for companies like Avingtrans and Petrofac, who both saw stock prices drop over 20% today.
There was further big news for British stocks, as sources revealed that BT Group was in talks with both Telefonica, the Spanish owner of O2, and EE, as the British communications giant seeks to re-engage with the UK mobile market.
Both BT and Telefonica have proved to be winners on the stock markets in the face of this deal.
In Europe, after strong business climate figure this morning, the DAX continued to rise.
This positive sentiment extended into the euro, as it recovered slightly after Draghi's talk of quantitative easing scared the currency last Friday.
If the Dow managed to overcome weak openings last week to consistently break its closing records, then it stands to reason that today, with its bullish open, will continue the trend.
With a big Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the horizon, and the Christmas shopping period beginning in earnest just after, there is a significant chance that the Dow could close out 2014 at the 18,000 level.
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 25-Nov-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.