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Trading index: What Are Indices and How Do They Work? IG International


A market capitalisation weighted index uses the value of its constituent companies to rank them. Market cap is calculated by multiplying a company’s stock price by the number of outstanding shares. Companies with the largest market capitalisation will have the highest influence over the index’s value. In price-weighted indices, the stocks are weighted in proportion to their share price rather than the size of the company. This means that companies with the highest share prices have a stronger impact on the value of the index.

The strength of successful long-term traders is not in their ability to make many winning trades. These traders may average winning percentages that range from 50 to 60%. They aim to ensure that they lose less money than they make on profitable trades. XTB covers indices from most of the popular exchanges around the world.

75% of retail client accounts lose money when trading CFDs, with this investment provider. You should consider whether you understand how this product works, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Trading an index refers to buying and selling a financial product that is linked to an index of stocks or other assets. Index trading is a popular way for new traders to gain broad exposure to financial markets without owning company stocks, bonds, commodities or currencies directly. For traders looking to speculate from a short-term position, cash indices are used to trade an index intraday.


The market cap of each company is calculated based on free float shares publicly available for trading. A company’s free float market cap is lower than its total market cap, as it excludes shares held by company insiders. The FTSE 100 and DAX 40 are examples of market-value-weighted indices. You can profit from index trading by accurately predicting an index’s price movements. For example, if you think the FTSE 100 will rise, you would open a long position.

Develop risk management rules that prevent you from entering into low odd trades. Indices don’t have any intrinsic value, and do not signify a share of ownership in a company. Go long or short on the UK 100 , DE 30 and US 30 and many more indices with some of the lowest spreads available.

Open and monitor your trade

But if Tesla is trading at $730, and has only 960 million shares outstanding, its weight is $700 billion. Although Tesla trades at a higher price, Apple has a stronger weight in an index due to the company having a larger market capitalization. The most financial advisors recommend trading the index as a risk management strategy. Volatility is averaged out amongst the various companies, whereas if you are invested in just one, your entire investment is exposed to the volatility of just one company’s stock. Once you have identified support and resistance, you could set up take-profit, stop-loss and limit orders if you want to automate buying and selling the index within the trading range. Index trading can also pose a lower risk than foreign exchange trading.


An investor with a collection of different shares might short an index to protect themselves from losses in their portfolio. If the market enters a downturn and their shares start to lose value, the short position on the index will increase in value – offsetting the losses from the stocks. However, if the stocks increased in value, the short index position would offset a proportion of the profits which had been made. Adjusted market capitalisation (or cap-weighted) is used to track a number of companies based on the adjusted market capitalisation of the constituent stocks.

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If you trade a company stock and the company goes bankrupt, you can lose your investment. But if one company in an index rebalances regularly, the failing stock would be replaced by the next largest company outside the index. Elections and other political events can affect stock and FX market performance. Stock indices weighted towards companies that generate most of their revenues abroad can be influenced by currency exchange rates. Benchmark stock market indices are often referred to in financial news reports. They’re considered indicators of business confidence, performance and economic health.


Because of our ultra-fast execution and price feeds, there are no requotes when trading with us whatsoever. Your order will always be executed at the requested price – instant orders, every time. FOREX.com is compensated by the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask prices.

To find this value, multiply the number of outstanding shares by the current market value of a single share from the company. Stock indices are the most popular and actively traded, however, because they consist of a basket of stocks from top companies traded on a particular stock exchange. For instance, the FTSE 100 index is composed of 100 of the largest firms on the London Stock Exchange.

Learn everything you need to know about index trading and discover the top global stock market indices. Contains stock prices from some of the biggest names in the agriculture industry, including Beyond Meat, Archer-Daniels and Ingredion Incorporated. It tracks the performance of a basket of stocks from social media companies. The challenge of investing in index funds or ETFs for a retail trader is the high minimum investment amount required by some brokers. However, most indices either use a price-weighted or value-weighted formula. To understand how they differ, let’s look at them both more closely.

Indices Trading with easyMarkets

Comparatively, index trading allows the investor to profit from any kind of stock market movement no matter if the market rises or falls in value over any given time period. This kind of trading enables the investor to trade and profit in all sorts of market conditions. While stock trading speculates on the value of an individual stock, forex trading speculates on the value of a currency. Note that the forex market is highly liquid and available 24 hours a day except weekends as currencies trade across time zones. Indices trading means that you are taking a position on a stock index – which is measure of the performance of several different companies. Indices trading can be a way to get exposure to an entire sector or economy at once, without having to open positions on lots of different shares.

ETFs and shares

FXTM offers over 60 currency pairs, including EURUSD with spreads as low as zero. Products FXTM offers hundreds of major US and EU stock CFDs, see the full list here. FOREX.com may, from time to time, offer payment processing services with respect to card deposits through StoneX Financial Ltd, Moor House First Floor, 120 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5ET. Take control of your trading with powerful trading platforms and resources designed to give you an edge.

Every one of the world’s major financial markets has at least one stock index to represent it. For example, the S&P 500 is an index of the 500 largest companies in the US. As these benchmark indices often reflect the performance of the overall stock market, movement in the benchmark’s value indicates the health of the economy or industry sector it tracks. Many traders will close their cash indices positions at the end of the trading day and open new positions the following morning to avoid paying overnight funding charges. Most stock market indices are calculated according to the market capitalisation of their component companies.

Indices are useful because they help investors gauge the general state of a country’s economy. Investors in the US, for example, may look to indices like the S&P 500 to gain an understanding of how the US economy is performing. Likewise, UK investors may look to the FTSE 100 and German investors may look to the DAX 30. Japan’s premier stock market index, the Nikkei consists of 225 top-rated companies from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, including prominent Japanese brands such as Toyota and Panasonic.

Our suite of trading platforms has been custom built to deliver maximum performance, flexibility and speed. You’ll benefit from sophisticated trading features, professional charting tools, integrated market insights and more. Authorised and regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in the Republic of Cyprus at 19 Diagorou Str. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and is subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. The nature and extent of consumer protections may differ from those for firms based in the UK.

Your profit or loss is determined by the extent to which your forecast is correct. If the index rises, your index position will earn a profit, counteracting a proportion of the losses on your short stock positions. However, some popular indices – including the Dow Jones Industrial Average – are price-weighted. This method gives greater weighting to companies with higher share prices, meaning that changes in their values will have a greater effect on the current price of an index. AxiTrader is 100% owned by AxiCorp Financial Services Pty Ltd, a company incorporated in Australia . Over-the-counter derivatives are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing substantially more than your initial investment rapidly due to leverage.

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