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What is the FTSE 100?

An overview of the Financial Times Stock Exchange Group

The FTSE 100 is a major stock market index in the UK, comprising the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange based on market capitalisation. Traders and investors view the FTSE 100 as a crucial indicator of the UK stock market and economy. In this guide, I will discuss its history, the components used in calculating it, and how it compares to other indices.

Also consider: My guide on how to invest in FTSE 100

Key Takeaways:

  • The FTSE 100 is a stock market index representing the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • The FTSE 100 is composed of companies meeting certain criteria and weighted by free-float adjusted market capitalisation, providing investors with an insight into UK economic performance.
  • Investment vehicles for the FTSE 100 include index funds, ETFs, and stocks. Trading strategies involve technical analysis to achieve financial goals with reasonable risk tolerance and time commitment.

Demystifying the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 index, which stands for Financial Times Stock Exchange, is comprised of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange based on their market capitalisation.

This leading indicator in regard to UK stock markets often provides a good idea as to how well the economy is doing, even though it may not always be accurate. Investors use this as an important tool when gauging performance in order to make informed decisions about stocks within these markets.

The largest companies are usually seen at the forefront and become popular benchmarks based on what can be observed by monitoring different economies of countries, such as those represented through trading on London’s famous LSE (London Stock Exchange).

Origins of the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 Index, which is maintained and managed by the London Stock Exchange Group after being formed as a joint venture between the Financial Times and LSE in 1984, has proven to be of great use to investors. It provides them with an indication of how the UK’s largest companies are performing overall.

By carefully monitoring the index value, it can give people insights into their investments while following stock market fluctuations within these major corporations that trade at the exchanges.

Significance of the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 is a significant measure of the accomplishments of the top hundred organisations exchanged on the London Stock Exchange and works as an indication for assessing how well the UK economy is doing.

It is imperative to understand that the index value may not be exact in demonstrating prosperity in the UK, since some of the constituent companies among its members are multinational businesses with operations abroad.

Consequently, it can likewise be impacted by outside market patterns or developments in international markets when they open up again.

Components of the FTSE 100

The FTSE 100, an index managed by the FTSE Group, which is made up of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), these blue chip companies must meet exact requirements to be eligible and reflect a variety of industry sectors.

This section will discuss what selection criteria blue chip firms need to pass as well as look into the different industries they come from.

Selection Criteria

The FTSE 100 is an exclusive club of top public companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which have to meet liquidity criteria, as well as being among the largest entities based on market capitalisation. This figure can be derived by taking a company’s share price and multiplying it with its available shares for trading through account opening procedures.

Every quarter, monitoring body FTSE Russell inspects how accurately this index characterises what’s going on in terms of markets – if modifications are necessary then changes like promotion or demotion between divisions such as FTSE 250 & FTSE 100 may result accordingly.

Industry Sectors

The FTSE 100 index offers investors in the UK exposure to an array of industries, such as oil, mining, pharmaceuticals, banking, and both retail and consumer goods. It provides a comprehensive picture of the market by encompassing different business sectors giving individuals a balanced portfolio for their investments.

Calculating the FTSE 100 Index

The FTSE 100 is calculated using market capitalisation weighting to ascertain each firm’s influence on the index. This guide will provide more information about this kind of weighting and how it’s updated every three months for accuracy in the FTSE 100 chart.

These reviews are done regularly to ensure that the companies represented within it truly reflect their performance levels while calculating the index of the 100 biggest companies.

Market Capitalisation Weighting

The FTSE 100 is indexed according to the free-float adjusted market capitalisation, which measures a company’s publicly traded share value. This weighting methodology reflects how larger companies with higher market caps play an outsized role in influencing the overall index value.

It’s important to note that the free-float adjusted market cap differs from the full market cap as it only considers floating stock or shares available for public trading instead of the closing value of all stocks – giving investors a more accurate gauge of activity within the markets.

Quarterly Reviews

FTSE Russell carries out reviews on the FTSE 100 index four times a year, in March, June, September, and December. This helps ensure that the benchmark remains an accurate reflection of the market it represents. To minimize substantial turnover levels within this period, buffer zones are used to determine if companies should stay in or be promoted/demoted from the FTSE 100 depending on their market capitalization when reviewed by FTSE Russell.

Comparing the FTSE 100 to Other Indices

It is important to gain an understanding of market tendencies and performance by comparing the FTSE 100 with other indices both in the UK and abroad. I explore how well this index performs when compared to British counterparts as well as some major global ones.

UK Indices

The FTSE 100 is just one of many indices that track UK markets. Other included ones are the FTSE 250, FTSE 350, and FTSE Smallcap as well as All-Share. Comparing all these different indices can be helpful in assessing a wide range of sectors within this market.

For instance, when compared to the FTSE 100, it’s evident that the FTSE 250 covers an expansive array of industries with its weighting being more balanced overall than what we find on the former index mentioned above.

Global Indices

Comparing the FTSE 100 to other indices across the globe such as the S&P 500 and DJIA is an important tool for making informed investment decisions. By studying these global markets, we can gain a better understanding of economic trends while also recognizing opportunities for diversifying portfolios.

It’s imperative that investors are aware of any discrepancies between different regional benchmarks when it comes to performance so they’re able to properly analyse their investments. Looking at how local markets fared against international ones, provides insight into today’s economy and offers valuable information on which individuals or institutions should directly invest accordingly.

Investing in the FTSE 100

Investing in the FTSE 100 can be an example of an extremely effective strategy to gain exposure to Britain’s top companies and diversify your portfolio. In this part, we will study multiple investment instruments as well as trading techniques so you maximize returns with regard to your investments within the FTSE 100.

These include purchasing single stocks or investing in ETFs which track the underlying assets, among others.

Investment Vehicles

For those wishing to invest in the FTSE 100, there are a few options available. Investors may look into buying index funds or Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) which track and reflect the performance of the companies making up this FTSE Index, allowing them exposure with one investment only. Alternatively, they could opt for direct trading accounts investing in specific stocks from these same businesses on stock exchanges, thus giving investors more control over their portfolio while requiring increased oversight and involvement compared to owning an ETF or fund connected to all constituent firms within the FTSE 100 itself.

Trading Strategies

When trading the FTSE 100, there are many strategies traders can use to maximize profits.

Technical analysis is a popular method for predicting price movements by looking at past data points and using those as an indicator of future performance.

Electronic trading has made it easier than ever before for investors to access markets quickly and accurately in order to take advantage of short-, medium- or long-term swings on the market with scalping, day trading, swing trading, or position trades – whatever fits their particular financial goals best given their risk tolerance level and commitment towards capitalising from fluctuations within individual share prices.

To make sure they’re getting a return on investment when embarking upon any sort of trade involving the FTSE index – be that local equities or international indexes – traders need only ensure they have weighed up which style suits them based upon how much time they are willing to invest into actively tracking changes in value across all assets listed under FTSE listings.

The Impact of Economic Factors on the FTSE 100

When investing in the FTSE 100, it is important for investors to understand various economic factors that can influence its performance and returns. These include interest rates, inflation, and global market trends. Interest rates determine the cost of borrowing, which impacts companies listed on the FTSE.

While changes in purchasing power resulting from inflation also have an impact on firms included within this index.

Global markets may affect not only those businesses registered under the FTSE but also other parts of the financial sector outside our borders too, making it a key factor to be aware of when evaluating potential investments through stock exchanges such as this one here at home.


Investing in the FTSE 100 is an important decision that requires understanding its core components, calculation methods and its relation to the UK economy. The index comprises stocks from the largest companies listed on London Stock Exchange (LSE) and serves as a reliable indicator for investors looking to make investments that can benefit them monetarily while taking into account fluctuating economic conditions.

Knowing current market trends combined with a thorough comprehension of this dynamic tool helps ensure profitable investments without putting finances at risk.

What is the FTSE 100? FAQs

What is the FTSE 100?

The FTSE 100 is an index of the UK’s biggest companies, as listed on the London Stock Exchange, based on their market capitalization. It reflects a stock exchange’s selection of one hundred firms with maximum value in terms of stocks traded.

What does FTSE stand for?

FTSE stands for ‘Financial Times Stock Exchange’, which is owned by the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) and produces stock market indices based on the share prices of the 100 largest, most actively traded companies on the LSE.
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