The Markets you can Trade

So far I have only discussed the major indices such as the DOW and the FTSE. Everything I have said applies to the other markets as well. If you are new to this game, I suggest you start out by trading the FTSE, as this is something you will have experience of, and an opinion about. You probably don’t have much experience of trading the Yen against the Dollor, or buying/selling potatoes.

What Markets can you Spread Trade On?

All the major markets. You can bet on the Dow Jones Index, the FTSE Index, the Nikkei Index and several others, all commodities, most currencies and many individual shares. Certainly there is enough to keep you going for a lifetime but most punters stick to one or two favourite markets. For example, I mostly trade the FTSE 100 indenx. There’s no real reason. It’s as good as anything else and I feel (probably wrong) that I know more about it than other more esoteric indices or commodities.

Here are some of the Major Indices you can typically spread trade on -:

  • FTSE 100
  • Dow Jones
  • FTSE/Wall Street Differential
  • Daily FTSE
  • S&P500
  • Nikkei 225
  • Hang Seng
  • MIB 30 (Italian)
  • IBET 35 (Spanish)
  • SOFFEX (Swiss)
  • OMX 30 (Swedish)
  • New York Stock Exchange Composite
  • CAC 40 (French)
  • DAX 30 (German)
  • ISEQ 20 (Ireland Top 20 Index)
  • All Ordinaries (Australia)
  • Gold Index (South Africa)
  • All Share Index (South Africa)
  • Industrial Index (South Africa)
  • Topix (Tokyo)
  • Nikkei 300 futures
  • FTSE 100 futures

Here are some of the Major Currencies you can typically bet on -:

  • Australian $
  • British £
  • Canadian $
  • Japanese Yen
  • New Zealand $
  • Swiss Franc
  • Swedish Krone
  • Norwegian Krone
  • USA $

Here are some of the Interest Rates you can typically bet on -:

  • Eurodollar
  • 90-day T-bills (USA)
  • 3-month Sterling Deposits
  • 90-day T-bill (Australia)
  • Euroyen

Here are some of the Commodities you can typically bet on -:

  • Cocoa (London and USA)
  • Coffee (London and USA)
  • Orange Juice (USA)
  • Potatoes (London)
  • White Sugar (London)
  • Sugar (World)
  • Cotton (USA)
  • Lumber (USA)
  • Crude Oil (USA)
  • Heating Oil (USA)
  • Gas Oil (London)
  • Unleaded Gasoline (USA)
  • Brent Crude (London)
  • Gold (USA)
  • Palladium (USA)
  • Platinum (USA)
  • Silver (USA)
  • Aluminium (USA)
  • Copper (London)
  • Copper High Grade (London)
  • Lead (London)
  • Nickel (London)
  • Zinc (London)
  • Tin (London)

Here are some of the Gain and Livestock you can typically bet on -:

  • Corn (USA)
  • Oats (USA)
  • Soya Beans (USA)
  • Soya Bean Meal (USA)
  • Soya Bean Oil (USA)
  • London Wheat (London)
  • Wheat (USA)
  • Cattle, Live (USA)
  • Hogs, Live (USA)\
  • Pork Bellies, frozen (USA)

As for spread betting equity markets, the range of shares you can spread bet on is absolutely vast and includes all the FTSE constituents (FTSE 100, FTSE 250 stocks) Dow shares, the S&P500 equity and all main European and NASDAQ stocks as well. Some spread betting providers even quote small caps and AIM stocks!

Some spread betting providers also allows bets on traded options. Betting on options is for more sophisticated players who know and understand these complex derivative markets. It is well outside the province of the beginner, and whom this guide is intended

Many spread bettors get into the field because they specialise in a certain industry or companies. Say, for instance, that you’re particularly interested in an index – such as the FTSE – and you have a knack for getting the market direction right.  It can be extremely rewarding when your expert knowledge allows you to trade in something and get good profits back, and as far as the benefits of spread betting go, this is a big one. As players have found with poker and some other table games, the chances of getting a return from spread betting are increased if you’ve honed the skill.  This is one area where knowledge of the markets and an ability to recognise trends actually pays!

Some other benefits of spread betting include the ability to place a small bet (and thus the stock markets become more accessible to those who can’t afford to invest directly in them).  However, the fact that gains are tax-exempt is usually the most attractive quality of all the advantages of this trading vehicle. Within the UK, the current tax laws state that spread bets are exempt from capital gains tax, and because there is also no stamp duty to be paid (only necessary when you buy actual shares) trading via this medium is particularly tax-efficient. Of course tax laws are subject to change, however.