You might also be able to trade the FTSE 100 on other spread betting websites.
UK Stock Market Analysis and Trading News
[4:15pm] Although cautious ahead of the Fed meeting, indices are continuing to rally quietly off the lows of the week, with the FTSE 100 now unchanged for the day.
Yesterday may have been the day that the December selling stopped and the Santa rally began, and that picture seems to be reinforced today.
We have seen further attempts to push indices down but end-of-year buyers appear to be returning in force, with European indices firmly off their lows and the FTSE 100 consolidating its hold above 6300.
Dixons Carphone continues to sit at the top of the board after its maiden first-half results, which proved sufficient to justify the rally in the share price over the past few months.
Meanwhile oil and mining names crept higher, on hopes that raw materials prices may be girding themselves up for a late bounce to end the year.
European indices look at lot healthier than they did just two days ago, helped along by a Eurozone CPI figure that remained in-line with expectations and assuaged building deflation fears.
Update by Chris Beauchamp, Market Analyst,
[10:29am] The FTSE, down 43 points, remains above its two-week low but nervousness remains the overriding emotion on trading floors.
With numerous economic hurdles yet to be cleared, Santa's arrival on equity markets has yet to materialise.
Considering the current fears over the Eurozone it's not surprising that the MPC has remained unchanged in its voting.
The benefits of average earnings up to 1.4% has somewhat been negated by the increase in unemployment levels back to 6%.
Unchanged Eurozone inflation figures will have been met with a sigh of relief from ECB President, Mario Draghi, who has probably used up his entire stock of Santa-tokens in that one wish.
Dixons Carphone's first-half figures are full of festive cheer as the combined company has seen a 30% rise in pre-tax profits, and was ahead of schedule for the completion of the merger.
Confirmation that the company was well on track to meet its full-year targets saw the markets move shares higher by as much as 3.5% in early trading.
Saga's trading update was short and to the point, with the company confirming it remains in line with market expectations, leaving traders waiting for confirmation of its long-term strategy in January.
Babcock International has embarked on a little late December shopping and has acquired Defence Support Group from the Ministry of Defence for £140 million.
Update by Alastair McCaig, Market Analyst,
Indices Dip as Safe Haven Bonds Hit Record Lows
Concerns over the brewing financial crisis in Russia and the rout in oil prices has seen traders rush into safe haven bonds, with UK, German and Japanese yields hitting all-time lows.
The FTSE is trading lower this morning, with BT Group dipping after announcing plans to target EE.
Update by David Papier, Sales Trader,
[7:32am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6217
Our preference: Long positions above 6217 with targets @ 6345 & 6390 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Below 6217 look for further downside with 6120 & 6000 as targets.
Comment: The RSI calls for a rebound.
[7:32am] UK Shares - Crossing Over their 50 Day Moving Average:
Admiral Group (+3.93% to 1270p)
Cairn Energy (+2.92% to 165.6p)
Daily Mail & General (+2.82% to 801p)
Intercontinental Hotels (+1.82% to 2461p)
ITV (+1.94% to 205.4p)
Land Securities (+2.96% to 1147p)
Prudential (+2.7% to 1465.5p)
Rightmove (+2.33% to 2150p)
Smith & Nephew (+3.04% to 1050p)
UK Banking Stress Test Results
With the Bank of England releasing the results of its key stress tests, IG talks about which banks passed and failed, as well as the criteria upon which they were judged.
Weak US Manufacturing Sees the Dow Drop
The Dow slumped as oil companies continued to struggle and a Fed measure of Manufacturing turned negative.
All UK banks have passed the BoE stress tests apart from the troubled Co-Op bank.
Update by Sam Gunter, Sales Trader,
[10:13am] In mid-morning trading the FTSE 100 is up 23 points at 6205, as the mining sector has made a sudden swing to positive territory.
The London market continues to be pulled in both directions by natural resources stocks as crippling oil prices and crumbling manufacturing figures out of China have ensured choppy trading.
The Russian central bank has found out that 'You can run, but you can't hide'.
They may have surprised markets by raising rates to 17%, but this erratic move still wasn't enough to stop the rouble from returning to its losing streak.
British banks are clutching onto fractional gains after the Bank of England stress test results were released this morning.
Lloyds and RBS passed by the skin of their teeth; both bailed-out banks beat the capital requirements by the narrowest of margins.
Traders were hoping that Lloyds would restart paying dividends next year, but today's revelations suggest the banks needs all the cash in its coffers.
2015 will be an important year for RBS and Lloyds as a change of government is on the cards.
Unfortunately, tax payer shareholding in the financial institutions is looking less likely to be reduced any time soon, given the state of the respective capital structures.
BT Group are back above £4 as the company has taken one step closer to becoming Britain's largest one stop shop for phone line, broadband, TV and mobile services.
BT is targeting EE for £12.5 billion in the hope it will corner the so-called quad-play market.
If the deal goes ahead, we can expect a big shake up in the telecoms sector as BT is tipped to succeed where Virgin Media has failed.
Update by David Madden, Market Analyst,
FTSE 100 Daily Market Update
The FTSE 100 is currently trading at 6,199.0.
At the end of the last session, the market closed down -31.9pts (-0.51%) at 6,182.1.
30 Minute Analysis
The stock market index is currently above the 20-period MA of 6,195.4 and below the 50-period MA of 6,229.0.
1 Day Analysis
The stock market index is trading below the 20-DMA of 6,598.8 and below the 50-DMA of 6,518.2.
Update by Gordon Childs, Editor,
[7:30am] FTSE 100 Technical Analysis (30 mins chart)
FTSE 100 pivot point: 6300
Our preference: Short positions below 6300 with targets @ 6120 & 6060 in extension.
Alternative scenario: Above 6300 look for further upside with 6390 & 6445 as targets.
Comment: As long as 6300 is resistance, look for choppy price action with a bearish bias.
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 17-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.