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Understanding the FTSE 100: A Cornerstone of the UK Stock Market


Jun 3, 2024 #FTSE100

The FTSE 100, or Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index, stands as one of the most significant indicators of economic performance and market health in the United Kingdom. This index, which aggregates the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) by market capitalization, is a cornerstone for investors and analysts alike, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the UK’s corporate giants.

What is the FTSE 100?

The FTSE 100 is a stock market index comprising the 100 largest companies listed on the LSE. These companies, often referred to as “blue-chip” companies, are known for their stability, financial strength, and reliable performance. The index represents a wide array of sectors, including finance, energy, consumer goods, healthcare, and telecommunications, making it a broad measure of the market.

How is the FTSE 100 Calculated?

The FTSE 100 is a market capitalization-weighted index. This means that the influence of each company on the index is proportional to its market cap, calculated by multiplying the current share price by the total number of outstanding shares. Importantly, the FTSE 100 uses a free-float methodology, considering only the shares available for public trading and excluding those held by insiders.

The index is updated in real-time, with changes reflected every 15 seconds during trading hours. This continuous updating ensures that the FTSE 100 remains a timely and accurate reflection of the market.

The Process of Rebalancing

To maintain its relevance and accuracy, the FTSE 100 undergoes a review and rebalancing process every quarter, in March, June, September, and December. During these reviews, companies may be added or removed based on their market capitalization. This rebalancing ensures that the index continues to represent the largest companies on the LSE.

The FTSE 100 as a Performance Indicator

The FTSE 100 is more than just a collection of companies; it is a barometer for the overall health of the UK stock market and the economy. Investors, analysts, and policymakers use it to gauge market trends, investor sentiment, and economic performance. When the FTSE 100 rises, it generally indicates investor confidence and positive economic conditions. Conversely, a decline in the index can signal economic challenges or declining investor confidence.

The FTSE 100 as an Investment Benchmark

Many investment funds, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), use the FTSE 100 as a benchmark. These funds aim to replicate the performance of the index by investing in the constituent companies. For investors, this provides a way to gain exposure to the UK’s largest and most stable companies without having to select individual stocks.

Global Influence of the FTSE 100

Although the FTSE 100 is a UK index, many of its constituent companies are multinational corporations with substantial international operations. This global presence means that the index is influenced not only by domestic economic conditions but also by global economic trends. As a result, the FTSE 100 can be seen as a gauge of both UK and international economic health.


The FTSE 100 is an essential tool for understanding the UK stock market and the broader economy. Its composition of the largest, most stable companies provides investors with a reliable indicator of market trends and economic conditions. Through its continuous updating and periodic rebalancing, the FTSE 100 remains a dynamic and accurate reflection of the market, making it an invaluable resource for investors, analysts, and policymakers alike. Whether you are looking to gauge the market’s performance or seeking a benchmark for investment, the FTSE 100 stands as a critical measure of the financial landscape.

By admin