Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

How to trade or invest in the Hang Seng Index

The Hang Seng lists some of Hong Kong’s biggest companies. Learn how you can get exposure to Hang Seng shares, ETFs and more via our Hong Kong HS50 index.

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

Call 0800 195 3100 or email newaccounts.uk@ig.com to talk about opening a trading account.

Contact us 0800 195 3100

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Get info fast via our instant help and support portal. Available for account queries, ProRealTime, product info and more.

Visit help and support for more information.

Call 0800 409 6789 or email helpdesk.uk@ig.com if you have any questions about trading or investing. We're available 24/7 between 8am Saturday and 10pm Friday.

Contact us 0800 409 6789

You can get exposure to the Hang Seng via our Hong Kong HS50 index. To open a position, follow these three steps:

1. Decide whether you want to trade or invest

You can harness the power of the Hang Seng by trading or investing in HS50 ETFs and individual shares,* or trading on the index’s value.

2. Create a trading plan

Before taking a position on the HS50, you'll need to decide whether you're a short- or long-term trader – and how to manage your risk.

3. Open a live account

To open any or all of the following accounts – spread betting, CFD trading and share dealing – fill in our application form.

To help you decide whether you want to trade or invest in the Hang Seng Index (HSI) via the HS50, we explain each method in detail below.

How can you trade or invest in the Hang Seng?

You can trade or invest in the Hang Seng Index (HSI) via our Hong Kong HS50 offering, which tracks the price of the underlying index.

You can:

  1. Trade the HS50 price directly
  2. Trade or invest in Hang Seng-related ETFs
  3. Trade or invest in Hang Seng-listed shares

Trade the HS50 price directly

  • Speculate on the performance of Hong Kong’s largest companies from a single position
  • Take a position on the HS50, which tracks the Hang Seng Index, using spread bets or CFDs. Although these are derivative trading products, this is the most direct way to trade on the price of the underlying index – the Hang Seng
  • Gain exposure to the HSI in a market with high liquidity
  • Enjoy the freedom to go ‘long’ (if you think the price will rise) or ‘short’ (if you think the price will fall)
  • Trade commission-free with spread bets or CFDs (excluding share CFDs) as charges are included in the spread
  • Use our HS50 ‘cash’ (spot) market to take a position in the short term
  • Choose our HS50 futures or options markets for longer-term positions
  • Trade around the clock, almost 24/7 (excluding 10pm Friday to 8am on Saturday and 10.40pm to 11pm on Sunday)

Trade or invest in Hang Seng-related ETFs

  • Gain broad exposure to the HSI with our related ETFs
  • Buy and hold actual shares in a Hang Seng-related ETF by opening a share dealing account
  • Invest in these ETFs from just £3 commission using our share dealing platform1
  • Take a position on Hang Seng-tracking ETF price movements with spread bets or CFDs without owning the underlying asset
  • Use derivatives to go long or short – but remember that this offers lower liquidity and higher spreads than trading the HS50 price directly via spread bets or CFDs
  • Instead of speculating on the current index level of the HS50, you trade on the price of the Hang Seng-linked ETF – calculated using the fund’s net asset value (NAV)

Trade or invest in Hang Seng-listed shares*

  • Buy and hold actual shares in a Hang Seng-listed company* by opening a share dealing account
  • Invest in Hang Seng-listed stocks* from £0 commission with our share dealing platform1
  • Target specific stocks included in the Hang Seng without trading the entire index
  • Speculate on Hang Seng-listed stock price movements with spread bets or CFDs without owning the underlying asset
  • Go long if you think share prices will go up, or short if you think they’ll go down
  • Trade shares commission-free with spread bets. CFD share trades incur a minimum of HKD100 commission charge

Trading the HS50 index price directly Trading or investing in an HS50 ETF Trading or investing in Hang Seng-listed shares

Account types

Spread betting or CFD trading account

Spread betting or CFD trading account to trade, or a share dealing account to invest

Spread betting or CFD trading account to trade or a share dealing account to invest

Market hours

24/7 (except 10pm Friday to 8am Saturday and 10.40pm to 11pm Sunday). Note that our Weekend HS50 market is separate to the main HS50 market

UK-listed HS50 ETFs can be traded when the LSE is open – 8am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (UK time)

When the Hong Kong Stock Exchange is open – 1.30am to 8am, Monday to Friday (UK time)

Timeframe

Short to medium term

Short to medium term for trading and long term for investing

Short to medium term for trading and long term for investing

Liquidity and execution

0.0014 second execution speed and unique deep liquidity

Higher liquidity offered by trading the HS50 price directly

Higher liquidity offered by trading the HS50 price directly

Costs

Commission-free, with spreads from 5 points.

Trading the HS50 on the spot (cash) incurs overnight fees, but index futures don’t incur these fees

Invest in UK-listed HS50 ETFs from £3 commission per trade.1

Commission-free for spread betting, with spreads between 0.1% and 0.6%

Min commission £10 for CFD ETFs listed in the UK.

Trade in Hong Kong shares using CFDs for 0.25% of total trade size – min commission is HKD100.

Trade Hong Kong shares via spread betting with spreads between 0.5% and 0.85% – pay zero commission.

If stocks are dual listed in the US, you can invest in them using our share dealing platform, from zero commission1

Overnight funding fees are charged on cash index, share and ETF positions held open after 10pm (UK time). These fees are not charged on futures and options2.

Open a trading or investing account

There are different types of accounts you can open to take a position on the HS50: spread betting or CFD trading accounts, or a share dealing account.

Spread betting and CFD trading Share dealing

Speculate on the price of stocks and ETFs rising or falling

Buy and sell underlying stocks* and ETFs

You'll only pay a deposit to get exposure

Pay the full value of the shares or ETFs you buy upfront

Leverage means both profit and loss will still be magnified to value of the full trade – so you could gain or lose money faster than you’d expect

You may get back less than you put in because the value of shares and ETF can fall as well as rise

Trade tax-free with spread bets and offset losses with CFDs4

Invest tax-free with a stocks and shares ISA4

Take shorter-term positions

Focus on longer-term growth

You can look to hedge your portfolio when trading

Build a diversified portfolio

Trade without owning the underlying asset

Take ownership of the underlying asset

Learn what moves the HS50 index’s price

  • Economic events – given the proximity to China and the large number of Chinese companies dominating the HS50, one can expect the economic and political backdrop in the country (including trade wars) to play the key role in the index’s price movements
  • News – reports surrounding worldwide events, such as the 2019 coronavirus outbreak, can have a significant impact on the price of the index
  • Earnings reports – when constituents of the Hang Seng release their earnings reports, it’s important to note if there are any big changes to each company’s market capitalisation. If so, and the company has significant weight in the HS50, it can sway the index’s price
  • Interest rate decisions – generally, when interest rates go down, markets tend to rise and when interest rates go up, the market reacts negatively. This can also be true for the HS50, but it is not a guarantee. Stay abreast of interest rate decisions by major central banks as it can cause some short-term volatility in the market
  • Currency rates and fluctuations – the strength of currencies, such as HKD, CHD and JPY, have a direct impact on the performance of the companies within the HS50. This is because the constituents do business with countries across the world, which means their income is dependent on various exchange rates. If these rates fluctuate often, the index’s price will also be affected

Hone your HS50 trading strategy

Here are a few tips to consider as you develop your HS50 trading strategy:

  • Choose your trading style: decide how you want to trade the index by choosing a trading style based on your risk appetite and how much time you have available. There are four trading styles, suited to different types of traders
  • Examine charts and price action: use CFDs on HS50 price charts to assist in determining market sentiment. Knowing how to use charts when trading can help you to estimate what the index price might do next
  • Conduct technical analysis and indicators: learn how technical analysis and trading indicators can help you to identify chart patterns, trading signals and trends in the markets
  • Set trading alerts: set criteria for the CFDs on HS50 and get notified when the criteria are met. This way, you can trade instantly if you think the market has reached the right price

Take your first HS50 trading or investing position

Let’s take a more detailed look at the various ways you can open a position via spread betting, CFD trading or share dealing.

Spread betting on the HS50

When you spread bet, you’ll be putting up a certain amount of capital per point of movement in the underlying market. Your profit or loss is calculated by multiplying your bet size by the number of points of movement.

You can spread bet on HS50:

  • Cash indices: deal at the current price of the underlying market while receiving tight spreads. Popular among short-term traders
  • Index futures: agree to trade the index at a specific price on a specific date. Popular among longer-term traders
  • Options: buy the right (but not the obligation) to trade the index at a specified price in future. Popular among experienced traders with a long-term view
  • ETFs: speculate on all Hang Seng-related stocks in a single position. Trade on the spot or using forwards (futures)
  • Shares: trade on upward or downward price movements of Hang Seng-listed shares without owning them

Let’s look at an example. You decide to trade the cash index and you think the price of the Hong Kong HS50 is going to rise from its current level of 20,000. So, you go long at £10 per point and open your position by clicking ‘buy’ on our platform.

If the index’s price increased to 20,100 and you bet £10 per point, you’d earn a profit of £1000 (100 points x £10 per point) excluding any other costs you might incur like overnight funding.

If the index price dropped to 19,900 instead, moving against your prediction, you’d make a loss of £1000.

Trading CFDs on the HS50

A contract for difference (CFD) is an agreement to exchange the difference in price of an underlying asset, as measured from the time the contract is opened until the time it’s closed.

So, however much the price of that asset has risen or dropped since you opened your position is what you stand to make as a profit or a loss, depending on whether your prediction is correct or incorrect.

Like with spread bets, you can trade CFDs on HS50:

  • Cash indices: speculate on the current price of the underlying market and get tighter spreads. Short-term traders prefer this method
  • Index futures: agree to trade the index at a predetermined price on a date in future. Longer-term traders prefer this method
  • Options: buy the right (but not the obligation) to trade the index at a specified price in future. Experienced traders with a longer-term view prefer this method
  • ETFs: trade all Hang Seng-related stocks, on the spot or using forwards, in a single position
  • Shares: speculate on Hang Seng-listed shares’ prices rising or falling without owning them

Here’s an example of how CFD trading works. Say you believe that the HS50 cash index is set to rise from its current price of 20,000. So, you buy 10 CFD contracts on our index worth £5 per contract. Your prediction is correct, and you close your position when the sell price is 20,090. The difference is 90 points, multiplied by the £5 per contract multiplied by 10 contracts, so your profit is £4500 – excluding other costs.

If your prediction is incorrect and the market drops, and you closed your trade at a level of 19,950, your loss would be £2500 – excluding other costs.

Investing in the HS50 with share dealing

You can invest in Hang Seng-related ETFs and stocks listed on the index* via a share dealing account. Investing in shares outright means you own them, so you’re restricted to going long. It’s more suited to those who take a longer-term view of the market.

You won’t be trading with leverage when using our share dealing platform. Instead, as you’re buying the shares or ETF outright, you’ll commit the full value of the investment upfront.

You can invest in HS50:

  • ETFs: buying Hang Seng-tracking ETFs is one of the most popular ways to get exposure to the entire index from a single position
  • Shares: buying some of the top stocks* outright is also fairly popular, as it means you’d own a piece of a company you value, earn possible dividends and get shareholder voting rights
  • Smart Portfolios: choose to have your investment portfolio managed by experts while still getting access to HS50 stocks and the index itself

FAQs

What are the ways you can trade or invest in the Hang Seng Index?

You can trade or invest in Hang Seng-listed stocks* or related ETFs, and you could also get exposure to our HS50 index – which tracks the movements of the Hang Seng.

You can trade using spread bets or CFDs to speculate on the cash index, forwards, options, ETFs and shares. Alternatively, you can invest in Hang Seng-listed stocks and related ETFs via share dealing.

What should you know before trading the Hong Kong HS50?

Before trading on Hong Kong HS50, do your research and understand how the index works – how it’s calculated and what affects it price. Then, decide whether you want to trade or invest in the index.

Try out our demo platform or open a trading account if you’re ready to take on the live markets.

What should you know before trading the Hong Kong HS50?

Before trading on Hong Kong HS50, do your research and understand how the index works – how it’s calculated and what affects it price. Then, decide whether you want to trade or invest in the index.

Try out our demo platform or open a trading account if you’re ready to take on the live markets.

How do companies get onto the Hang Seng Index?

Constituent stocks must be among the top 90% of the total turnover on the SEHK and have a listing history of at least two years. The index is calculated in real-time at two-second intervals during the trading hours of the exchange. The 50 companies that qualify are listed on the Hang Seng Index, traded via the HS50 on our platform.

Constituent stocks must be among the top 90% of the total turnover on the SEHK and have a listing history of at least two years. The index is calculated in real-time at two-second intervals during the trading hours of the exchange. The 50 companies that qualify are listed on the Hang Seng Index, traded via the HS50 on our platform.

What are the HS50 trading hours?

The Hang Seng index trades between 1.30am and 8am UK time (9.30am and 4pm Hong Kong time), Monday to Friday. Our indices, including the HS50, are normally available for dealing 24 hours a day between 23.02 Sunday and 22.15 Friday (London time) each week. Note that daylight savings time might affect these hours.

1 Trade in your share dealing account three or more times in the previous month to qualify for our best commission rates. See our full list of share dealing charges and fees.
2 Overnight funding is the charge you pay for keeping daily funded bets or cash CFD trades open past 10pm UK time; we’ll make an interest adjustment to your account to reflect the cost of funding your position. Learn more about how overnight funding is calculated.
3 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.
* You can only invest in Hang Seng-listed stocks with us if they’re dual listed on a US exchange.