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Indices

Trade your opinion of the world's largest stock indices with low spreads and enhanced execution.

What Are Indices

Stock indices give you a chance to trade an opinion of an economy without having to pick individual stocks. With unique benefits to CFD trading, indices are some of the most popular products to trade.

Market Index: A Collection of Stocks

Historically, investors needed a way to analyze the overall performance of the market. After all, you could never make a statement on the US economy by only looking at, say, Apple Inc.'s stock. This need begat the stock index, generally a collection of top-performing stocks grouped and averaged to give a quick glance at the market as a whole.

An index is a good way to look at particular markets, but for investors, it offers a way to gauge the performance of their individual portfolios, so underperforming specific investments can be adjusted to be more in line with the general trend of the market.

Indices can have a variety of variables. For starters, the number of stocks in any particular index can vary wildly, from a few dozen companies to thousands. The price of an index is found through weighing. Price-weighted indices are averaged based on the price of each component stock. Capitalization-weighted indices adjust the calculation based on the size of the companies included. Many other factors are represented depending on the stock index in question.

These days, there are hundreds of stock indices globally, representing companies nationally, regionally, globally, and even by industry.

Stock Index CFD: Trading on Margin

Investing in stocks has a wide appeal globally, but the barrier to entry can often be high. Say you want to invest in an economy through an index to attempt to mirror the performance of that economy. You could simply buy shares in all the stocks on the index, but that could get costly, especially in light of broker's fees for transactions. Some turn to the futures market, trading the index through an ETF. The ETF is a fund that has shares in all the stocks in the index. With ETFs, you generally have 100% margin, meaning you have to put up the full value of the index to participate.

  • FXCM's index products, however, are traded as contracts for difference (CFDs). With CFDs, you have the advantage of trading on margin. You put up a fraction of the capital and still get the full value of the trade. But that's not the only benefit.
  • Trading indices as CFDs removes the barrier to trading. When you trade on the futures market, you have settlement periods. Short selling is typically impossible without a significant account balance. Plus the fees for each transaction are significant.
  • Index CFDs, on the other hand, have no settlement periods, short selling is as easy as buying, and you only pay the spread. With CFDs, you can scalp the market much more easily and you can enter the market with much less in your account.

How an Index CFD Trade Works

Unlike forex, when you trade an index, you simply buy or sell based on your opinion of how that index will perform. With FXCM, you pay only the spread to open a trade. We do not impose stop restrictions for most of our products—you can easily scalp major indices. Plus, our smaller contract sizes means you can minimize your exposure in the market.

Trade Your Opinion of Global Stock Markets

Want an ideal environment to trade US, European, Asian and Australian stock markets? We offer enhanced index CFDs, one of the most unique offerings in the industry and a great benefit for scalpers and news and EA traders.

Why Trade Indices with FXCM?

No Minimum Stop Distance

FXCM's Enhanced CFD Execution means you trade without minimum stop distances on most products, including US30, NAS100 and the GER30. Most strategies welcome.

Lower Transaction Costs

Trade commission free with no exchange fees—your transaction cost is the spread.

Trade on Margin

Set aside a fraction of the total trade size for global indices. See Margin Requirements.

Trade Sizes - Micro CFDs

Micro-contract sizes give you the flexibility to risk less per trade.

With FXCM's index products, you can also trade in bear markets more easily than in the stock market. Think a market will fall? Sell it just as easily as you can buy rising markets.

Advantages

One of the most popular methods of participating in the capital markets is to purchase corporate stock or an index fund. While these activities are the backbone of many investment strategies, they have several disadvantages. Large fees, considerable required capital and convertibility issues limit their utility to active traders.

In contrast, the trading of an enhanced index CFD has several unique advantages:

  • Limited Trade Restrictions
  • Low Transaction Costs
  • Availability of Leverage
  • Variable Trade Sizes

Index CFD Symbols

With FXCM, trading a stock index CFD is similar to trading forex. All you need to know is the symbol and the contract size. Check out the Index Product Guide.

Index CFDs are financial derivatives that allow you to gain broad exposure to various markets. Index CFDs can be a valuable asset to your trading strategy as you can take advantage of the price fluctuations of underlying assets. Review the Index CFD symbols below to see a list of available products:

Symbol Underlying Index Denomination Average Spread
AUS200 ASX SPI 200 Future AU$ 1.87
CHN50 SGX FTSE China A50 Future US$ 9.44
ESP35 IBEX35 Index Future 7.46
EUSTX50 Euro Stoxx 50 Future 1.15
FRA40 CAC40 Index Future 1.33
GER301 DAX Index Future 1.28
HKG33 Hang Seng Future HK$ 9.60
JPN225 Nikkei 225 Dollar Future ¥ 8.75
NAS100 E-Mini Nasdaq 100 Future US$ 1.09
SPX500 E-Mini S&P 500 Future US$ 0.38
UK100 FTSE 100 Index Future £ 0.99
US2000 E-Mini Russell 2000 Future US$ 0.37
US30 E-Mini Dow Future US$ 1.57
Disclosure
1

GER30 average spread displayed is for peak hours only (7:00-21:00 GMT). Effective from February 11th 2019, the GER30 remains open during off peak hours (0:30-7:00 GMT). Spreads may widen during off-peak hours, for more information on GER30 trading hours and spreads, please visit FXCM Help.

Indices Trading Details

The markets are always moving, so consult your trading platform or you can check out the Index Product Guide for the most up-to-date details.

SMALLER CONTRACT SIZES

The minimum lot size for FXCM's index CFDs is 1 contract, meaning you can trade an index for as low as $0.10 to minimize your exposure.

TRADING HOURS

Trading hours on indices are generally based on the underlying exchange's hours.

FINANCING

Financing is applied for any positions held past market close.

MARGIN REQUIREMENTS

Index margin requirements change frequently, based on the volatility expected in the market. Your trading platform has up-to-date margin requirements. Learn More

ENHANCED EXECUTION

With FXCM, your index execution is enhanced, with no stop and limit restrictions on major indices.

Index Pricing

With all FXCM account types, you pay only the spread to trade indices. With our enhanced execution, you enjoy even lower spreads on indices and no stop and limit trading restrictions. Check out the Index Product Guide

Symbol Average Spreads

Symbol Spread Symbol Spread
US30 1.57 FRA40 1.33
SPX500 0.38 HKG33 9.60
NAS100 1.09 JPN225 8.75
UK100 0.99 AUS200 1.87
GER301 1.28 ESP35 7.46
CHN50 9.44    
Disclosure
1

GER30 average spread displayed is for peak hours only (7:00-21:00 GMT). Effective from February 11th 2019, the GER30 remains open during off peak hours (0:30-7:00 GMT). Spreads may widen during off-peak hours, for more information on GER30 trading hours and spreads, please visit FXCM Help.

Decimalized Pricing

To give tighter spreads and more transparent pricing, we quote out to more decimal places than many other trading companies. For example:

ours

theirs

9,790.05
on GER30

9,790.1
on GER30

Spread Costs

When you trade with FXCM, your spread costs are automatically calculated on your platform, so you see real-time spreads and pip costs when you trade. To calculate the spread cost in the currency of your account:

Spread
x Pip Cost
x Number of Contracts
= Total Transaction Cost

Index Symbol Information

US2000

The US2000's underlying instrument is the E-Mini Russell 2000 Future, The Russel 2000 Index measures the performance of 2000 small-cap companies from within the Russel 3000 Index and is the most widely quoted benchmark to track the performance of small- cap stocks in the United States.

US30

The US30's underlying instrument is the DJIA (the Dow Jones) MINI e-CBOT. The Dow Jones Consists of 30 major American companies: AMEX, Boeing, Chevron, Coca-Cola, DuPont, GE, Goldman Sachs, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Nike and more.

SPX500

The SPX500's underlying instrument is the S&P 500 stock market index, maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices, which comprises 500 large-cap American companies covering about 75% of the American equity market by capitalization, such as Delta, eBay, Halliburton and Yum! Brands. The S&P 500 was developed and continues to be maintained by S&P Dow Jones Indices, a joint venture majority-owned by McGraw Hill Financial that publishes many stock market indices such as the S&P Midcap 400, the S&P Small Cap 600 and the S&P Composite 1500.

NAS100

The NAS100's underlying instrument is the NASDAQ100 stock market index. This index includes 100 companies from a broad range of industries with the exception of those that operate in the financial industry, such as banks and investment companies. Companies include Apple, Adobe Systems, Amazon, Cisco Systems, Google, Intel, Facebook and others.

UK100

The UK100's underlying instrument is the FTSE 100 index future. This is an index of the 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange with the highest market capitalization. In the FTSE indices, share prices are weighted by market capitalization, so that the larger companies make more of a difference to the index than smaller companies. Companies include GlaxoSmithKline, HSBC and Royal Dutch Shell.

GER30

The GER30's underlying instrument is the DAX index future. The DAX is a blue-chip stock market index consisting of the 30 major German companies trading on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange: BASF, SAP, Bayer, Allianz and others.

ESP35

The ESP35's underlying instrument is the IBEX35 index future. This is the benchmark stock market index of the Bolsa de Madrid, Spain's principal stock exchange. This index includes 35 companies from a broad range of industries: Banco Popular, Acciona, Bankia, Bankinter, Santander, Repsol, Gas Natural, Telefonica and more.

FRA40

The FRA40's underlying instrument is the CAC40 index future. This is the benchmark stock market index of the Euronext Paris: Airbus, Alcatel-Lucent, AXA, BNP Paribas, L'Oreal, Orange, Vivendi, Societe Generale, Renault, Michelin, Solvay and more.

HKG33

The HKG33's underlying instrument is the Mini-Hang Seng future. This is the benchmark stock market index of Hong Kong. Four sub-indices were established in order to make the index clearer and to classify constituent stocks into four distinct sectors. There are 50 HSI constituent stocks in total, including: Hang Seng Finance Sub-index, Hang Seng Utilities Sub-index, Hang Seng Properties Sub-index, Hang Seng Commerce & Industry Sub-index.

JPN225

The JPN225's underlying instrument is the Nikkei 225 Mini future. This is the benchmark stock market index for the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

AUS200

The AUS200's underlying instrument is the S&P/ASX 200, which measures the performance of the 200 largest index-eligible stocks listed on the Australian Stock Exchange by float-adjusted market capitalization.

EUSTX50

The EUSTX50's underlying instrument is the Euro Stoxx 50 Future. The Euro Stoxx 50 is an index of European listed shares is a stock index of Eurozone stocks designed by Stoxx Ltd, an index provider owned by Deutsche Börse and SIX Group and contains the largest companies in Europe—Allianz, Deutsche Bank, Inditex, Repsol, Unilever and more—and is used as a gage for the state of Europe's economy.

CHN50

The CHN50 has the FTSE China A50 Index as its underlying reference. The FTSE China A50 Index is a real-time tradable index comprising the largest 50 'A' Share companies listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange. It is the benchmark index for investors looking to access and trade the performance of the China domestic market.