FTSE UK Index

Launched in 1984, the entire FTSE (Financial Times Stock Exchange) consists of in excess of six hundred companies, that make up approximately 98% of UK market capitalization. This guide will walk you through becoming a FTSE 100 & 250 day trader, covering strategy, plus how to compare FTSE brokers and platforms. We also list the top online brokers with access to the FTSE 100 in 2024.

FTSE 100 Brokers

These are the 5 best brokers for trading on the FTSE UK Index:

#1 - Exness

Why We Chose Exness

Exness is a Cyprus-based forex and CFD brokerage established in 2008. With over 260,000 clients, several awards and reputable licensing, the broker has maintained its position as a highly respected global brand. Active day traders can access the popular MT4 and MT5 platforms, raw spreads and multiple account types.

"Exness remains an accessible broker for all experience levels, though experienced day traders will particularly appreciate the ultra-low commission rates, fast withdrawals and high-quality charting software."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Crypto
  • Regulator: FSA, CySEC, FCA, FSCA, FSC, CBCS
  • Platforms: Exness Trade App, MT4, MT5, TradingCentral
  • Minimum Deposit: $10
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:2000

Stock Exchanges

Exness offers trading on 9 stock exchanges:

  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange

#2 - Pepperstone

Why We Chose Pepperstone

Established in Australia in 2010, Pepperstone is a top-rated forex and CFD broker with over 400,000 clients worldwide. It offers access to 1,300+ instruments on leading platforms MT4, MT5, cTrader and TradingView, maintaining low, transparent fees. Pepperstone is also regulated by trusted authorities like the FCA, ASIC, and CySEC, ensuring a secure environment for day traders at all levels.

"Pepperstone stands out as a top choice for day trading, offering razor-sharp spreads, ultra-fast execution, and advanced charting platforms for experienced traders. New traders are also welcomed with no minimum deposit, extensive educational resources, and exceptional 24/7 support."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Currency Indices, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, ETFs, Crypto, Spread Betting
  • Regulator: FCA, ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, CMA, BaFin, SCB
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, AutoChartist, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $0
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (Retail), 1:500 (Pro)

Stock Exchanges

Pepperstone offers trading on 22 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Deutsche Boerse
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Korean Stock Exchange
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange
  • Shanghai Stock Exchange
  • Shenzhen Stock Exchange
  • Taiwan Stock Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange

#3 - XM

Why We Chose XM

XM is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker with 10+ million clients in 190+ countries. Since 2009, this trusted broker has been known for its low fees on 1000+ instruments. XM is regulated by multiple financial bodies, including the ASIC and CySEC.

"XM is one of the best forex and CFD brokers we have tested. The flexible account types will suit a variety of short-term trading styles while the $5 minimum deposit and smooth sign-up process make it easy to start trading."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: Forex, Stock CFDs, Turbo Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Precious Metals, Energies, Shares, Crypto, Futures
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, DFSA, FSC, FSCA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots

Stock Exchanges

XM offers trading on 14 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • Borsa Italiana
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Deutsche Boerse
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • IBEX 35
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • Nasdaq
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange

#4 - IC Markets

Why We Chose IC Markets

IC Markets is a globally recognized forex and CFD broker known for its excellent pricing, comprehensive range of trading instruments, and premium trading technology. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Australia, the brokerage is regulated by the ASIC, CySEC and FSA, and has attracted more than 180,000 clients from over 200 countries.

"IC Markets offers superior pricing, exceptionally fast execution and seamless deposits. The introduction of advanced charting platforms, notably TradingView, and the Raw Trader Plus account, ensures it remains a top choice for intermediate to advanced day traders."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities, Bonds, Futures, Crypto
  • Regulator: ASIC, CySEC, FSA
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, cTrader, TradingView, TradingCentral, DupliTrade
  • Minimum Deposit: $200
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots
  • Leverage: 1:30 (ASIC & CySEC), 1:500 (FSA), 1:1000 (Global)

Stock Exchanges

IC Markets offers trading on 12 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • IBEX 35
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500

#5 - Eightcap

Why We Chose Eightcap

"Eightcap delivers in every area for day traders with a growing selection of charting platforms and AI-powered tools. Now sporting 250+ crypto CFDs and the Crypto Crusher market scanner, it's also become a stand-out choice for crypto trading, winning our 'Best Crypto Broker' award two years in a row."

- DayTrading Review Team
  • Instruments: CFDs, Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities
  • Regulator: ASIC, FCA, xCySEC, SCB
  • Platforms: MT4, MT5, TradingView
  • Minimum Deposit: $100
  • Minimum Trade: 0.01 Lots

Stock Exchanges

Eightcap offers trading on 16 stock exchanges:

  • Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)
  • CAC 40 Index France
  • DAX GER 40 Index
  • Dow Jones
  • Euronext
  • FTSE UK Index
  • Hang Seng
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange
  • Japan Exchange Group
  • London Stock Exchange
  • Nasdaq
  • New York Stock Exchange
  • Russell 2000
  • S&P 500
  • SIX Swiss Exchange
  • Toronto Stock Exchange

How To Compare FTSE Brokers

If you want to start day trading the FTSE 100 or 250 to make money, you will need to follow two important steps, starting with choosing an online brokerage.

FTSE brokers will be your gateway to the market. They will facilitate your trades and their platform is where you may spend hours each day. However, with so many brokers that support trading on the FTSE, what should you look for?

Choosing between FTSE brokers is one of the most important investment decisions you will make. The FTSE is a highly competitive marketplace, so do your homework and check reviews first.

What Is The FTSE?

A Brief History

The ‘footsie’ is the primary stock exchange in the UK and remains today the largest in Europe. Its humble origins date back to 1773, but the regional exchanges merged in 1973 to become the Stock Exchange of Great Britain and Ireland. This was later rebranded the LSE, which stands for the London Stock Exchange. Today’s name comes from the merging of initials from the Financial Times and London Stock Exchange, both of whom used to own 50% of the index.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is the most globally diverse of all stock exchanges, containing 350 companies from over 50 countries. During market hours, it is an elite source of equity-market liquidity and serves as a benchmark for prices and market data across Europe.

FTSE Indexes

FTSE 100

If you’re looking for shares and stocks to buy, you head to FTSE 100 brokers. Today it is seen as the dominant index, containing the 100 UK stocks with the highest market capitalization (number of shares issued multiplied by the price of shares). These are also known as ‘blue chips.’

It contains some of the most famous companies in the world. Currently, the top 50 include oil and energy companies such as Shell and BP, plus Lloyds bank, Vodafone, and Glencore. Huge mining and property businesses also feature in the top 100.

Other Indexes

Although the FTSE 100 represents approximately 81% of LSE market capitalization, it’s also worth noting there are other indices. The other two main lists are the:

There also exists three other indexes worth understanding:

Component companies must meet the stringent requirements laid out by the FTSE group. This includes having a full listing on the London Stock Exchange with a sterling or euro denominated price on the Stock Exchange Electronic Trading Service. They must also meet tests on nationality, free float, plus liquidity.

The FTSE is made up of a significant number of index series. Each focuses on varying aspects and are based on different sectors, including those that are geared towards certain companies. You will also find some are alternatively weighted, plus those that concentrate on fixed income.

Note, not all FTSE brokers will provide access to each index. Instead, the top brokers that offer trading on the FTSE focus on the top 100 index.

What Is The FTSE Used For?

What is the meaning and aim of the FTSE? At a glance, the FTSE 100 list offers a snapshot of UK stock market performance.  In theory, the FTSE also acts as a gauge for overall UK economic health. However, since so many of the featured companies are international in nature with operations slung across the globe, whether this is entirely accurate is debatable.

It is often a relatively accurate reflection of economic and international events. This is evidenced by the fact that the greatest one-day percentage drop was on the 20th October 1987 at 12.22%, following ‘Black Monday’. So, the FTSE indexes will plummet in response to other failing markets.

Aside from its primary use, it is also used by thousands of individuals every week to try and make a profit from the price fluctuations in the listed shares via FTSE brokers. This is because if you track the FTSE over time you can get a feel for changes in market sentiment. You have probably heard the phrase the index is ‘up’ or ‘down’. The former is when more people are buying than selling, leading to a rise in share prices. If the index slumps, people are dumping their shares.

How you can start investing with brokers that support trading on the FTSE to generate earnings will be detailed further below.

How The FTSE Works

Weighting

Share prices are weighted by market capitalization. This means smaller companies will have less of an impact on an index.

Part of the basic formula is concerned with the free float adjustment factor. This represents the percentage of all issues shares that are accessible to trade. That factor will then be rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5%.

To find the free float capitalization of a company, you will first have to calculate its market capitalization (number of shares x share price). Once you have that, you multiply by its free-float factor.

This means free-float capitalization will not include restricted stocks. Those held by company insiders, for example.

High Volume FTSE Stocks

Top FTSE 100 Companies By Trading Volume
Stock Symbol Trade
Barclays BARC
Lloyds Bank LLOY
Vodafone VOD
BP BP

FTSE Changes

The FTSE listed companies are ranked by a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group. The company list is best described as a football league. Those that decrease in market capitalization will be relegated, whilst the high performers will be promoted.

Those changes are made each quarter. Normally, the review dates are the Wednesday following the first Friday in March, June, September, and December. Changes that are made will be based on company valuations after the close of business the night before reviews will be conducted. The panel that makes the changes consist of independent market experts and announces new entrants. Specifications can be found via FTSE brokers’ platform interface, with company list changes reflected.

To establish those changes a banding system is used. You must be in the top 90 to be eligible for promotion. To be relegated, you must have dropped to 111th.

Mergers and takeovers are often big reasons behind position moves. Growth and trends in global markets also have an influence on FTSE risers and fallers.

Performance can be seen in real time, with daily updates, plus live updates every 15 seconds during trading hours. The opening time is 08:00 (UK Local time – GMT in winter, BST in summer) and the closing time, 16:30. The closing value is then taken at 16:35.

Points To Remember

Below some of the most important FTSE facts and stats have been highlighted and explained. Bear these in mind when investing via FTSE brokers:

Performance Points

It is worth knowing that if sterling falls, many listed companies will actually see their profits increase. This is because they receive more pounds when revenues denominated in foreign currencies are transferred into sterling. Top-rated FTSE brokers offer user-friendly insights into forex activity.

In recent years, the index has rested around an all-time high. This is because global equity (stock) prices have been pushed higher, firstly by low-interest rates. However, also because of quantitive easing measures, which is when a central bank buys securities from the government or market to lower interest rates, increasing the money supply.

Impact Of Brexit

Interestingly, Brexit has meant the big companies and movers listed in the FTSE 100 are even more global because they need to rely less on the UK domestic economy.

As such, Rentokil Initial was one of the biggest 250 risers to be promoted to the FTSE 100, benefiting from the drop in the pound. On the flip side, domestic-based householder Berkely became one of the recent FTSE losers and was relegated.

Biggest Players

Some of the largest FTSE businesses dominate the index. Shell, for example, currently has a market capitalization of over 200 million. You will also find banks towards the top of the list, such as HSBC, with over 153 million. Other top contenders include British American Tobacco with around 113 million and BP with approximately 102 million. Keep an eye out for these on the list of stocks offered by FTSE brokers.

These are currently the four constituents with over 100 million in market capitalization. The combined size of the top four is larger than nearly the rest of the list combined. This is the effect of having a market capitalization-weighted system.

Choosing A FTSE Stock

With such a competitive marketplace at your fingertips, choosing the right stock to trade will make all the difference to your final profits. Having said that, there are two main attributes to look for in a stock, volume, and volatility. Both will enable you to enter and exit positions quickly, whilst offering the greatest opportunity to turn a profit.

Volume

This is simply the total number of shares being traded within a certain period. Each transaction will increase the total volume. So, if only thirty transactions take place today, the volume for the day would be thirty.

Volume is an effective quality factor, that gives weight to market moves. If you see a spike in your FTSE 100 live chart, the validity of the move can be gauged by the volume within that period. The greater the volume, the more substantial the move.

Applying Volume

The more capital you have, the more you need FTSE stocks with substantial volumes. Your FTSE brokers may offer you a list of the top 20-25 stocks. However, expanding that search with a thorough stock screener could make all the difference.

Below are three popular alternatives.

All will collate essential information, including volume, volatility, stock price, and other points of interest.

Whether you’re looking at the FTSE now, today, or tomorrow, you will need an effective FTSE 100 and 250 live index tracker and screener. So, it’s worth shopping around now to save yourself an expensive headache later.

Volatility

When you load up your live FTSE index in the morning, you should also look for volatility in your stocks. This is the amount of risk and unpredictability in the size of changes in a security’s value. High volatility suggests the value could be spread over a large range of values. This could be an indicator that the price of the stock could significantly fluctuate in a short period.

This provides the switched on day trader with the opportunity to turn a profit. Stocks with lower volatility will remain steady, offering less profit potential.

Applying Volatility

An effective way of establishing the volatility of a potential FTSE stock is to use beta. Beta predicts the total volatility of a stock’s returns against the returns of a suitable benchmark. For example, a stock with a beta value of 1.1 has moved around 110% for every 100% in the corresponding benchmark (contingent on price level). Likewise, a stock with a beta of just .7 has shifted just 70% for every 100% in the benchmark index.

Being armed with information on a stock’s volume and volatility, allows you to validate a price move and screen a stock for profit potential. And fortunately, the best FTSE brokers will offer beginner-friendly volatility indicators and tools.

Strategy

Trading stocks at FTSE brokers have been around long before futures, options, and bitcoin trading. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it straightforward. So, once you have chosen between FTSE brokers. you will need an effective strategy to turn a profit.

The best strategies analyse market data using charts and patterns. Quite simply, with historical price data to hand, you can better predict future price movements.

Technical analysis is a mixture of art and science, and it is a craft that requires patience and experience to master.

Set Up

For the best chances of success, you often need to be up early. Experienced investors like to be sat at their screen around 30 minutes before the FTSE opens at 08:00 (UK local time). The top FTSE brokers may permit extended hours trading meaning you can buy or sell securities when major markets are closed. Nonetheless, any preparation time allows you time to get ahead of the game, by doing the following:

1. Check The News

Look to see if there have been any news events overnight that will impact today’s market, and if so, which stocks in particular. You can then formulate trade setups that present themselves in the aftermath of major news events. Terrorist incidents, plus political and economic stories can all influence the market, particularly when the market opens.

FTSE brokers with integrated economic calendars will rank highly here. You will be able to view scheduled dates of significant releases or events that may affect the movement of individual security prices or markets via one interface.

2. Context

You can use any number of FTSE charts, from 1, 2, and 5 minutes, to 2 and 4-hour charts. All will allow you to assess price action. However, using hour timeframes is often an effective way to assess market sentiment.

With longer timeframes, you’re in a better position to identify where a current stock is in a trend. You can then look for momentum trades, pullback reversals, or you can trade in trend channels and make reversal trades from the top of a trend.

It can often be helpful to plot horizontal lines to pencil in your judgement on the top and bottom of the trending range.

3. 5-Minute Chart Preparation

Once you have set up the above, you can then concentrate on your 5-minute timeframe chart. Placing four horizontal support and resistance lines on your 5-minute chart is often a good place to start. These can be positioned at the four most significant levels of the last trading session, the opening and close price, plus the daily low and high. These levels often play a significant role the next day.

You can then use a MACD indicator or Stochastic to gauge whether the momentum is bullish or bearish. Having the 8, 20 and 90 EMAs on your chart can also prove useful.

4. Making Trades

You have now set up your charts at FTSE brokers, giving you the context and crucial foundations for the day ahead. You have identified what to look for in terms of possible reversals, pullbacks, plus trend continuation trends. The next thing you need to do is watch those 5-minute candlesticks form. You are looking for telling patterns that will emerge throughout the day. FTSE price action analysis is an important component of successful trading.

The majority of your day will now be noting what happens at your key levels. The pin bar candlesticks, inside and outside bars, plus traps will be the events in your day that offer the most opportunity.

You will have just a few seconds to confirm whether the candlestick pattern reinforces your trend-lines, support and resistance levels. For example, is a head and shoulders pattern confirmed by a current price action? As soon as the market confirms your signal, you can then enter a trade. You will need to use a risk management strategy to decide upon the size of your trade. In general, trading no more than 1-2% of your account balance on a single trade is advised.

This is just one way to go about day trading with FTSE brokers. Many traders prefer using longer time frames. You can fiddle around and try a few to see what system paints you the clearest picture.

10 & 25 Exponential Moving Averages

As a beginner looking to start trading at FTSE brokers, using 10 and 25 exponential moving averages on a 30-minute time frame is a good place to start. This is a system that is also effective in other markets, including the S&P, Dax 40, and Dow Jones.

Once 10 crosses the 25, you will get an alert for the trade. Then you need to identify when the price hits the 25 EMA. If the 10 comes up and through the 25, you need to look for a long. However, if the 10 drops down through the 25, you should look for a short.

Using a fast and slow moving average in this strategy, you will reduce whipsaw price action. This will help you enter trades with weight to them. This straightforward strategy is best for when you are at your desk analyzing the price action yourself.

For further guidance, example charts, patterns, and strategies, see our stocks and strategy guides.

FTSE Tips

News

Although mentioned above, this top tip deserves emphasising. Reading the latest news is important, as highlighted by successful FTSE day trader David Rogerson. You need to be able to anticipate market moves and news stories often trigger significant shifts.

Today you can find FTSE live news reports and updates from a variety of sources. Yahoo and Bloomberg are just two popular sources. FTSE news websites can offer 2024 forecasts and predictions. They will often collate historical price data, share values, sector positions, plus long-term overviews. Not to mention they will usually provide the FTSE open and close of the previous day.

The best FTSE brokers will consolidate the latest news into digestible publications found via your client portal dashboard. All will help you get a feel for who the FTSE gainers and fallers will be.

Educational Resources

As successful trader Paul Tudor Jones pointed out, “Intellectual capital will always trump financial capital.” Utilize the multitude of resources out there. The best FTSE brokers will integrate some of these into their service offering:

It could also be worth exploring the large number of FTSE focussed websites out there. Whether you are looking for last week and last 12 month reviews, or next week and future FTSE predictions, there are numerous sites who have already done the heavy lifting for you. You can just glean the important information from a summary. Some will even offer 5 and 10-year predictions.

Automation

Once you’ve mastered an effective FTSE strategy, you may want to consider turning to trading automation. Algorithms and FTSE 100 day trading robots will execute trades on your behalf, following pre-determined criteria. This will allow you to make a higher volume of trades across more FTSE indexes than you would be able to manually. All of this could lead to an increase in your end of day profits.

FTSE brokers may offer trading signals, robots and algo builders for free download, or look out for third-party options without an additional investment requirement.

Journals

Although overlooked, keeping a journal can be a wise move. You can use an excel spreadsheet or specialist software. All you need to do is keep a note of the following:

With this information to hand, you will find it easier to analyze your recent performance. This will allow you to rectify mistakes and improve your strategy. Without a journal it could be months before you identify why and where you are going wrong.

The majority of FTSE brokers also offer access to a demo account meaning you can put your skills to the test before entering the live trading environment. Improve your strategy risk-free with virtual funds.

Final Word On FTSE Brokers

FTSE 100 and 350 predictions and rankings will continue to change. That change offers a snapshot of UK and international economic performance. For the switched on investor, these indices and markets offer a tremendous opportunity to profit from the price fluctuations seen every day.

Use our guide to compare FTSE brokers providing stable market access to succeed with your strategy. Also utilize the numerous resources available and follow the tips and strategy advice listed above to join the FTSE winners.