Trade FTSE 100 Shares

Certainly, the most popular individual shares for spreadbetters belong to the FTSE 100. A good starting point for anyone wanting to use spread betting for profit is the list of FTSE 100 shares. The FTSE 100 is made up of the hundred biggest blue-chip companies in the UK market, and as such they represent about 80% in value of the stock market. This equates to about 9% of the global share market. Many of these companies are household names, so you have a starting point for getting to know enough about them to feel comfortable trading them.

Spread Betting FTSE 100 Shares: Company Analysis and Examples

There are 100 companies in the FTSE 100 index, but a total of 102 listings. This is because there are two classes of shares Royal Dutch Shell and Schroders.

Company Name Symbol Get more info >>
Aberdeen Asset Management ADN Aberdeen Asset Management Stock
Admiral ADM Trade Admiral Group
Aggreko AGK Aggreko PLC
Amec AMEC Trading AMEC PLC
Anglo American AAL Anglo American plc Shares
Antofagasta ANTO Trade Antofagasta plc
ARM Holdings ARM Trading Anglo ARM Holdings
Associated British Foods ABF Trade Associated British Foods
AstraZeneca AZN Spread Betting AstraZeneca | Trade AstraZeneca
Aviva AV Trading Aviva [LON:AV]
BAE Systems BA Spread Betting BAE Systems
Barclays BARC Spread Betting Barclays | Trading Barclays
BG Group BG Spread Trading BG Group
BHP Billiton BHP How to Spreadbet BHP Billiton Future
Bunzl plc BNZL Trade Bunzl plc
BP BP Spread Betting on BP
British Land BLND Spread Betting British Land Company PLC
British Sky Broadcasting BSY Spread Trading British Sky Broadcasting Group
Burberry BRBY Trade Burberry Group PLC
British American Tobacco BATS‎ Spread Bet British American Tobacco
BT Group BT.A‎ Trading BT Group
Capital Shopping Centres CSCG How to Spread Bet on Capital Shopping Centres Shares
Capita CPI Capita Group Shares
Croda International CRDA Croda’s Share Price Trading
CRH CRH Spread Trading CRH
Compass CPG Spreadbet Compass Group’s Share Price
Carnival CCL Spread Betting Carnival Shares
Centrica CNA Centrica Stock Trading
Diageo DGE Trade Diageo’s Share Price
Eurasian Natural Resources ENRC Spread Betting Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Shares
Evraz EVR Trade Evraz Shares
Experian EXPN How to Spreadbet Experian Shares
Fresnillo FRES Trade Fresnillo Shares
G4S GFS Trade G4S Shares
GKN GKN Trading GKN Shares
Glencore GLEN Glencore Shares
GlaxoSmithKline GSK Spread Betting GlaxoSmithKline
Hammerson HMSO Trade Hammerson Shares
HSBC HSBA Spread Betting on HSBC Shares Rolling Daily
IMI IMI Trading Imperial Metal Industries
IMI HL Trading Hargreaves Lansdown Stock
International Consolidated Airlines IAG Spread Bet on International Airlines Group | British Airways
Imperial Tobacco IMT Spread Bet on Imperial Tobacco Group
InterContinental Hotels IHG Trade InterContinental Hotels Shares
International Power IPR Trading International Power plc Stock
Intertek Group ITRK Trade Intertek
ITV ITV Spread Bet on ITV
Johnson Matthey JMAT Trading Johnson Matthey
John Wood Group WG Trade John Wood Group Shares
Kazakhmys KAZ How to Spread Bet on Kazakhmys (no longer in FTSE 100)
Kingfisher KGF Trade Kingfisher Shares
Land Securities LAND Spread Bet on Land Securities Group
Legal & General LGEN Spread Bet on Legal and General Shares
Lloyds LLOY Spread Bet Lloyds Banking Group Example
Marks & Spencer MKS Trade Marks & Spencer Shares
Meggitt MGGT Trade Meggitt Shares
Melrose MRO Trading Melrose PLC
Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets MRW Trade William Morrison
National Grid NG Trading National Grid Shares
Polymetal PMTL Spread Bet on Polymetal International Shares
Royal Bank of Scotland RBS Spread Betting Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Trading RBS Shares
Next NXT Spread Bet Next Rolling Daily Example
Old Mutual OML Spread Betting on Old Mutual Stock
Pearson PSON Trade Pearson Shares
Petrofac PFC Trading Petrofac Shares
Prudential PRU Spread Trading on Prudential Shares
Randgold Resources RRS Spread Bet on Randgold Resources Shares
Reckitt Benckiser RB Trading Reckitt Benckiser Group
Reed Elsevier REL Trade Reed Elsevier Shares
Resolution RSL Spread Bet on Resolution Shares
Rexam REX Trade Rexam Stock
Rio Tinto RIO Spread Bet Rio Tinto Example
Rolls-Royce RR Trade Rolls-Royce Holdings Shares
Royal & Sun Alliance RSA Royal and Sun Alliance Spread Betting
Royal Bank Of Scotland RBS Spread Betting Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Trading RBS Shares
Royal Dutch Shell B RDSB Royal Dutch Shell (B) Spread Betting
SABMiller SAB Trade SABMiller Shares
Sage SGE Spread Bet on Sage Group Shares
Sainsbury (J) SBRY Spread Betting on Sainsbury Shares
Schroders SDR Spread Trading Schroders PLC Shares
Serco Group SRP Trade Serco Group Shares
Severn Trent SVT Spread Bet on Severn Trent plc
Shire SHP Trade Shire plc
Smith & Nephew SN Spread Bet on Smith & Nephew Shares
Smiths SMIN Trade Smiths Group Shares
Standard Chartered STAN Standard Chartered Spread Betting
Standard Life SL Spread Bet on Standard Life plc Shares
Tate & Lyle TATE Spread Bet on Tate & Lyle
Tesco TSCO Spread Betting Strategy for Trading Tesco Shares
Tullow Oil TLW Spread Bet on Tullow Oil Shares
Unilever ULVR Spread Betting Unilever
United Utilities UU Spread Bet on United Utilities Group plc Shares
Vedanta Resources VED Trading Vedenta Resources
Vodafone VOD Vodafone Spread Betting
Xstrata XTA Trading Xstrata
Weir Group WEIR Spread Bet on Weir Group plc
Whitbread WTB Trading Whitbread Shares
Wolseley WOS Spread Trading on Wolseley Shares
WPP plc WPP WPP plc Shares Spread Betting

Blue chip firms are big and highly liquid meaning that spread traders benefit from very tight dealing spreads and lower margin requirements (i.e. potential of higher leverage) with most providers only requiring 5% or 10% to open positions. In addition, blue chip shares are more responsive to technical analysis and in this sense FTSE 100 equities are more predictable than smaller stocks whose moves may be controlled by market makers. In contrast, FTSE 100 shares are automatically traded on an exchange and traders should be able to enter and exit positions easily irrespective of the trade size. For instance companies like Rio Tinto and Barclays are very liquid, highly traded, and volatile within a narrow range. For spread betters and traders who day trade the markets this means that there will always be a certain degree of movement and potential profits to be made by employing technical analysis. However, arguably, the skills necessary to trade such small movements may be unfamiliar to beginner investors so some think the FTSE 100 may not the best place to start trading.

Because they are the largest companies in the UK, blue chip stocks are also heavily involved in the world markets with most being multinational in nature, which means that international happenings and economic stimuli like Quantitative Easing programmes (printing money by another name) have an effect on their share prices, another factor to be noted in your research. They are less volatile than smaller companies which means smoother movements, but this is a positive factor when you are learning to trade as you stand less chance of being caught out by large swings in prices.

Some of the most traded FTSE shares include Lloyds, RBS (RBS), Barclays (BARC), BP, BHP Billiton (BLT) and Tesco. One sector of the FTSE 100 which has been particularly hard hit in the last year is banking. It’s no secret that the financial sector has suffered considerably as a result of the global credit problems, and it is likely that there are further losses to come. Banks have had to make enormous write-downs on their accounts, which has resulted in share prices plummeting, and there is evidence that we are not out of the woods yet. The banks that are leading the slide are household names, such as Lloyds, RBS, and Standard Chartered. Banking shares are likely to be net beneficiaries from QE stimulus so keep a watchout for the possibility of further Quantitative Easing down the road from the USA, the UK and the Eurozone – especially so because the fiscal tightening that is currently evident across much of these geographies will put extra emphasis upon monetary policy to keep fragile recoveries alive.

In contrast to this, the mining sector is strong, reflecting increasing prices for basic materials which in the long-term may become in short supply due to the rise in demand from emerging markets. This includes companies such as Xstrata, and Rio Tinto.

The oil sector is a particularly troublesome one at the moment, with the shares in BP looking especially unsafe. The massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico has been repeatedly underestimated by the experts, and this continues to put pressure on the value of the company although it does appear that the worst is behind it now.

Many FTSE 100 companies also pay out decent dividends and are not going out of business easily. There are several advantages to spread betting on shares in the FTSE 100, compared to other ways of trading. For a start, spread betting is a leveraged product, meaning that your money can go further than if you traded in shares via a traditional broker which opens the possibility of bigger profits or losses on trades. Since you don’t actually own the underlying equity it is also as easy to take a short position as a long one, meaning that you can profit from share prices falling as simply as from them rising. It’s true that contracts for difference have these same advantages, but where financial spread betting scores over CFDs is in the taxation. Betting is tax exempt, but tax is due on profits from trading contracts for difference.

For some traders and traditional buy and hold investors, of course, these benefits may not offset the time and skill needed to dedicate researching the markets. However, certain markets are easier than others to manage, with FTSE 250 shares being an ideal place to start.

>> Trading FTSE 250 Shares

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