Complete Indices Trading Guide 2021 for Beginners

Indices Trading Guide

Indices Trading Guide

Indices trading guide mainly includes public firms traded in a particular stock exchange. It calculates the collective financial market performance, including all composed of a firm and realises the figures. Indices trading is just like any other form of transaction. Its basic principle lies in buying indices at a low price and selling them at a higher price. 

Indices are an accurate barometer of the financial market portion and the backbone of any economy. It is feasible to open CFD trades based on various indices’ market performance, investing in their fractional change value. 

There are two types of Indices: prominent indices and the less familiar ones. The article contains everything you require to know related to the index, popular index and steps one can follow for profitable indices trading. 

Indices Trading Guide: Stock Indices History


Dow Jones Transportation Average (DJTA) is the first index and was listed in 1884. However, the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) is regularly seen as the master of all benchmarks despite being established in the year 1896. It originated twelve years after its companion index, the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The credit for its establishment goes to Charles Dow, who is also the co-founder of The Wall Street Journal. It was specially designed to give consistent price information on the blue chips of the whole day. They initially consisted of nine railroad stocks, along with the Pacific Mail Steamship firm and Western Union. It focused on indicating the underlying economy of the time but was soon overtaken by the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the most-quoted indices when production and manufacturing turned powerful in the United States economy. 


With this, the rise in many formalised regional equity benchmarks started across the world, and finally, the popular FT 30 index emerged. It was the predecessor of the FTSE 100 and launched in the United Kingdom in 1935. Its elements also give a picture of what was empowering the country at that time. The stuff full of large industries such as steel, rubber, and coal was designed to check the equity market’s changing mood and its feel. The value of this was estimated manually and printed every fifteen minutes. 

Comparing various indices proved to be a difficult task right from the initial point. The Dow, for instance, was made using a price-weighted concept that ranked firms by the price of their stocks or shares rather than the company’s net worth. On the other hand, for FT 30s elements were equal weighted with the components of both selected by the council. 

The largely concentrated nature of these initial indices and the irregularities in their estimation limited their suitability as Benchmarks. 

The introduction to the famous S&P 500 index in 1957 gave a much more diversified and more profound weighted-market-cap universe of shares which could generally be used as a benchmark. The FTSE all-share developed in 1962. 


The traders surge ever more sophisticated, and so their requirements too. 

Novice indices were developed covering global and local markets, as the MSCI World index launched in 1969. It opened global equities for the new types of audience. The FTSE 100 was established in the year 1984 to give a United Kingdom index with greater breadth and the Russell 2000 founded in the United States; it was the first American small-cap indices. 

New classes of the asset were also framed out. The initial corporate indices bond was made in the year 1973 in the United States by investment banks Salmon Brothers and Kuhn, Loeb and corporation. The motive behind them was to measure the first tradable commodities index’s performance, which Goldman Sachs proposed in the year 1991. 

What is an Index? 

An index refers to a method or standardised way that helps track the performance of some class of assets. They generally measure the performance of a set of assets designed to replicate the financial market area. These can be broad-based to catch the entire financial market such as the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) and S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s 500 or functional such as indexes which trace a segment or sector. Indicies can help in estimation of the other economic or financial data such as manufacturing output, interest rates and inflation. 

Other indices act as a benchmark taken against some assets to evaluate the performance of returns on portfolios. One of the well-known investment techniques popularly known as indexing attempts to replicate such an index passively rather than seeking to outperform it. 

 Some of the most profoundly traded index in the indices trading

  • FTSE 100- Sometimes, it is known as UK 100, it represents the top hundred firms of the United Kingdom concerning market capitalisation. 
  • Dow Jones- It is generally referred to as Wall Street. It includes the 30 most significant publicly-owned firms of the United States. 
  • The DAX- It is known as the Germany 30. This index comprises thirty big companies in Germany. 
  • NASDAQ 100- Popularly known as the United Tech 100. It is a capitalisation-weighted index comprising about 100 technical firms of the United States. 
  • Nikkei 225- Japan’s most extensive price-weighted index consists of about 225 biggest Japanese firms. 
  • CAC 40- It is known as France 40 and consists of approximately 40 largest French firms in terms of market capitalisation. 

Indices Trading Guide: Steps for starting indices trading 

Choose One Index

It is essential to select the trade in which you are comfortable and have some prior knowledge of the chosen trade. For this, you can read the news, research and analysis to identify what type of benefits and indices trading opportunities different indexes provide. It also helps you to estimate how volatile the cost movements can be within these markets. 

Select the Trading Method – Spread Betting or CFDs

Selecting the right type of trade is essential as there is little difference between these two and can affect your trading decision to a larger extent. HFTrading provides index trading through CFD. The fee and types of indices offered by them are discussed later in the article. 

Understand the Market 

One you feel easy enough with the research work and feel that you can easily recognise a trading opportunity in the given index, you’ll require to decide a trading direction. It means whether to go long (buy) or go short (sell) CFD. Indices trading allows you to gain profit from both falling markets and surging markets for greater flexibility. 

Place an Order

When placing a trade, you must work in the direction to predict the trade against the losses and volatility ahead of what you’re comfortable with. 

Monitor the Position

Once a position is opened on the selected indices, monitoring on top market fluctuation can help you to lock in profits and minimise any losses to a more considerable extent. With the leading award-winning platform MetaTrader4 (compatible with Android and iOS) of HFTrading, you can closely monitor your trade position. It sends you the live data alerts about your trading position, which help you to take trading decisions effectively. 

Indices Trading Guide: How to Analyse Indices for Trading? 

There are two types of tools used in analysing the indices market- fundamental and technical analysis. However, when it comes to determining the value of investment or/and trade, these two types of indicators differ in the approach. 

Each of these ways consists of distinct qualities which appeal to particular market traders. Hence, marking out the difference between the fundamental and technical analysis is crucial for utilising them befittingly and comprehensively. 

Fundamental Analysis 

The chief difference between fundamental and technical analysis is that the fundamental indicator involves the method of understanding inherent value or stock’s intrinsic value by the analysis of different factors. In this respect, a professional’s study elements can impact the integral value of the security. 

Indices Trading Guide: How to Do Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis refers to an extensive process in which each factor that impacts the price of an index is minutely analysed to conclude. Doing this helps the professionals determine whether the index is priced correctly concerning the broader market. Fundamental analysis includes both microeconomic and macroeconomic factors that affect the index’s price to promote a comprehensive analysis. For example, to obtain a conclusive result, professionals study vast factors like the industrial conditions and the country’s economy and more specific elements like a firm’s management to estimate the price of the index. Moreover, this method uses several quantitative and qualitative metrics to measure the firm’s well-being in question. It is another primary difference between fundamental and technical analysis.

Some of the qualitative tools or indicators which professional commonly uses to estimate the intrinsic value of the index are:

  1. Industry-wide growth
  2. Intangible assets   
  3. Business model
  4. Corporate governance
  5. Competitive edge
  6. Business cycles
  7. Management competency
  8. Customer base
Quantitative Indicators
  1. Tangible assets
  2. Total profit
  3. Company’s annual revenue
  4. Accounting ratios

Apart from these, a trader must be vigilant towards the political and economic factors that might influence indexes’ value in the future. 


The major drawback of this method is, misinterpreting or overlooking any of the single aspects of analysis may sometimes cause an inaccurate estimation of the intrinsic value. 

Technical Analysis 

Fundamental analysis of index or asset deals with an array of factors. On the other hand, the technical analysis approach depends on the historical data that is directly connected to the specific index taken into account. It is a significant difference between fundamental and technical analysis. 

Indices Trading Guide: How to Do Technical Analysis?

While performing technical analysis, professionals mainly use the calculation on information which significantly involves the returns, the historical value of an index and volume or size of the trade. With the help of analysis of statistics, technical professionals try to forecast future price fluctuation of index or market. Moreover, such professionals base their outcomes on the hypothesis that all other basic or fundamental have already been calculated into the index price, and they will remain unchanged. 

In short, technical analysis results or outcomes lie on patterned price fluctuation or movements. 


However, if the trend or say price-range does not honour, it can lead to free-falling downward or rising upward, resulting in massive losses for traders. The second drawback of this method is it needs knowledge and experience of advanced theories of indices market. It is mainly suitable for investors searching for short-term profits, rather than beginner traders or those who wish to invest for long-term profit generation. Investing in indices based on technical analysis can be riskier. So, always try to take multiple factors into account while trading.

Indices Trading Guide: Difference between Fundamental and Technical Analysis


It refers to understanding an index’s fundamentals by its management, overall market conditions and financial performance.

They are used for estimating index or market’s perspective trends by analysing volumes of trade and historical price movements.


Market individuals predominantly use it for long-term investment. Traders mainly utilise it for short-term trading.

Sell and buy Signals

Undervalued and overvalued stocks. Resistance and support trend lines, momentum-based indicators and moving averages.

Top Facts about Indices trading Guide 

There are some exciting facts on index trading that trader’s must-read. Few of these facts are listed below in the form of concise points. 

  • Hedging of the position can be done in the index. Arbitrage and cover option planning are also possible through Electronic and fund transfer.
  • Intraday trading and index cash segment through Exchange Traded Funds are possible.
  • Cash segment for trading in index futures is possible.
  • Offers rollover of position without cost.
  • Dividends are reinvested in the Exchange Traded Fund.
  • The relaxation and redemptions in Exchange Traded Funds are more than a discount in futures, then it is a favourable trading opportunity.

 Tips for Indices trading Guide

Some beneficial tips before starting indices trading are as follows:

  1. We must monitor the market to run out of steam. By this, we are attempting to snatch the intraday grab if the market runs out of puff. 
  2. Trade the trend and wait for the price to trend for several days or weeks. Buy or sell a trend when you get a hike in it.
  3. Ride the wave. It is the strategy you can take after a big announcement. See if price closes at extremes. BUY or SELL at the open, or you hold it for another day. 

Advantages of Indices trading over Stocks 

1) It is well known that stocks trading stocks can fall very rapidly in a day up to 60%. So, indices trading is the right choice in contrast, as the index will not fall more than 50% in one day.

2) Margins are much lower than stocks, but there is enough liquidity in last month options for indices, and One Time Mandate in index options. 

3) Also, it is a fact that you might not get a rapid and reliable option to exit in panic, in case of stock options. Whereas, in indices trading, the choice for the exit is always available, which makes it a more stable trading option.

4) Indices are volatile, which make it an attractive option to get attention from the seekers.

5) There are so many stocks that build up an index. An index offers you trends (such as rise and fall) of the market. A company might fall to zero, but this will not be a case in an index.  

Indices Trading Guide: Top Brokers for Indices Trading


ETFinance is a Magnum FX (Cyprus) Ltd. and is regulated by the top tier financial body, CySEC (Cyprus Securities & Exchange Commission) having license number 359/18. The firm provides the popular MetaTrader 4 and Web traders for carrying out trade in a professional way. This platform gives real-time trade information related to market fluctuations. For indices trading, the leverage offered is up to 1:30. 

The top features include excellent customer service, low spreads, no hidden charges, zero commission, high tech security, and no negative balance policy. 

T1 Markets

T1Markets is another Cyprus based trading site that offers robust products and services at low cost. The firm is registered with CySEC, and top features of this brokerage firm are: 

  • Provides 20+ indices CFDs for diversifying the trader’s portfolio 
  • Indices: Provides a broad range of larger world indices such as FTSE 100, MIB 40, Nikkei 225, DAX 30, NASDAQ 100, and DOW 30 thus by creating a unique opportunity to invest in the financial market that too online and decreasing volatility of the market by diversification. 
  • Technology: Blockchain technology 
  • Flexible spreads with zero commission
  • 24/5 advanced customer support service 
  • 50 major markets 

Indices Trading Guide: Final Thought

This was the complete Indices Trading Guide. Indices trading is an effective method to speculate the top financial market across the world. Stock indices are weighted averages extracted from the firms listed on the exchange, generating leverage trading across the world’s equity markets. 

This trading is attractive and comfortable, but there are certain added risks as well. Hence, one should always read and build a strong trading foundation for mitigating these risk factors. 

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