Spread betting was initially devised and introduced as a vehicle for enabling individuals to invest in gold without physically having to enter the gold market. Today, the choice for spread betting markets has been opened up significantly, to take in a broad range of instruments, commodities, assets and indices.
While the range of markets offered varies from spread betting broker to broker, they can be broadly classified into six categories:
Indices: major world indices such as the FTSE, DOW JONES, DAX, S&P500, etc.
Stocks: shares in UK based and foreign listed companies are widely traded via spread betting including FTSE100, FTSE350 and AIM listed stocks.
Currencies: major world currency pairings, including GBR/USD, EUR/GBR, EUR/USD
Commodities: both hard and soft commodities are traded, including oil, wheat, corn and, of course, gold.
Interest rates: interest rates across the globe can also be used as a basis for spread betting
Bonds: bond prices can also provide an index on which spread bets can be placed.