Shares Spread Betting Guide with Daily Broker Tips, Market Analysis, Live Charts & Prices
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Shares Spread Betting - Live Shares Charts, Prices & Broker Opinions

Shares Spread Betting

Indicative Shares Prices

Where to Spread Bet on Shares

Each of the following offers a wide range of shares spread betting markets.

Shares Spread Betting? Financial Spreads - Shares Spread Betting City Index - Shares Spread Betting ETX Capital - Shares Spread Betting CMC Markets - Shares Spread Betting
Comparison Notes. This table is not meant to be inclusive, stocks and shares spread betting may be available through other brokers.

Shares Spread Betting Account

The companies in the table above offer clients a wide selection of shares, stock market indices, forex and commodities markets.

With regards to trading through reputable companies, each of the above is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Note that financial spread betting accounts are subject to status as well as terms and conditions.

To read a review on any of the companies listed in the table above simply click on the relevant company logo.

Stock Market News and Tips

Updated daily, we offer a range of articles covering the key global stock markets from different views and angles.

Live Share Trading Charts and Prices

You can use the search option on the CFD chart below to access live charts for any of the FTSE 100 companies and most of the leading US shares.

The chart also covers a broad selection of shares listed in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The above chart, provided by Plus 500, typically tracks the futures price.

Should you want to access shares spread betting prices and charts, you will probably need a spread trading account.

A spreads account will also let you access the short-term daily markets. Users should note that all such accounts are normally dependent on status, credit and suitability checks.

If your account application is approved then, once logged on, you will be able to view the real time trading charts and prices. On most platforms, these are free.

If you were to trade, be aware that CFDs and spread trading carry a high level of risk to your funds and you can incur losses that exceed your initial deposit.

Professional Share Trading Charts

Though the specific charting packages differ between firms, to help you with your technical analysis, the charts generally come with valuable features, including:
  • Many different time intervals such as 3 minutes, 30 minutes, 4 hours etc
  • Various display options such as candlestick charts and line charts
  • Drawing options such as Fibonacci arcs, fans and time zones
  • Indicators and chart overlays such as Exponential Moving Average, Relative Strength Index (RSI), Standard Deviation etc
Charts on CapitalSpreads also include advanced features like:
  • Back Testing tools
  • Automatic email alerts for when a market hits a specific price

Example trading chart

Shares Trading Guide - Example Chart

Each of the following brokers offers charts to help you with your shares spread betting (the larger firms offer these as standard).

Candlestick Charts Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Comparison Notes.

Shares Spread Betting Platforms and Software

Each of the companies listed below provide clients with live prices.

Certain spread betting companies offer clients software/trading platforms that users have to download. Having said that, most firms, including the ones listed below, offer more practical web-based platforms.

A web-based spread betting platform lets you access your spread betting account from the office, from your PC at home etc. without the need to download and install any trading software.

Spread Betting Firm Live Prices?
City Index - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
CMC Markets - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
ETX Capital - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
Financial Spreads - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
Finspreads - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
IG Index - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
InterTrader - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
Spreadex - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices
Tradefair - Live Prices Live Spread Betting Prices

Shares Spread Betting - Free Demo Accounts

If you are looking to test a new stock market strategy or theory, then it might be worth looking into a Demo Account / Practice Account.

These are free test accounts where you can practice your financial spread betting on numerous markets, including UK shares, US shares and German shares as well as stock market indices like the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones.

Demo Account Financial Spreads City Index ETX Capital CMC Markets
Comparison Notes.

Guides to Spread Betting on Shares by Country / Stock Market Index

On CleanFinancial we offer reviews on 100s of different equities covering key stocks and shares from the UK, US, Germany, France and Ireland. For each individual equity we answer the following questions:
  • Where Can I Spread Bet on the Share?
  • Where Can I Trade for Free on the Share?
  • How to Spread Bet on the Share?
  • Where Can I Find Free Live Prices for the Share?
  • Where Can I Find Free Charts for the Share?
To find the stock you’re interested in trading, simply click on the Country / Stock Market Index below. You will then find a list of shares that we have reviewed.

Country / Stock Market
Spread Betting on FTSE 100 Companies Guides
Spread Betting on FTSE 250 Companies Guides
Spread Betting on Dow Jones Shares Guides
Spread Betting on S&P 500 Shares Guides
Spread Betting on Nasdaq 100 Shares Guides
Spread Betting on German Shares Guides
Spread Betting on French Shares Guides
Spread Betting on Irish Shares Guides
Spread Betting on Small Cap Shares Guides

Stock Market Index Spread Betting

Whilst many investors spread bet on shares, the most popular spread betting markets are the stock market indices. Rather than taking a position on an individual share you can speculate on a whole index such as the FTSE 100, Dow Jones or even Indian Nifty 50. For more details see:

Popular and Profitable Sectors

Below, an interesting graphic from Spreadex showing which shares/sectors investors traded in 2012. It also shows which sectors were the most-profitable, and the most-costly, for their clients.

Popular and Profitable Sectors

Above, the 'initial risk' relates to the potential cost of buying physical shares in a company. E.g. a £1 buy of a 200p share is the equivalent of buying £2,000 of shares in the same company. Therefore an 18% return on that initial risk would mean a return of £360.

Financial Spreads » "With you get all the normal
advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.

Advantages of Shares Spread Betting

Advantages of Shares Spread Betting

  1. Spread bets are not subject to tax* - you are not actually buying and selling any stocks or shares. You are simply speculating on the future value of a share. Therefore there is no Stamp Duty, no Income Tax and no Capital Gains tax.

  2. Two Way Trading - being able to 'short' a market offers you a range of opportunities. With shares spread betting you do not have to speculate on shares to go up. If your research leads to you think that the Google share price will go up, you can, of course, bet on it to go up. However, if you think that the Apple stock will go down then you can bet on it to go down.

  3. No Commissions or Brokers' Fees - because you are trading directly with a spread betting company, and not through a brokerage, there are no broker's fees or commission charges.

  4. Wide Variety of Markets

    • The simple range of markets makes spread trading an investment option worth considering. Spread betting firms tend to offer thousands of markets including Stock Market Indices like the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones, Crude Oil, Gold and Forex markets like EUR/USD, GBP/JPY etc.

    • Spread betting also offers you access to a wide range of shares. With a company like Financial Spreads you can trade UK, US and German shares. However you can also spread bet on equities listed in France, Holland, India, South Africa, Sweden etc

  5. Speed - you are speculating on the future price of a market and, as a result, trades are generally accepted automatically or at least in the order of seconds. You don’t need to wait for a broker to fill your order.

  6. Control - another benefit is that you can close a losing trade in order to limit your losses and likewise you can close a winning trade in order to bank a profit. Note that you can also ‘part close’ a trade, i.e. closing part of your spread bet but keeping part of it open. Again this is an important risk management feature that can help restrict losses and lock in profits.

  7. Convenience and 24 Hour Trading - when the closing bell sounds at the end of the normal trading day, not all spread betting markets close. So whilst the London, New York and Frankfurt stock markets close, many important spread betting markets remain open. Some remain open throughout the night. Be aware though that most shares spread markets are not open 24 hours a day.

  8. Risk Management and Trading Orders - investing does have its drawbacks. Nevertheless, there are a few steps you can take to minimise your downside. You can add:

    • Stop Loss Orders to your trades. This means that when a market moves against your position, the Stop Loss will close your trade and prevent you from losing any more money. Some spread betting companies will help by adding a stop loss to every trade. Stop Loss orders do not limit your upside, however it should be noted that not all Stop Losses are guaranteed.

    • Guaranteed Stops to your spread bets. These work like Stop Loss orders but are guaranteed to close your trade at the level you specified. They normally come with a slightly wider spread.

    • Limit Orders to your trades. Limit orders help you to lock in a profit. A Limit order would close and settle your spread bet if and when the market you are trading moves, in the way that you successfully forecast, and through a certain price level. In most instances you'll be able to state the level at which your Limit order is set.

      These orders will often help you adhere to your trading strategy simply by helping you close your trades at price levels you originally stipulated.

      They also help you manage you positions when you’re away from your PC.

  9. Free Data and Information – a good number of providers eg Financial Spreads and Capital Spreads now offer a wealth of free data to help their clients. You can get Heat Maps that highlight the shares that are going up / down, plus there are economic calendars showing what data is scheduled to be released during the week. Sometimes there is also technical analysis to accompany the candlestick charts that are available.

Spread Betting Risks

Whilst spread betting offers a wide range of benefits, it is also important to remember the potential drawbacks.

With spread betting you can lose more than you originally staked or invested. Spread bets carry a high level of risk to your capital. Ensure that spread betting matches your investment objectives. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the risks involved. Where necessary, seek independent advice.

Shares Spread Betting and Risk Management

As mentioned above, spread betting does carry a high level of risk to your capital. However there are a number of things you can do to help limit your risks including making use of:
  • Smaller stakes
  • Guaranteed Stop orders
With a lot of spread betting companies you can trade with stakes as small as £1 per point or $1 per point.

So to gain a little exposure you could just trade a stock market index like the FTSE 100, Dow Jones or German DAX for £1 per point.

Shares Spread Betting and Risk Management Likewise you could spread bet on UK shares for £1 per penny. For example, if you speculate on Barclays shares to go up, with a £1 per penny stake and if the share price rises by 60p then you would make 60p x £1 per penny = £60.

Of course the Barclays shares could fall. If they dropped by 77p, then with your £1 stake you would lose 77p x £1 per penny = £77.

Note that you can trade the markets in Dollars, Sterling or Euros. If you want to trade in Euros then 60p x €1 per penny = €60.

To help reduce your losses you could add a Guaranteed Stop order at let's say, 50p.

So if you were financial spread betting on Barclays it would mean that your position would be closed if the share price moved against you by 50p. Therefore, instead of losing £77, you'd only lose 50p x £1 per penny = £50.

However, assuming you predicted the direction of the shares correctly then your profit would still be £110 if they moved 110p or £65 if the Barclays share price moved 65p.

For a more fully worked trading example please see below.

A key element of spread betting is keeping your greed under control. Making use of Guaranteed Stops and trading with smaller stakes can help to reduce your risk.

An additional option is to apply a Trailing Stop to help lock in profitable market moves, see Guide to Trailing Stops.

Financial Spreads » "With you get all the normal
advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.

Daily vs Futures Markets

When trading stocks and shares, many investors prefer to trade daily markets rather than futures markets so in the examples below we have covered both types of market.

A 'Rolling Daily' market is different to a futures market as there is no closing date.

Importantly, you do not have to close your trade and, should it still be open at the end of the trading day, it will simply roll over to the next session.

If you do let your position roll over into the next day and are spread betting on the market to:

  HSBC Spread Trading Example Rise - then you would normally pay a small financing fee, or
  HSBC Spread Trading Example Fall - then a small payment will usually be credited to your account

For a more detailed breakdown of Rolling Daily Markets please read our article Rolling Daily Spread Betting.

Futures Markets

‘Futures’ markets will often have a wider spread than the equivalent ‘daily’ market. However, there are usually no ‘daily rolling’ costs associated with a futures market.

Still, if you are speculating on a quarterly futures market, i.e. a market that it settled at the quarter-end, and you want to keep it open beyond the expiry date then you would normally incur a small cost at the quarter-end.

Please note that, if you do plan to do this, you will need to tell your spread betting provider before the contract expires.

How to Spread Bet on Shares

Here we have both a daily and a futures examples: For more worked examples, see the individual company guides on:

How to Spread Bet on Shares: Rolling Daily Example (HSBC)

If you want to speculate on shares like HSBC then one option is to spread bet on the HSBC share price.

Looking at a site like capital spreads, we can see they have put the HSBC Rolling Daily market at 611.9p - 612.8p. Therefore, an investor could spread bet on the HSBC shares:

  HSBC Spread Betting Example Going higher than 612.8p, or
  HSBC Spread Trading Example Going lower than 611.9p

When spread betting on shares listed on the London Stock Exchange you trade in £x per penny. As a result, if your stake was £4 per penny and the HSBC shares move 34p then there would be a difference to your profits (or losses) of £136. £4 per penny x 34p = £136.

If we take the spread of 611.9p - 612.8p and make the assumptions that:
  • You have analysed the equities market, and
  • You think that the HSBC share price is likely to go higher than 612.8p
Then you may choose to buy a spread bet at 612.8p and invest, for the sake of argument, £4 per penny.

With this trade you make a profit of £4 for every penny that the HSBC shares push above 612.8p. On the other hand, such a trade also means you will make a loss of £4 for every penny that the HSBC market decreases lower than 612.8p.

Looking at this from another angle, if you ‘Buy’ a spread bet then your profit/loss is calculated by taking the difference between the closing price of the market and the price you bought the spread at. You then multiply that difference in price by the stake.

With this in mind, if after a few days the share price started to rise you might decide to close your position in order to secure your profit. If that happened then the spread, set by the spread trading firm, might move up to 641.9p - 642.8p. You would settle/close your trade by selling at 641.9p. Therefore, with the same £4 stake this trade would make you a profit of:

Profit = (Final Price - Opening Price) x stake
Profit = (641.9p - 612.8p) x £4 per penny stake
Profit = 29.1p x £4 per penny stake
Profit = £116.40 profit

Speculating on equities is not always straightforward. In this case, you wanted the share price to go up. Naturally, the share price could decrease.

If the HSBC stock had started to drop then you might decide to close your trade in order to limit your losses.

So if the market pulled back to 588.3p - 589.2p then you would close your spread bet by selling at 588.3p. If so, this would result in a loss of:

Loss = (Final Price - Opening Price) x stake
Loss = (588.3p - 612.8p) x £4 per penny stake
Loss = -24.5p x £4 per penny stake
Loss = -£98.00 loss

Note: HSBC Rolling Daily market quoted as of 17-Oct-12.

How to Spread Bet on Shares - Barclays Bank

How to Spread Bet on Shares: Futures Example (Barclays)

It is now July and a spread betting firm's quote for the Barclays September futures market might be 710 to 715.

If you believe that the share price will rise over the next months, you would "buy" at 715.

You would then need to decide your stake. For this example, let's say you choose a stake of £2 per penny movement.

This means that you will receive £2 for every penny the share price rises. If the futures market quote for Barclays rises for example to 750 - 755 you may decide you want to close your position to realise the profit.

An equal sized Sell bet always closes a buy bet, and vice versa. Alternatively, you can leave the bet to expire in September, when your bet will be automatically closed.

Barclays Futures Scenario 1 - Closing the Bet

Let's say the market does rise and there's a quote of 745 - 750.

You can leave your bet running or close it by selling at 745 for £2 per penny. This may be the time to lock in your profit by closing the bet.

Your profit is calculated by calculating the difference between the closing level (745) and the opening price (715) and multiplying by the stake. Note that because you have closed the bet it doesn't matter where the market settles in September.

Profit = (745 - 715) x £2 per penny stake
Profit = 30p x £2 per penny
Profit = £60 profit

Barclays Futures Scenario 2 - Letting the Bet Run

Let's say the market does rise and there's a quote of let's say 745 - 750.

However you think you're on to a good thing and you let it run. However the market decides 745 - 750 is too high and sellers push the price back to 725 at the end of September. If that happens, your bet is automatically closed at 725.

Your profit is calculated by calculating the difference between the closing level (725) and the opening price (715) and multiplying by the stake.

Profit on day = (725 - 715) x £2 per penny stake
Profit on day = 10p x £2 per penny
Profit on day = £20 profit

Barclays Futures Scenario 3 - Fall in Share Price

Of course the Barclays price could have gone down after you bought at 715.

If it closes below 715 you will make a loss. Let's say there's some bad news for Barclays and the profits aren't as high as expected. The market reacts negatively. As a result the shares fall and they close in September at 695

Your profit is calculated by calculating the difference between the closing level (695) and the opening price (715) and multiplying by the stake.

Profit / Loss = (695 - 715) x £2 per penny stake
Profit / Loss = -20p x £2 per penny
Profit / Loss = -£40 loss

Barclays market quoted as of July 2007.

Financial Spreads » "With you get all the normal
advantages of Spread Betting plus..." » read Financial Spreads review.

Trading Risk Warning
'Shares Spread Betting' edited by Jacob Wood, updated 13-Apr-17

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